That was really a beautiful evening and knowing how much effort went into putting it together I think you’ve got reason to feel very proud of yourselves. My only regret is that I wish I had told other people about it. The truth is that I was expecting another of those boring, self-important sessions of incoherent contemporary music and instead I found it was very moving and extraordinarily beautiful. For one, who would have expected that the soloists on stage would all be beautiful young women? (I don¡t think that was in Gerhard’s performance instructions but I have a feeling that he wouldn’t have complained). The singer was very nice, flute player was a ravishing beauty, the Lorca lady was absolutely stunning (and born to play Carmen on stage I believe) and the eight harpists were truly heavenly. In fact, sitting there watching the show I felt that maybe after all heaven won’t be such a bad place after all, with all those harps going at it all the time!
As you know I’m a total ignoramus when it comes to contemporary music, but I was left thinking that perhaps Gerhard was a bit like Picasso in his approach to modernity. He fully embraced the use of technology and experimentation but to my mind he also never lost touch the “figurative” or the “human”. The Lorca piece was truly spectacular and I couldn’t help thinking that Gerhard and Lorca were both contemporaries and almost the same age. So it was both the poetry and the accompaniment that were modern!
As to the DNA piece… to me it felt quaint but satisfying, like a poetic offering full of awe and mystery. Regarding “our” piece, I wonder if Gerhard was up to something when he had the idea of putting eight harps together. Maybe somehow he knew that instead of mayhem, eight harps together would produce mesmerizing beauty.
And finally, I also think that Gerhard must have been a true Catalan prankster as seen in the playfulness that some of the music transpired. Obviously, he must have been aiming for some whimsical chance synchronicities with the fumbling with the radios… The man had a sense of humour, that I’m sure of.
OK, so thank you again for letting me play a little, minor part in the event and congratulations for a job well done.
First performance of the concert setting of Roberto Gerhard’s Lament for the death of a bullfighter on the 26 April 2012 at the Auditori del Conservatori del Liceu: Mónica Muñoz, reciter; Gregorio García Karman, electronics. (Video recording: Sharon Lomanno.)
Find out more about this piece in the programme notes (spanish).
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