Shéhérazade, the character and narrator of One thousand and one nights has been a source of inspiration for many composers and the origin of many musical adaptations, including the three pieces in this programme. Masques for piano (1915-1916) is one in a series of three compositions by Karol Szymaovsky which are based on literary works; the others are Mythes (1915) and Métopes (1915). Its three movements refer to three myths: Shéhérezade, which opens the work, Tristan and Isolde, and Don Juan. Shéhérazade is also the title of two works by Maurice Ravel: an overture which is considered to be his first orchestral composition and a series of songs -also included in this concert- which have become a much-loved piece in the French repertoire, both in its orchestral and chamber versions. This piece by Ravel is strongly influenced by Russian composers, mainly by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, whose symphonic poem is particularly relevant. This is no surprise since the Shéhérezade of the Russian composer is probably the most well-known musical response to this emblematic literary character. Quantum Ensemble once again includes a music arrangement -made by Pablo Díaz this time- to offer this great piece by Rimsky- Korsakov in a chamber version. This arrangement closes a concert made up of highly stimulating, contrasting compositions which at the same time are linked together by one of the most fascinating stories in universal literature.
A distinguishing feature of Quantum Ensemble is that they are keen to bring music close to the audience and look for ways of bringing together the members of the ensemble, the music they play and the house. So, it has become a habit for musicians to talk to the audience from the stage before every performance in order to briefly explain the context of the piece and make it more meaningful to the listeners. On the same line are the talks given by experts on the pieces Quantum Ensemble is going to play. Their aim is to offer a satisfactory musical experience in a format that far from being tedious or formal, allows a better understanding of some of the aspects of the works to be performed.
This time pianist Miguel Ituarte will be discussing Shéhérazade an hour before the concert starts at Sala de Cámara. Admission to the talk is free.
Miguel Ituarte, pianist, was born in Getxo. He was educated at conservatoires in Bilbao, Madrid and Amsterdam, studying with Isabel Picaza, Juan Carlos Zubeldia, Almudena Cano and Jan Wijn. He has played in different European and Latin American countries. He made his debut as a soloist with Concertgebouw chamber music orchestra in Amsterdam. In 2000 he opened the first Ciclo de Grandes Pianistas [Great Pianists Series] at Auditori de Barcelona with Iberia de Albéniz. His repertoire spans from Antonio de Cabezón to premieres of contemporary compositions. He has recorded Bach’s The well-tempered Clavier and presented Beethoven’s complete works. He has dedicated to chamber music with quartets Takaks and Ortys, the trio Triálogos, Iñaki Alberdi, Ricardo Sciammarella, Manuel Guillén and Cecilia Lavilla Berganza, among others. He teaches at Musikene since it was set up in 2001.
Out of consideration for other users and the performers, this show is not available to children under 5.