Alhambra

concerto for violin No. 3

Commissioned by Granada Festival, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, BBC Proms

Description

First performance: 12 July 2019, Granada, Spain
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Conductor: Pablo Heras-Casado
Isabelle Faust, violin

 

My third violin concerto entitled Alhambra was commissioned by Festival Granada and is dedicated to Isabelle Faust and Pablo Heras-Casado. The piece is inspired by these two musicians and the architectural marvel of the Palace Alhambra. The intersection of Spanish and Arabic culture, exemplified by the building, has already become part of the tradition of Western art music, thanks to De Falla, Debussy and Ravel (among many others). I tried to add something from my own musical world to this wonderful tradition.

After immersing myself into the Japanese, French, German, English and American culture, and being a Hungarian, it was a wonderful opportunity for me to go on an excursion into this amazing world. The fountains of the palace, its dimension, the surrounding mountains, the amazing sunset of Andalusia – all of this became part of my piece. If I were a painter, I would have used these colors. Because of Granada, the most important note in the piece is G, a kind of gravitational center to come back to now and then during course of the piece. As I have a predilection for musical cryptograms, I transferred the letters A-L-H-A-M-B-R-A into the main melody of the piece. As the piece is also a very personal one (as all my violin concertos) I also wanted to hide the names of Isabelle and Pablo in the musical fabric. The violin is the protagonist of the piece, but she (or he) has a constant follower in the form of a mandolin tuned in scordatura. Because of the melody coming from the word “Alhambra”, the most important intervals of the violin concerto are the fifth and the tritone. The overall form is free, some sections are repeated, but it is not a rondo. It is more like a walk in the mysterious building of Alhambra.

/Peter Eötvös – 2019/
Translation: Gergely Fazekas

 

Performances

1 Jun, 2021
Cologne, Germany

Eötvös: Alhambra

Eötvös: Alhambra  - violin concerto No 3.
Isabelle Faust, violin

Bartók: Music for strings...

Conductor: Peter Eötvös

Gürzenich-Orchester

31 May, 2021
Cologne, Germany

Eötvös: Alhambra

Eötvös: Alhambra  - violin concerto No 3.
Isabelle Faust, violin

Bartók: Music for strings...

Conductor: Peter Eötvös

Gürzenich-Orchester

30 May, 2021
Cologne, Germany

Eötvös: Alhambra

Eötvös: Alhambra  - violin concerto No 3.
Isabelle Faust, violin

Bartók: Music for strings...

Conductor: Peter Eötvös

Gürzenich-Orchester

8 May, 2021
Budapest, Hungary

Eötvös: Sirens´ Song, Alhambra

Eötvös: Sirens´Song
Eötvös: Alhambra - violin concerto (Isabelle Faust, violin)
Debussy: Prélude à l´après-midi d´un faune
Debussy: Ibéria - Images pour orchestre No 2

Cond: Peter Eötvös
Concerto Orchestra

Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music

23 Apr, 2021
Munich, Germany

Eötvös: Alhambra

Iannotta: Moult
Eötvös: Alhambra - violin concerto No 3.
Isabelle Faust, violin
Varèse: Déserts

Cond: Johannes Kalitzke
BR Orch.

Gasteig

12 Sep, 2019
Paris, France

Eötvös: Alhambra - violin concerto

Isabelle Faust, violin
Cond.: Pablo Heras-Casado

Orchestre de Paris

11 Sep, 2019
Paris, France

Eötvös: Alhambra - violin concerto

Isabelle Faust, violin
Cond.: Pablo Heras-Casado
Orchestre de Paris

8 Sep, 2019
Berlin, Germany

Eötvös: Gliding of the eagle in the skies, Alhambra - violin concerto

Eötvös: Gliding of the eagle
Eötvös: Alhambra violin concerto
Xenakis: Shaar
Varese: Amérique

Isabelle Faust, violin
Cond.: Peter Eötvös

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

7 Sep, 2019
Berlin, Germany

Eötvös: Gliding of the eagle in the skies, Alhambra - violin concerto

Eötvös: Gliding of the eagle
Eötvös: Alhambra violin concerto
Xenakis: Shaar
Varese: Amérique

Isabelle Faust, violin
Cond.: Peter Eötvös

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

24 Jul, 2019
London, UK

Eötvös: Alhambra violin concerto, Gliding of the eagle in the skies

BBC Proms

Bartók: Dance suite
Eötvös: Alhambra violin concerto
Eötvös: Gliding of the eagle in the skies
Stravinsky: Firebird suite

Isabella Faust, violin
Cond.: Peter Eötvös
BBC Symphony Orchestra London

12 Jul, 2019
Granada, Spain

Eötvös: Alhambra - violin concerto

Isabelle Faust, violin
Cond.: Pablo Heras-Casado
Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Details

Genre:
Duration:
24 minutes
Date:
2018

Publisher information

Orchestration     

TITLE Dur. Soloists & choir fl ob cl bcl bn   hn tpt tbn tba   perc pf hp   vn1 vn2 va vc db Other Tech
Alhambra
Concerto
24'vn22302 2220 201 108653sax,​ cel,​ mand.

2 Flutes (both doubling piccolo, 2nd doubling alto flute)

2 Oboes

3 Clarinets in Bb (3rd doubling bass clarinet)

Baritone saxophone

2 Bassoons

 

2 Horns in F

2 Trumpets in C (straight, wawa)

2 Trombones (with quart valve) (straight, cup)

 

Percussion: (2 players)

I.

Vibraphone (with motor)

3 Triangles (low, middle, high)

Claves (high)

2 Maracas (middle, high)

 

II.

Crotales

Glockenspiel

Bells (f#, g, g#, a)

Xylophone

Tamburo basco (with high jingles)

 

Mandoline (sitting close to the soloist); 4×2 strings; Scordatura: f, g – d, e – a, b – 2x cb

Harp

Celesta

 

10 Violins I

8 Violins II

6 Violas

5 Violoncellos

3 Double basses

Further information

Sound

Alhambra – Faust/Heras-Casado
Orch. de Paris – 2019

Recording