Author Topic: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat  (Read 2557 times)

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Offline Scion7

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Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« on: December 28, 2015, 11:09:33 AM »
Born in Barcelona, Spain.  Atheist, unfortunately.  Be that as it may, he has composed some nice stuff.  Influenced by Varese and Frank Zappa in some pieces. He won a scholarship to NYU in 1956; graduated from the Julliard in 1960.  He was taught by Aaron Copland, among others. Became a professor at Carnegie Mellon in 1975 - the music ensemble of the college has recorded some of his works. He was a neo-Classicist that later turned to the avant-garde.  He has worked Spanish folk music and American ethnic music into a few of his pieces.  Admirer of Salvador Dali.  While his vocal compositions might clear 99% of a concert hall within a few minutes (please dear - the tylenol in your purse? Quick?), much of his instrumental work is of interest.    :)


Orchestral                                                                                               Band
===============
                                                                    ===============
Musica tranquila, str, 1960;                                                                   Sonata for 10 Winds, 1980
Pf Conc. no.1, 1964;                                                                            Concerto for Viola & 9 Instruments, 1962
Gui Conc. no.1, 1965;                                                                          Concerto for Piano, Winds & Percussion, 1974
Guernica, 1966;                                                                                   Symphony No.2 (Cumbres, A Short Symphony for Band), 1972 
Sinfonia en negro: Homage to Martin Luther King, 1968;                           Union of the Oceans, for Wind Band, 1993
Bandoneon Conc., 1970;
Cumbres, band, 1972;
Persistencies (Sinfonia concertante), gui, orch, 1972;
Steel Symphony, 1972;                                                                          Chamber
Ponce de Leon, nar, orch, 1973;                                                            ====================
Conc. no.2, pf, wind, perc, 1974;                                                              Violin Sonata, 1960
Homage to Casals, 1975;                                                                          Diary of Dreams for Cello, Piano & Violin, 1995
Homage to Sarasate, 1975;                                                                       Mosaico for brass quintet,1970
Conc., 4 gui, orch, 1976;                                                                           Cuatris for 4 Instruments, 1969
3 Anecdotes, castanets/wood perc, orch, 1977;                                           Musica en 4 tiempos for Piano, 1959
Sardana: Dance of Catalonia, 1979;                                                           Persistencies, for Piano, 1978
Quasi un pasodoble, 1981;                                                                        Reflejos, for Flute & Strings, 1987
Quasi Adelita, wind band, 1982;                                                                 Preludis obstinants, for Piano, 1979
Vn Conc., 1982;                                                                         Geometrias Nr.1 for Flute-Oboe-Bassoon-Clarinet-Trumpet-Percussion, 1966
Zapata: Images for Orch, 1987;                                                  Geometrias Nr.2, for String Quartet, 1967
Fantasias sonoras, 1987;                                                            Geometrias Nr.3, for bandoneon, 1968
Alegrias, 1987;                                                                                          The Seven Last Words, for Organ, 1963
Divertimentos, str, 1991;                                                                            End and Beginning, for rock ensemble, 1970
Columbus: Images for Orch, 1991;                                                              Tresis, for Flute (or Violin), Cello and Guitar, 1973
Celebration, 1992;                                                                                     4 Catalan Melodies, for Guitar, 1978
Sym. no.4 ‘Lausanne’, chbr orch, 1992;                                                       Mini-Miniatures, for Piano, 2010
Song and Dance, wind ens, 1992;                                                               Apuntes (Sketches) for 4 Guitars, 1974
Music for Ob and Orch (Lament from the Cradle of Earth), 1993;                    3 Divagaciones, for Guitar, 1962
A Little Night Music in Harlem, 2006                                                             Suite Nr.1, for Guitar, 1961
Morning Music, fl, orch, 1994;                                                                      Elementalis, for Organ, 1972
Concierto magico (Conc. no.2), gui, orch, 1997;                                            Lento with Variation, for Guitar, 1960
Folk Dreams, suite, 1995—8;
Shadows, Line and Thunder, Echoes; Reflejos, fo, str, 1999 [from chbr work];
Pf Conc. no.2, 1999;
Passacaglia, 2000; Music for Fl and Orch, 2000                                                 Opera
Symphony No 5 'American'   2003                                                                  ==============
Prague Sinfonietta  2003                                                                                  Cristobal Colon, 1989
Caprichios, Nos. 1-5, 2000's                                                                             The Town of Greed, 1997
Symphony Nr.6 'Symphony of Sorrows' , 2006                                                   Hangman, Hangman!, 1982
Auroris, 1973;                                                                                                 La Muerte de Colon, 1996
Concerto for 3 Cellos & Orchestra 'A German Concerto' , 2006
Double Concerto for Oboe & Clarinet, 2010
« Last Edit: December 28, 2015, 11:00:50 PM by Scion7 »
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2015, 11:55:18 AM »
Atheist, unfortunately.

Why is it unfortunate that Balada is an atheist? Many composers were.
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline Scion7

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Re: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2015, 01:28:25 PM »
self-explanatory - not just for composers

I don't think at his age now he is currently active as a composer.
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Daverz

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Re: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2015, 07:48:54 PM »
"Atheist" says no more about a person than "Christian" does.

He's very prolific, and I've only heard a handful of works.  I like his Caprichos on Naxos.

Offline Scion7

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Re: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2015, 10:59:25 PM »
Nonsense.

I've got most of his stuff.  The wind ensemble work is very interesting.
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2015, 06:50:53 AM »
Nonsense.

My point in zeroing in on you mentioning Balada was an atheist is that it doesn't belong in this thread and it has absolutely nothing to do with his music. The only nonsense I see is that it seems you had some kind of hidden agenda when mentioning Balada's belief.
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline Scion7

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Re: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2015, 11:51:08 AM »
Thanks for your editorial.  However, a person's psychology has MUCH to do with their art.  You are on the fringe-view with that.

Now, back to the music. 
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 12:10:17 PM by Scion7 »
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline lescamil

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Re: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2015, 03:23:55 PM »
For the record, Balada does have a piece called No-Res, an agnostic requiem.

http://www.allmusic.com/album/leonardo-balada-no-res-nothing-an-agnostic-requiem-ebony-fantasies-mw0001840274
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Offline Scion7

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Re: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2015, 05:17:16 PM »
Yup. It's pretty awful, regardless of the subject matter.
Vocal pieces are not his forte.

There is little of his instrumental work that I have that I don't like, however.   Sometimes he degenerates into noise, but that's rare.  I'd put him in the upper half of 20th century composers - recognizing he's no Hindemith or someone like that.
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Rinaldo

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Re: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2015, 05:34:52 PM »
However, a person's psychology has MUCH to do with their art.

Obviously. But pitying a person that doesn't believe in deities? You are on the fringe-view with that.

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Re: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2015, 06:28:17 PM »
Yup. It's pretty awful, regardless of the subject matter.
Vocal pieces are not his forte.

Care to elaborate? I've read a few reviews, and it actually sounds like something I would personally like. I have the CD but haven't gotten around to it yet.
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Re: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2015, 07:41:30 PM »
Thanks for your editorial.  However, a person's psychology has MUCH to do with their art.  You are on the fringe-view with that.

You're the one who brought religion into this and are, therefore, judging someone you don't even know based off their own belief. If anyone's on the fringe, it's you, Scion7. Religion doesn't deter me away from a composer. Do I like RVW because he was an agnostic? Do I like Elgar because he was Catholic? No to both obviously. It shouldn't matter what kind of beliefs a composer has aligned themselves to, this has no bearing on whether their music is enjoyable or not, which is why religion has absolutely no place in this thread.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 07:43:22 PM by Mirror Image »
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline Scion7

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Re: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2015, 05:28:21 AM »
You're being nonsensical, and you obviously haven't read Balada's own statements about his art. 

Don't be the flipside of James.   ;)
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2015, 04:01:54 PM »
You're being nonsensical, and you obviously haven't read Balada's own statements about his art. 

Don't be the flipside of James.   ;)

Oh, I'm not trying to pick a fight with you. I just don't see what difference it makes what Balada believes when it comes to listening to the music?
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline some guy

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Re: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2016, 04:37:55 AM »
I don't think at his age now he is currently active as a composer.
This doesn't make much sense, either.

I know lots of people who are older than Balada who are active as composers. Francis Dhomont, Pauline Oliveros, Pierre Henry, György Kurtág, George Crumb, Sofia Gubaidulina, Per Nørgård.

And I'm sure that many of us could make long lists of composers who stopped composing in their 20s or 30s.

Offline Brian

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Re: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2016, 08:30:23 AM »
Oh, I'm not trying to pick a fight with you. I just don't see what difference it makes what Balada believes when it comes to listening to the music?

I know this is a Balada thread, but I always find Janacek's atheism central to the success of his Glagolitic Mass. There's a remark, by Janacek, quoted in CD booklets and in a Talk Classical discussion thread where you yourself posted  ;D : he wanted to write a mass "without the gloom of medieval monastery cells in its motives". There's another Janacek remark where he says he swore off church because religion should be about celebrating life, rather than fearing/preparing for death and judgment. These ideas - the celebration of life, the avoidance of gloom - make the Glagolitic a perfect atheist mass. Take it from this unbeliever. :)

-

Anyway, as to the subject of Balada's retirement, he has some recent compositions:
Caprichos No. 8 for solo guitar (2010)
Concerto for oboe, clarinet, and orchestra (2010)
Viola concerto (2010)
La Pasionaria, for chorus, mezzo-soprano, and orchestra (2011)
Caprichos No. 9 for solo violin (2011)
Memories No. 1 - Barcelona 1938 (2012)
Fantasia on a viola concerto (adapted for solo viola) (2013)
Caprichos No. 10 for piano trio (2013)
Caprichos No. 11 for solo guitar (2014)

The solo guitar works are commissioned by Adam Levin, who is using a Fulbright grant to commission something like a hundred (!) new guitar works by Spanish composers. Levin plans to record all of them for Naxos (Volume 1 was really great!). He is single-handedly creating an entire 21st century guitar repertoire.

https://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/balada/compositions.htm

Offline some guy

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Re: Leonardo Balada (1933 - ) Barcelona expat
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2016, 01:43:35 PM »
He is single-handedly creating an entire 21st century guitar repertoire.
This made me grin.

Think about it.... ;)