Content:

Gabriel Erkoreka

Cello Concerto 'Ekaitza'

Tres Sonetos de Michelangelo

Piano Concerto 'Piscis'



Artists:
Basque National Orchestra
Juanjo Mena, conductor
Carlos Mena, counter-tenor
Alfonso Gomez, piano
Asier Polo, cello

Genres:
Contemporary
Orchestral
Vocal

Features:

Sleeve notes in English, Spanish and Basque

Format:
CD

Released:
June 2024

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1442-2

EAN/UPC Code:
0761195144220

Track listing

CD 71:36
Gabriel Erkoreka (b. 1969)
Cello Concerto 'Ekaitza' (2012) 24:19
1 I. 8:04
2 II. 10:28
3 III. 5:46
Tres Sonetos de Michelangelo (2009) 20:40
4 I. Sonetto XVIII 5:03
5 II. Interludio primo 1:48
6 III. Sonetto XI 4:10
7 IV. Interludio secondo 3:16
8 V. Sonetto XXVII 6:21
Piano Concerto 'Piscis' (2021-22) 26:00
9 I. 9:15
10 II. 8:26
11 III. 8:17



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Complete description

Award-winning composer Gabriel Erkoreka (b. 1969) is one of the leading composers of contemporary music from the Iberian Peninsula. This new album by the Basque National Orchestra conducted by Juanjo Mena is dedicated to his orchestral works. Erkoreka studied composition with Michael Finnissy at the Royal Academy of Music in London and after graduating, his works have been performed in important festivals across the globe. In 2021 Gabriel Erkoreka received the National Music Award given by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.

 

Erkoreka’s music, alongside references to folk music and nature, shows a genuine preference for dramatic structures with an extreme use of dynamics and registers that are condensed into a language of great timbral richness and musicality. This album the Basque National Orchestra offers first recordings of three important orchestral works by Erkoreka, including his recent Piano Concerto. Two of the works were premiered by the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, and the Cello Concerto by the Basque National Orchestra on its 30th anniversary, and all by the same soloists. Given that the first compositions in Gabriel Erkoreka’s catalogue date from the early 1990s, it is possible to conclude that this recording gathers mature works that certify an already consolidated style.

 

Considered by specialist critics as one of the most renowned cellists of his generation, Asier Polo has collaborated as a soloist with some of the most highly regarded orchestras on the international stage: Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionalle della RAI, Dresdner Philharmonie, Orchestre de Paris, BBC Philharmonic, Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Symphoniker and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Polo is particularly devoted to contemporary music, especially that of his native country, and has premiered several new cello concertos. Asier Polo studied with E. Pascu, M. Kliegel and I. Monighetti. He also received expert advice from J. Starker, N. Gutman and M. Rostropovich at various master classes. Asier Polo plays a Francesco Ruggeri cello (Cremona, 1689) purchased in collaboration with the Banco Santander Foundation.

 

Carlos Mena was trained by R. Levitt and R. Jacobs at the prestigious Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where he is currently Professor of Historic Singing. His repertoire ranges from the Middle Ages to contemporary music. He has sung at venues such as Musikverein in Vienna, Barbican Centre in London, Felsenreitschule and Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg, Philarmonie in Berlin, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Chatelet in Paris, Teatro Real in Madrid, Liceu in Barcelona, Opera City Hall in Tokyo, Osaka Symphony Hall, Schönberg Hall in Los Angeles, Alice Tully Hall at the MET in New York, Kennedy Centre in Washington, Sydney Opera House, Concert Hall in Melbourne, Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, among others. His more than 50 recorded recitals have received numerous recording awards. Mena is Artistic Director of the Galicia Symphony Orchestra. As director, he regularly conducts the symphony orchestras of Spain.

 

In recent years, pianist Alfonso Gómez has become one of the most renowned performers of 20th and 21st century repertoire. Awarded eleven times in national and international competitions, Gómez has performed concerts in Spain, France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Ukraine, United States, Canada, Mexico, Taiwan and South Korea. To date, Gómez has released 12 albums on various classical labels, including the complete piano works for Ravel and has won the Grand Prix du Disque Musique Contemporaine de l’Académie Charles Cros. His performances and recordings have been broadcast numerous times on radio and television in Europe and Asia. He currently resides in Germany and is a professor at the University of Music in Freiburg and associate professor at the State University of Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart.

 

Basque National Orchestra is one of the most renowned symphonic ensembles in Spain. Basque National Orchestra is an orchestra that is firmly rooted in its community, has extremely high standards and is strongly committed to symphonic music from all periods. It places special emphasis on the creation and promotion of Basque music worldwide, thanks to numerous international tours and record distribution. Robert Treviño has been its main director since 2017 and, together, they work on progressive artistic improvement and new international positioning, with recent tours in Austria, Germany, Poland and Paris. The orchestra has shared the stage with great conductors such as Lawrence Foster, Yehudi Menuhin, Krzysztof Penderecki, Jesús López Cobos and Juanjo Mena. Also, on the list of soloists are names such as Maria João Pires, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Mischa Maisky, Leonidas Kavakos, Radu Lupu, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Alban Gerhardt, Pinchas Zukerman, Augustin Hadelich, Nikolai Lugansky, amongst many others.

 

Juanjo Mena began his career as Artistic Director of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra. His extraordinary talent was soon recognised internationally, named Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic, Principal Guest Conductor of the Carlo Felice Theater Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the National Orchestra of Spain. In 2011, he was appointed Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, taking the orchestra on tours across Europe and Asia, and conducting televised concerts from the Royal Albert Hall, as part of BBC Proms. He has conducted the most prestigious ensembles in Europe, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra of France, Philharmonique della Scala, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra. Since his North American debut with the Baltimore Symphony, he has conducted most of the continent’s major orchestras, including the Chicago and Boston Symphonies, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington), the Detroit and Atlanta Symphonies, and the Toronto and Montreal Symphony Orchestras. In Asia, he regularly conducts the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. Juanjo Mena studied conducting with Sergiu Celibidache after his musical training at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Madrid, where he had Carmelo Bernaola and Enrique García Asensio as mentors. In 2016, he was awarded the Spanish National Music Award.