concertante works for solo instrument and orchestra by the
Barcelona-born Brotons. He already has some eighty works
to his credit most scored for either orchestra or chamber
ensemble. He studied with Antoni Ros-Marba (conducting),
Xavier Montsalvatge (composition) and Manuel Oltra (scoring).
The Guitar Concerto
is a creature of Iberian shadows and confiding Gothic
whispers, jagged drama, sweet touching deliquescence (II)
not far removed from Rodrigo's Aranjuez and Ponce's Concierto del Sur. There's even the wooden
clatter of castanets in the finale. It was written in Barcelona, the
Costa Brava and the Balearics. Don't miss it. Amongst the most satisfying guitar
concertos. The last one I discovered that was this good
was the Elegy for the Vanished by Meyer Kupferman
on Soundspells CD 133.
A major change of gear
comes with the two movement Sonata-Concertino - a
work originally written as a sonata for trombone and piano.
The oppressive string writing in the Adagio funebre reeks
of Shostakovich with the mood consistently profound; even
tragic. In the pounce and plunge of the Cadenza the
music is more brilliant, Waltonian and with the sort of
emotional depth you find in the Oldham composer's Troilus and Cressida. Rather a nice and far from fluffy
addendum to Brotons' Trombone Concerto.
The Flute Concerto
is in four movements: dreamy-poetic, flightily buzzing
and capricious, sombre and funereal rather like the adagio
of the Sonata-Concertino and concluding with sparkling-eyed
Waltonian brilliance. Parts of this suggested a debt to
Nino Rota while in others the concertos of Malcolm Arnold
came to mind.
The Fantasia for
horn and strings is resolutely tonal, very romantic as befits
the instrument, a little like Britten but with a soft infusion
It is all thoroughly
documented in several European languages.
I am glad I heard the
music on this disc and am happy to recommend it for its
poetry and high spirits.