Cristóbal Halffter: Tiento del primer tono y batalla imperial

Cristóbal Halffter Tiento del primer tono y batalla imperial
Tiento del primer tono y batalla imperial

Cristóbal Halffter: Tiento del primer tono y batalla imperial

Year of composition:
1986
Scored for:
for large orchestra
Composer:
Cristóbal Halffter
Instrumentation:
4 4 4 4 - 6 4 4 1 - perc(4), str(16 14 12 10 8)
Instrumentation details:
piccolo
1st flute
2nd flute
3rd flute
1st oboe
2nd oboe
3rd oboe
cor anglais
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb
3rd clarinet in Bb
4th clarinet in Bb
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
3rd bassoon
4th bassoon (+cbsn)
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
5th horn in F
6th horn in F
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
3rd trumpet in C
4th trumpet in C
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
4th trombone
bass tuba
percussion(4)
violin I(16)
violin II(14)
viola(12);violoncello(10)
contrabass(8)
Commission:
geschrieben im Auftrag der B.O.G. (Basel) über zwei alte spanische Orgelwerke: "Tiento del primer tono" von Antonio de Cabezón (1510–1566) und "Batalla imperial" von Juan Bautista Cabanilles (1644–1712) als klingendes Geschenk für Paul Sacher zu seinem 80. Geburtstag
Duration:
10’
Dedication:
für Paul in tiefster Freundschaft und mit herzlichen Glückwunschen C.H. Villafranca 28.2.1986
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Audiosamples

Tiento del primer tono y batalla imperial
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

When planning his orchestra piece Tiento del primer tono y batalle imperial, Halffter’s imagination was fired by the colourfulness and equivoque of a word derived from the verb tentar (= to feel, to touch with the fingers); it is dedicated to Paul Sacher (“… a musical gift for Paul Sacher on his 80th birthday”).

Halffter’s composition refers directly to two precisely written works from the repertoire of early Spanish organ music: one of the many tiento compositions written by Antonio de Cabezón (circa 1510-1566; he was blind from birth – the bishops and the emperor availed themselves of his services) and the Batalla y Imperial by the Valencian cathedral organist Juan Bautista Cabanillos (1644-1712), who employed the characteristic “Spanish Trumpets” (projecting horizontally from the front of the organ) most effectively (Ballata, Imperial: rows of 8-foot, 16-foot and 32-foot pipes).

However, Halffter does not at all restrict himself to quotation and orchestration for large symphonic forces; his personal language dominates in virtuosic interpolations and parallel layers. Furthermore, he honours the genius loci of the venue where the piece premiered; in the first section (mm. 57-58), the strings play all the letters of the dedicatee’s name which can be musically set, whereas in the turbulent Batalla Imperial the Basel Drums (positioned in a circle around the orchestra) play their dominant fortissimo rhythm.

Special prints

Tiento del primer tono y batalla imperial

Cristóbal Halffter: Tiento del primer tono y batalla imperial

study score
for large orchestra , 10’
Instr.: 4 4 4 4 - 6 4 4 1 - perc(4), str(16 14 12 10 8)

World première

Location:
Basel (CH)
Date:
02.09.1986
Orchestra:
Sinfonieorchester Basel
Conductor:
Cristóbal Halffter

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