Author Topic: Julián Carrillo (1875-1965)  (Read 3598 times)

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Offline Brewski

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Julián Carrillo (1875-1965)
« on: October 02, 2015, 05:11:33 PM »
Last night the Momenta Quartet played Julián Carrillo's Eighth String Quartet in Quarter-Tones (c. 1958), based on his explorations of microtonal music, begun in 1916. He became known as the creator of "The Thirteenth Sound" ("Sonido 13," referring to microtones smaller than the standard 12 notes).

This eighth quartet - which I enjoyed (one friend found it a bit dry) - has its attractions. If nothing else, the extreme attention to tuning required - rapid ascending and descending scales in microtones - would drive most quartets insane.

In any case, I found a few references to Carrillo here and there on GMG, but nothing substantial. (And in 1950, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physics.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juli%C3%A1n_Carrillo

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Offline Scion7

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Re: Julián Carrillo (1875-1965)
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2015, 06:22:56 AM »
Not familiar with this guy.  Compare his music with somone similar?
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Offline Dax

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Re: Julián Carrillo (1875-1965)
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2015, 10:06:47 AM »
Here's a version of Prelude to Columbus or Preludio a Colon by Carrillo which uses quarter, eighth and sixteenth-tones - with score. It's by far the most impressive work of his I've heard and not just for the colour and atmosphere.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGXhynluliA

Another version - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOihGnn6HoE

The problem I've found with a couple of other Carrillo works I know lies in a rather simplistic "here's something you can do with quartertones" presentation with apparently little regard for musical continuity (Yes, this could be the performances, but I think not). Even the Preludio a Colon is not entirely free of this. I find it baffling that works as late as the 6 casi-sonatas en cuartos de tono (solo cello - 1959/64) should display this so crudely. I imagine there are better works somewhere - which ones?

Offline Dax

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Re: Julián Carrillo (1875-1965)
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2015, 01:51:09 AM »
We now have two Carrillo threads under "Composer discussion". Could they be combined?

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,23982.0.html

Here are some downloadable (if you click on "zip") recordings of Carrillo - tons of them. Hopefully there's something interesting apart from the Preludio a Colon. I picked up a CD of the solo cello sonatas some years back. They aren't!

http://www.sonido13.com/obras.html

Unfortunately, my impression is confirmed by this stash. Carrillo is a really rather duff composer. The early pieces are very traditional indeed, reasonably well written, but undistinguished. Most of the microtonal pieces tend to irritate after a bit both because of the "demonstration" element and an absence of coherence. There's little doubt that the Preludio a Colon is the most effective and atmospheric work but the Concertino of 1927 (1/4 tone violin, cello + guitar, 1/8 tone octavina, 1/16 tone horn + harp with non-microtonal orchestra) is certainly worth a listen. Apart possibly from the extract from the entirely vocal Misa a S.S. Juan XXIII, not a lot else is.

Whilst trying to establish exactly what an *octavina is, I happened across this album which looked interesting - http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ivesharrisonccbpcvr - but then I suspect anything with which Johnny Reinhard is involved probably is.

*a specially constructed instrument (substituted by a cello in one recording), as is Carrillo's arpa citera.

I've lifted this from a discussion of microtonal music on another forum - http://www.r3ok.com/index.php/topic,847.0.html - which some may find of interest.

« Last Edit: October 04, 2015, 03:02:08 AM by Dax »

Offline torut

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Re: Julián Carrillo (1875-1965)
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2015, 07:45:43 PM »
I have the cello album in my wishlist for a long time, but the samples do not sound much interesting, so I'm hesitating to get it.

The Prelude is very good, thank you.  I think Cromometrofonía and Cometa are also interesting, not resembling conventional music, but they sometimes sound like just going up and down on the microtone steps or meandering with ornamental passages. Even the Prelude, though it has a nice otherworldly mood, gives the similar feeling.

Thanks for the link to the microtonal thread. I found some interesting names & pieces there.

Whilst trying to establish exactly what an *octavina is, I happened across this album which looked interesting - http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ivesharrisonccbpcvr - but then I suspect anything with which Johnny Reinhard is involved probably is.

I ordered that CD last year, but it was backordered and then cancelled. Have you listened to it?

Offline alm375

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Re: Julián Carrillo (1875-1965)
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2015, 07:18:19 PM »
Carrillo's music is uneven and unfortunately his best music remain either unplayed or unrecorded. The string quartets are in my opinion his best music in tonal, atonal, and microtonal idioms. Other good works include "I Think of You" (recorded in "Ideas," one of the CDs to come out of Johnny Reinhardt's festival).

http://www.rermegacorp.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&CatListingoffset=&Category_Code=CC&Product_Code=P-200212&Store_Code=RM&Initial=I

and Capricho for solo viola

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Name/Sally-Ren%C3%A9e-Todd/Performer/268820-2

Preludio a Colón is indeed one of those works in which he is exploring the capabilities of microtonal scales (it is also one of Carrillo's first microtonal works, from 1924); in my opinion not his best music. It is also true that many of his works have that "demonstration" element and one needs to know his catalog well in order to find the worthier pieces (which can be quite satisfying). BTW, Cromometrofonía and Cometa are not by Carrillo but by some of his students and followers active after their teacher's death (David Espejo, Oscar Vargas, and Armando Nava).

The Moment Quartet is working on a project to play/premiere and record all of Carrillo's string quartets in the next couple of years. So far they have played his string quartets nos. 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 13; as well as "Murmullos" a short piece for string quartet and harp in 1/16 tones. Out of the microtonal quartets nos. 8 and 13 are my favorites. Nos. 4 and 6 are remarkable atonal works; in a way almost "Bartokian." Momenta will be playing 4, 6, and 13 in NYC at a concert at the Americas Society in February.

At any rate, if you are interested in finding out more about the guy, I will recommend you my recently published book In Search of Julián Carrillo and Sonido 13

https://global.oup.com/academic/product/in-search-of-julin-carrillo-and-sonido-13-9780190215781?facet_narrowbypubdate_facet=Next+3+months&facet_narrowbybinding_facet=Paperback&type=listing&lang=en&cc=us

Best regards.

Offline Cato

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Re: Julián Carrillo (1875-1965)
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2015, 07:52:38 AM »
Many thanks for the links!

The quarter-tone Mass for Pope John XXIII - sung a capella   ???   - is not to be missed!

It is now available on YouTube:

For some reason the Flash is not working, so:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIb6CebsDYA&list=PLUSRfoOcUe4ahT5GOSZZLWPJI7vaDepIu
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Online k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Julián Carrillo (1875-1965)
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2015, 07:54:10 AM »
It is now available on YouTube:

For some reason the Flash is not working, so:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIb6CebsDYA&list=PLUSRfoOcUe4ahT5GOSZZLWPJI7vaDepIu

The flash code may not work for a playlist.
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