Catalonian Serenade by Kerry Turner
1. Alba a Barcelona (Dawn in Barcelona)
2. Mitjanit al Barri Gotic (Midnight in the Gothic Quarter)
3. Bal a la Posta del Sol (Dancing in the Sunset)
Commissioned by Chintimini Chamber Music in memory of Craig B. Leman, scholar, humanitarian, empathetic champion of composers of every era.
The continent of Europe is host to quite a large number of artistic cites that have inspired poets, painters, authors, and composers through the centuries. Barcelona belongs to this group of inspiring cities. Having already resided and composed in other great locations such as Vienna, Paris and Amsterdam, the composer decided to use Barcelona as his pallet for this composition. Immediately after arrival, the haunting melody of the first movement materialised. In fact, one can hear the silent text to the opening melody- “The streets of Barcelona.” This city, like all great cities, changes moods and temperament during each part of the day. Thus the composer chose to feature three distinct hours in the daily life of this magnificent metropolis.
"Alba a Barcelona” - With the first rays of sunshine, the city begins to awaken. Brilliant sun washes the sides of the thousands of closely packed buildings in the old town. The people emerge on to the tiny streets and daily life begins. Within a short time the whole city is bustling, preparing for local commerce and the thousands of tourists who have flocked here.
"Mitjanit al Barri Gotic” - It was this quarter of the city that attracted the composer to Barcelona. Its medieval atmosphere, countless winding streets, and gothic architecture make it a favorite neighborhood. It is, however, rather overrun with tourists during the day. Therefore the composer chose to explore this fascinating neighbourhood at midnight, when one is alone and free to wander aimlessly for hours. At midnight, we hear the bells of the cathedral chime midnight. As if crossing into another era, the horns play an ancient and well- known Catalonian dance called “Bolangera de Roses.”
"Bal a la Posta del Sol” - As in most great cities, a different energy takes over the streets at sunset. The people are off work, nestled in bars and cafes. Children play football in the streets, and the aroma of various foods announces the arrival of dinnertime. In Barcelona, one encounters people of all ages strumming the guitar. One can hear guitars serenading the evening on almost every block...and where there is Spanish guitar, there is passionate dancing.