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: Siren´s Song, Alhambra

Cond: Peter Eötvös
Gürzenich-Orchester
Eötvös: Siren´s Song
Eötvös: Alhambra  - violin concerto No 3. (Isabelle Faust)
Xenakis: Shaar
Varèse: Amériques

31 May, 2021
Cologne, Germany

Eötvös: Siren´s Song, Alhambra

Cond: Peter Eötvös
Gürzenich-Orchester
Eötvös:Siren´s Song
Eötvös: Alhambra  - violin concerto No 3. (Isabelle Faust)
Xenakis: Shaar
Varèse: Amériques

30 May, 2021
Cologne, Germany

Eötvös: Siren´s Song, Alhambra

Gürzenich-Orchester
Eötvös: Siren´s Song
Eötvös: Alhambra  - violin concerto No 3. (Isabelle Faust)
Xenakis: Shaar
Varèse: Amériques

9 May, 2021
Budapest, Hungary

Eötvös: Siren´s Song, Alhambra

Cond: Peter Eötvös
Concerto Orchestra
Program:
Eötvös: Siren´s Song
Eötvös: Alhambra - violin concerto (Isabelle Faust)
Debussy: Prélude à l´après-midi d´un faune
Debussy: Ibéria- Images pour Orchestre No 2

Venue: Müpa, Budapest

8 May, 2021
Budapest, Hungary

Eötvös: Siren´s Song, Alhambra

Cond: Peter Eötvös
Concerto Orchestra
Program:
Eötvös: Siren´s Song
Eötvös: Alhambra - violin concerto (Isabelle Faust)
Debussy: Prélude à l´après-midi d´un faune
Debussy: Ibéria - Images pour orchestre No 2

Venue: Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, Budapest

23 Apr, 2021
Munich, Germany

Eötvös: Alhambra

BR Orch.
Cond: Peter Eötvös
Program:
Eötvös: Alhambra - violin concerto No 3. (Kristóf Baráti)
Lachenmann: My melody
Venue: Herkules Hall

12 Sep, 2019
Paris, France

Alhambra - violin concerto

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

11 Sep, 2019
Paris, France

Alhambra - violin concerto

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

8 Sep, 2019
Berlin, Germany

Alhambra - violin concerto

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
cond.: Peter Eötvös
violin: Isabella Faust

7 Sep, 2019
Berlin, Germany

Alhambra - violin concerto

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
cond.: Peter Eötvös
violin: Isabella Faust

24 Jul, 2019
London, UK

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

BBC Symphony Orchestra London
Cond.: Peter Eötvös

24 Jul, 2019
London, United Kingdom

Alhambra - violin concerto

BBC Symphonic Orchestra London
cond.: Peter Eötvös
violin: Isabella Faust

12 Jul, 2019
Granada, Spain

Alhambra - violin concerto

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

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

Sound