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Composers Datebook®

with host John Birge

Saturday, January 2

Rouse's "Concert de Gaudi"

Synopsis

In one of his letters, the German poet Goethe dropped this memorable and frequently quoted line: “I call architecture frozen music.”

If that’s the case, then this music might be accurately described as “unfrozen architecture,” since it was music inspired by the famous Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi, whose unfinished Temple of the Holy Family in Barcelona is an internationally famous landmark.

This “Concert de Gaudi” for guitar and orchestra premiered in Hamburg, Germany, on today’s date in the year 2000, and was commissioned by guitarist Sharon Isbin from the American composer Christopher Rouse.

Rouse explained its title as follows: “I was not thinking of specific Gaudi structures (with the exception of the Cathedral of the Sagrada Familia, which was in my visual memory), but rather of the spirit that inhabits his work. It would be difficult for me to put into words what I think that spirit is. I would say only that Gaudi’s taking of a basic and accepted structural design and applying a host of unexpected twists, curves, drips of a highly fantastic, phantasmagorical type, make him one of the few dreamers to have ever been allowed to actually build his dreams.”

Music Played in Today's Program

Christopher Rouse (1949-2019) Concert de Gaudi Sharon Isbin, guitar;Gulbenkian Orchestra; Muhai Tan, cond. Teldec 81830

Additional Information

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