Basque Music Collection, Vol. 15CARMELO BERNAOLA (1929-2002): Symphony No. 2, Piezas Caprichosas for Violin and Orchestra, Fantasías, Fanfarria-Preludio.
Catalogue Number: 04O011
Description: Bernaola's idiom is grounded in tonality, which frequently cedes priority to an emphasis on sonorous timbre and harmony employed for coloristic effect. Piezas is effectively a fully fledged violin concerto, a virtuoso showpiece that traverses many moods and modes of expression, with an overall serious tone and a somewhat dark-hued, obsessive quality, with the extended ostinato passages beloved of the composer. The succinct symphony of 1980 is cast in a fairly conventional four-movement form. It is the least obviously tonal work here, though not devoid of tonal referents. Ambiguous, gestural outer movements frame a still landscape slow movement and an ostinato that accumulates layers of orchestral texture as it progresses. The Fantasia, his final work, is like a miniature concerto for orchestra, divided into timbrally distinct sections each highlighting a particular combination of instruments, ingeniously and colorfully used. Two extended passages are ostinato-based; harmonies are somewhat Sibelian or Stravinskyan, with a touch of biting bitonality here and there. The Fanfarria is a more substantial work than its title and relative brevity might suggest; tonal with a Busonian ambiguity or instability, it functions like a small tone poem in contrasting sections. Leticia Moreno (violin), Basque National Orchestra; Juanjo Mena.