Alxarq Percussion & Amores Grup de Percussio

Date:
Friday 16 September 2022
Place:
Pl. de Viriat
Time:
22.00h
Duration:
45'
Price:
Free entry
Procedence:
Comunitat Valenciana
Programme

Tribute to Iannis Xenakis

Idmen B (1985) Iannis Xenakis (1922 – 2001) 13’

Persephassa (1969) Iannis Xenakis (1922 – 2001) 30’

Idmen B (1985) for sextet and choir, is built upon texts from the Theogony by Hesiod, one of the most important authors of the 8th century BC. The contrast between its vocal clusters and the drive of the sextet bolsters the work’s dramatic atmosphere, divided into three movements, where the composer takes fragments from Hesiod and puts them into the choir’s voice.

Persephassa (1969) was commissioned for the first Shiraz Arts Festival to be performed in the open air with each of the percussionists at the foot of the columns of the palace of Darius the Great, at the ruins of Persepolis in Iran. The work is a point of reference in the process of exploring the kinetic dimension of sound. Obsessed by the interior nature of sound, in Terretektorh (1966) and Nomos gamma (1968) Xenakis began to arrange the musicians within the audience, shifting the point for listening and thus allowing for playfulness as a compositional parameter, exploiting the drive, timbre and specialization, while placing the audience at the centre of the cosmic, visceral experience of his music.
“Persephassa, the archaic name of Persephone or Kore, goddess of the rebirth of nature in the spring, Pluto’s wife” (Iannis Xenakis, 1969)

Biography

Alxarq

Alxarq Percussion, founded in 2013, is a dynamic ensemble tirelessly seeking new languages with which to communicate with the audience. This percussion ensemble is made up of four young performers who use the immense variety of timbres in the language of percussion in order to achieve a great array of musical styles and forms. Their shows are created by drawing on a review of the literature of the great composers of the 20th and 21st centuries for this ensemble, journeying through post-minimalism, theatrical music, electroacoustic music, new creation and the music from the roots of many places around the planet.
They have taken part in several festivals throughout Europe such as Festival Internacional Percute, Le Corps a Corps (Perpignan, France), Festival Experimentamos‐tam (Valencia), VIPA-Valencia International Performance Academy, the 35th Montserrat Music Week, Gran Fira de Valencia, Rafel Festival and the International Percussion Ensemble Week (Croatia). Their members have also taken up studies to perfect this ensemble in Perpignan with the percussionist Philippe Spiesser. Alxarq has been awarded several prizes such as the first prize at the 1st International Chamber Music Contest for percussion, Percute, in 2013 and 2019, and first prize at the 2nd Montserrat National Chamber Music Contest, in 2014. Their latest creations notably include PHASES and the family show Around the sound in 80 worlds (La vuelta al sonido en 80 mundos).

Amores Grup de Percussion

Founded in 1989, this group is made up of Pau Ballester, Ángel García and Jesús “Chapi” Salvador. The group takes its name from the work of the same name by John Cage, a composer who has had a strong influence on the group and who they honoured at the Autumn Festival in Madrid (1991) in his presence.

Throughout their long career, Amores Grup de Percussion have played a decisive role in the evolution of percussion music in Spain. Their professional track record has always been linked to research and teaching, creating percussion performances for schoolchildren over the last 20 years. They have also given concerts in numerous cities around the world, forming part of the most significant international percussion and contemporary music festivals.

Amores Grup de Percussion has been awarded the Performing Arts Award of the Generalitat Valenciana (Valencia regional Government) for best music for Fénix in 2001 and for Tinajas in 2003, with original music by Jesús “Chapi” Salvador, as well as for the Best Original Music for Stage Performance for Ubú in 2005.
In 2009, to celebrate their 20th anniversary, they premièred the concert for percussion and orchestra AMOREXXS by the composer A. Valero, performed together with the Orquesta de València at the Palau de la Música in Valencia. In 2014 they celebrated their 25th anniversary with an annual programme that included the production and première of the pocket opera El Mal Vino, a contemporary musical tragicomedy by the Spanish playwright Paco Zarzoso with music by the composer Jesús “Chapi” Salvador.

Since 2015 they have continued to tour Spain with different concerts and eclectic programmes of contemporary percussion, including premières of works at the Juntos Festival, their educational shows A colps, Mamma África and their collaboration with the group La Berrea doçaines i tabals, with the show Nuestra Manera. There was also the première of Velas e Bous, El Cabañal Late at La Fábrica de Hielo and the concert El Jardín Suspendido with the organist Nacho Ribas.
In 2018, the group performed the opening concert to ENSEMS at the Trinquet de Pelayo, where they premièred Trinquetíssim, by the composer J.S. Chapi, commissioned by the IVC, and they closed the exhibition “Joan Miró. Order and Disorder” in the IVAM. Also in 2018, their latest record, Dreizhen: Stochausen & Hildegarda, won an award at the 1st Carles Santos Awards for Valencian Music.

In 2019 they celebrated their 30th anniversary with a concert with the Orchestra of Valencia, performing the work The Glory and the Grandeur by Russell Peck. That same year they received the Bankia Award for Valencian Musical Talent in the category of professional Valencian Musical Group.
AMORES Grup de Percussion play with NP Drums instruments (Spain) and with percussion mallets from Innovative Percussion Inc. (USA).
Discography: VIVENCIAS (1998); AMORES/CAGE (2000); AMORES/LLORENÇ BARBER (2001); TINAJAS (2003); FÉNIX (2004); BLACKSCORE (2010); LOS TIEMPOS, Ignacio Ribas (2016); DREIZEHN: *Stockhausen & Hildegarda (2017); 30 AÑOS (2019).

University Choir of Valencia (Orfeón)

Founded in 1947 after the go-ahead from the Universitat de València, this choir is made up of students, graduates and lecturers from the institution. In addition, students, lecturers and graduates from the Polytechnic University of Valencia have also been a part of it since it began. Its directors have been Jesús Ribera (1947-1971), Eduardo Cifre (1972-1997), Josep Ramon Gil-Tárrega (1998-2004), Constantino Martínez-Orts (2005-2011) and, since 2012, Francesc Valldecabres.

The Orfeón’s activities are sponsored by the FGUV’s Board of Musical Activities and Santander Bank, and thanks to collaboration from the UVEG, UPV, CulturArts and the Valencia City Council.
It has won the first prize in all of the National University Choir Contest events and has been selected among the best in the world, participating in the international festivals of university choirs held in Lille, New York, Coimbra, Manila, Rome, Poznan, etc. It has also won awards in the Llangollen and Knock competitions, and first prize in the International University Choir Competition in Pardubice (Czech Republic), in which it has won the Best Choir award ten times since it was first invited in 1988 as choir of honour. It was awarded the Jury Prize at the 2001 Vivace Festival in Veszprém (Hungary), the silver medal for mixed choir at the 2006 Choir Olympic Games in Xiamen (China) and the Habaneras and Audience Award at the 53rd Habaneras International Contest in Torrevieja.

It has also toured France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria, Portugal, Russia, the USA, India, the Philippines, China, Romania and more. The choir has recorded choral music albums in a great variety of styles and has been giving the Maximum University Award for a group and the Laurel Leaf of Culture from the Valencia Press Association, the Distinction of the Order of Jaime I (the high Distinction from the Valencia regional government or Generalitat), the Gold Medal of the City of Valencia, the Medal of the University of Valencia and the Medal of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, the Medal of Merit in Fine Arts from the Academy of San Carlos and the Claros de Luz award from the University of Valencia.

It has been conducted by P. Pirfano, O. Alonso, E. García Asensio, J. Ferriz, A. Blancafort, L. García Navarro, B. Lauret, M. Galduf, Y. Traub, M. Tabachnik, A. Witt, J. Collado, C. Soler, J. Casas, R. Alessandrini, C. Spering, J.L. Martínez, Á. Albiach and more, and has collaborated with several ensembles such as the orchestras of Valencia, RTVE, CSMV, the Philharmonic of the University of Valencia, the National of Catalonia, the Madrid Philharmonic, the Castellón Symphony, the Junges Sinfonierorchester of Hannover, the Municipal Band of València, and with groups such as Spanish Brass Luur Metalls, Amores Grup de Percussion, Lux Abanique, Perku-Va and Música Encontrada.

It has performed the main works in the choral and symphonic-choral repertoire and has given the premières in Spain of Carmina Burana and Catulli Carmina, by Orff; Te Deum by Kodály; Mass in F minor by Bruckner; Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms; The Czech Song by Smetana; Gloria by Poulenc; Alexander Nevsky, by Prokofiev; Stravinsky’s Threni; Song of the Forests by Shostakovich; and Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna. In addition, it has performed the world premières of C. Cano’s Te Deum; De profundis by Esplà; Lammerz’s Missa Solemnis; Lucrecia Borgia’s Farewell by C. Santos; Pax et bonum by C. Martínez-Orts; Ab urbe condita by R. Pastor; Lacrimae by F. Coll, and more. It has also given the world première of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony version for band and choir, performed by J.V. Mas Quiles (Ed. Schott).

Since 1992, it has been co-organising the International Festival of University Choirs (FICU). Until now, the Valencia University Choir has organised four of these, with more than sixty university choirs from all over the world having participated. Furthermore, it has organised the international festival “Everyone has a voice!” as part of the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme.

In recent years it has taken part in the participatory performances of The Messiah (IVM-La Caixa). Not only that, it has also taken part in unique projects such as the Heineken Greenspace festival with cinema music under the baton of R. Baños; the farewell concerts for the group Obrint Pas at the Teatro Principal; the educational project Ópera Delgada, performing Dido and Aeneas by Purcell; and Boda (Wedding), performing Stravinsky’s Les Noces.

More recently it has created a whole network of educational and social projects with collaboration from different institutions, which add to its educational side, and it has been involved with other artistic modalities thanks to the Residences Project, which brings together sound and graphic creators to create new interdisciplinary spaces.

Artistic sheet

Carles Salvador, percussion
David Merseguer, percussion
Jesús Fenollosa, percussion
Samuel Brazález, percussion
Angel García, percussion
Pau Ballester, percussion
Jesús Salvador “Chapi”, percussion
Miguel Angel Berbis, electronics

Collaborate: Orfeó Universitari de València
Francesc Valldecabres, choir director

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Amores Grup de Percussió
Alxarq Percussió
Orfeo Universitari de València