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Moviment simfònic

Moviment simfònic-Orchestra Materials-Music Schools and Conservatoires Advanced Level-Scores Advanced

Inside Pages



Carles Guinovart i Rubiella


Music Schools and Conservatoires Advanced Level
Scores Advanced


Orchestra Materials Nr. 42


Spanish, Catalan, English


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Symphonic movement. Alban Berg in memoriam Viewed now in perspective, the study I carried out on large orchestral ensembles through the work of G. Mahler and A. Berg enabled me to choose this sub-heading as a tribute. This orchestral conception owes itself to the fascination felt by this author for the orchestra of Alban Berg and the generous treatment he applies in his two opera masterpieces. In 1974, the year this orchestral score was completed, the imposing shadow of the Vienna School was cast over students of composition, and they measured their strength based on the integrating style of all the sounds of the chromatic scale. I do not know to what extent the work is representative of Berg or Mahler, but in any event the lesson is clear for me; namely, the desire for transparency, despite the typically dense nature of the dodecaphonic language in vogue at that time, the justification of the sound volume in the combination of tones and the logic of using all orchestral apparatus. Also noteworthy is the opportunity afforded by the use of the third and fourth instrument from the same woodwind group (with their variants: piccolo, English horn, bass clarinet, contrabassoon), as well as the five components, for the purpose of emphasis and variations of colour, of percussion, in addition to harp, piano, celesta, organ, and so on. There is also an artful interplay of the heavy artillery of the brass section, which intervenes mainly as
the movement progresses and takes on great importance, as a contrasting element, in what may be seen as the second theme. 
The Symphonic Movement that I now (in view of the era) wish to give the sub-heading “Alban Berg in memoriam” was a great opportunity afforded to me by the scholarship from the Juan March Foundation in Madrid to immediately put to the test all of these resources combined based on the structural idea of symphonic composition; a composition that emerges from the inner core of the orchestra. This is not a simple orchestration of a work previously composed for piano and instrumented subsequently, as had been done before, but a creation conceived for a particular register of the flute or English horn, with its own poetic form or the sonority derived from a fusion of various, carefully combined, instruments.
12 December 1976 is a good anniversary in my memory, not only because it was the day on which this Symphonic Movement, performed by Ciutat de Barcelona orchestra magnificently conducted by the maestro A. Ros Marbà, premiered; but also because, simultaneous to this premiere, G. Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder was in the programme (another, albeit fortuitous, reason for this rapprochement to the Viennese School), performed by the unforgettable voice of our beloved Victoria de los Ángeles. 

The name “Alban Berg in memoriam” suggests that the Movement is a work for a large orchestral ensemble, with the subtleties and grand explosions that a Viennese formation is renowned for, albeit condensed within the limits of a single movement almost twenty minutes long. Unlike the usual serialism, here the dodecaphonic series is clearly thematic, with three motivic cores flanked by intervallic symmetries, accentuating the descending minor third of the central sounds. The individual, easily-recognisable nature of these motivic elements conveys the idea of a guiding thread that portrays how the symphony is going to play out, culminating in crescendos and the subtle colour of the composition. Indeed, although it is presented as a single movement, the general structure is easily reminiscent of the various traits of a genuine symphony, albeit condensed in nature.

Technical Specifications




24 x 34 cm, vertical


Adhesive binding in the general music score. Staple in the part books

Number of Pages


Number of parts





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