Friday, July 26, 2013

CCC 080 - Javier Pérez Garrido

This week the CCC features Spanish composer and clarinetist Javier Pérez Garrido. Garrido composes mostly instrumental music, and has an impressive catalog of wind ensemble and band music. Garrido uses traditional Spanish elements and musical forms in his compositions, set over mostly triadic chords. Nevertheless, Garrido's music has a fresh, new sound to it, with distinctive melodies that are easy to follow throughout the works.

The Missa Nupcial Op. 40, III Gloria is vibrant and energetic. Garrido uses the traditional counterpoint, but with modern harmonies. The result is work that, while clearly of our time, would fit in well with in a service using liturgical music from centuries past.

The Fantasia Op. 14 for wind ensemble is a good example of Garrido's instrumental writing. The sound is open, with sophisticated post-romantic harmonies. In style, it's not far removed from the music of John Williams, although Garrido's work has a much different character.

Tango Suite Op. 36a for solo clarinet shows Garrido perfectly at home with this traditional dance form. And being a clarinetist, he knows how to use the solo instrument to greatest effect.

Javier Garrido is a composer of depth. His Quinteto No. 1, Op. 19 is more angular and prickly, but the solid organization found in his other works is still evident here. The emotions express in this work are complex, and the musical language he uses encourages the listener to participate in the journey.

Javier Pérez Garrido is well-respected in Europe, and is starting to be recognized in America. And that's good, because his music would be a perfect choice for so many ensembles. College and high school wind ensembles would benefit from programming Garrido (and so would the audiences, I think). His choral works and orchestral compositions would mesh well with older works, which might get traditional-minded audiences feeling more comfortable about new music.

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