Three of the songs in the collection are traditional (from Aragon, Extremadura and Jaén) with simple, amusing arrangements that are bursting with freshness. Of the songs for mixed voices, we should highlight Capvespre and Idil.li de la fruita galana, impregnated by the climate that these texts portray, especially the first - a very inspired piece that brushes perfection.
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|Subheading / Parts||Als nens petits - Capvespre - Confidència - El Triquitri - Fandanguillo - Idil·li de la fruita galana - La nena de la rotllana - La Pirroquia|
|Instruments||Choir SATB & Choir TTBB|
|Text language||Catalan, Castilian|
|Remarks||8 songs in two versions: 1. for 4 man voices; 2. for 4 mixed voices|
The relatively extensive catalogue of Joaquim Serra’s (1907-1957) composition work represents all the genres. Unfortunately, his early death at the age of 50 has deprived us of the magnitude that the evolution of his creative maturity foretold.
Joaquim Serra was a simple and affable man who was loved by everyone that he came across. As a musician, a brilliant composer and very good pianist, he was always renowned. He was born in Peralada (Alt Empordà). His father, Josep Serra i Bonal, composer of sardanas (traditional Catalan folk songs), influenced his inclination towards music and he showed great natural talent from a very early age. His precocious capability could be seen from his adolescence, when he wrote his first sardana at the age of 14, entitled La primera volada (The first flight). In later years, he composed extensively and consequently explored other forms of using the cobla (traditional Catalan brass band). Interestingly, his last work was a magnificent symphonic poem for cobla entitled Puigsoliu.
With this album, Clivis Publicacions, ever faithful to its laudable commitment to Catalan culture, concludes its publishing project dedicated to the choral work of Joaquim Serra. We can only regret that this selection is limited compared to his full catalogue. Nevertheless, it is very agreeable to once again consider the talent and the effects of his resources, where the treatment of voices reveals the experience of the maestros. They reveal beautiful and surprising contributions of harmonic colour and moving hues, built on structures that are very well adapted to the texts, featuring a noble and high quality.
The anthology incorporates songs originally written for male voices and others for mixed choirs. The songs written for male voices are also presented in the mixed choir version, undertaken with Manuel Oltra’s expertise (except for Capvespre, as the two versions were written by the composer). Three of the songs in the collection are traditional (from Aragon, Extremadura and Jaén) with simple, amusing arrangements that are bursting with freshness. Of the songs for mixed voices, we should highlight Capvespre (“Nightfall”, with text by Carles Soldevila) and Idil.li de la fruita galana (“Idyll of the beautiful fruit”, with text by Joan Maria Guasch), impregnated by the climate that these texts portray, especially the first - a very inspired piece that brushes perfection.
We don’t doubt that this publication will be well received in choral circles and that it will deservedly promote the knowledge and recreation of the songs it encompasses.