Today I am going to talk about an artista, an interpreter of herself, of the being called to spell out her interior alphabet, pass through her own inner ghosts, try to be witness to what we don´t see, make us hear what we don´t hear, that being that can separate from herself to concentrate on herself, that being who stretches out her hand to darkness to capture hidden reality, this path through the keyboard with confronts unresolved enigmas, this being which know about the “yes, yes, no, no” which Emmanuel Levin referred to as the reason for living, this being who should have the capacity to have one hand attached to the anchor and the other tothe sail; Her name is Teresa Catalan, and she just summed up the creative journey of her life in a CD that runs a bridge from the 1990s to 2018.
…Catalán writes for the keyboard with a passion that drags un into the abandon of the circumstantial, to the underside of mystery, to drag us into “the primary reason of existence”, there, where nothing is defined or dissolved in concept, there, were our language is useless for depicting it, there where – and forgive me for emphasizing this – sentiment is the sentiment of the sentiment, that which makes us ask existential questions.
…Teresa Catalán treats the question as the call to mystery as her principal vertebration, like that next to last attempt to give life to what doesn´t have it, that which is intent on hanging on to that which is ungraspable, that which drags us into the enigma which we essentialy are.
…A piano with a complicated language while at the same time accessible and close, a poetic seducer, beautiful and enriching. I emphasize these terms because in beauty resides the part of the inherent magic of music; and because every contribution of Teresa Catalán to her latest proposal is enriching and in the trans course of her ambitious project of “making the world dream”, such is her ethic commitment.
Dedications are often written at the front of publications, solemn tags that accompany the luster of eternal oath, sonorous frameworks capable of expressing with the power of modernity but also timeless, contemporary and classic all at once. If one had to condense the essence of Teresa Catalán´s musical language, that could be the formula. Her work seemingly does not expire nor does it evoke nostalgia for past sounds.
…Teresa Catalán´s music expressed a particular magnetism, a curious harmonic treatment that is already cement to the crystalline notes of red poppy, all confessing a detailed music that avoids unnecessary virtuosity. Catalán strips her message of all that could be superfluous. She doesn´t look for effect, but purity. She completely abandones virtuosity to create balanced textures and sonorities. Her style allows her to tap into the subtle delicacy offered by the Prelude no. 4 of Chopin to create paraphrases or express complete serenity with the Elegies, with notes that appear almost naked, with sonorities that are rarely immersed in forte. The microform, the brevity of the work, becomes a means to express a music that does not support developments, a pure, meticulous music, which delves into slowness and serenity, akin to a conceptual aesthetic with the plastic work. by José María Yturralde illustrating the cover of the recording.
The premiere of an orchestral score of Teresa Catalán is a big event for our orchestra. A tireless, explorer of sonorous effects and interplay of textures, always in the service of an more refined expression with a profound knowledge of the orchestra, in all her work she transmits a brave and original personality that puts her at the most interesting Vanguard of Spanish Composition. (online)
…Sota traces més depurades i de resultats més minimalistes, Rondó para un Mayorazgo per a flauta solista de la navarresa Teresa Catalán (1951) es presentava com una obra musculosa, ben proporcionada i exigent en les textures, atesos els divisi de la corda i els passatges homorrítmics.
The Conductor led the different passages of Clara Wieck´s concerto with grace and knew how to impose the correct pulse for the various intensities of Teresa Catalán’s work, with a language that was modern but absolutely pleasant to the ear.
…Teresa Catalán has arrived at an exquisite refinement and a distillation of clear purity – her works for piano, or her songs, for example, are delicious…
…Within its specialized series, the Musical Fortnight of San Sebastian counts on a well-known contemporary music cycle (programming)…They offered a first concert of Larrazpileko jentilen trikuharritik byTeresa Catalán, which they commissioned the composer from Navarro for this festival. In it, Catalán offered a mysterious and atavistic character, like a force of Nature.
…And always, our Teresa Catalán to overflow with energy with her Danza of (vermell) joy, a pianistic joy, musical, poetic, kaleidoscopic in dynamics, vigour, light and color in an evening for enjoying between friends and in which nothing was accidental. (online)
…With an accustomed ear, one hears certain echos of Shostakovich, Berio, Bernaola or of her so admired Cage in her music. There is in Catalán a clear tendency towards atonality, but always coming from tonality. From there the change of a line to another is at times so subtle and many other inaudible, because in those cases her music is so precise that is requires ears that are educated in the atonal line. But what is clear is that if something is Teresa Catalán it is Teresa Catalán. She is unmistakable until she chooses to confuse us. This her brand, her harmonic treatment. The eternal dialogue between atonal and (tonal). Navegating these waters, approaching them is none other than to be another opposite, another oxymoron.
…I will finish with a phrase from the composer´s own mouth que we should not lose sight of (arts education), losing track of it would be overwhelming and terrible for our current society. A society without education dies, but without arts education ceases to dream.
In the well-deserved homage to Teresa Catalán organized by the solid (music) cycle of MUN, they gave a shallow but fundamental review of the contribution of the Professor and Composer in her world of Music, Creating, Divulgation (promotion) and Pedagogy, beginning with some biographical information. But without a doubt, the best homage was coming back to her music that, the more it was interpreted, the more we liked it.
Aldonza and Crésida (2015) is a delight with the atmosphere created in part by the high setting of the piano, which shows the special care with which the composer treats these special female Cervantine and Shakespearian characters. The second part consisted of the Ballet, The Dance of the Princess, a frankly beautiful score, with all the rich sounds needed for a Grand Ballet.
… El rapto de Europa, the five scores which comprise this Ballet, emerge us in a beautiful and understandable Vangard, without renouncing tradition, even in some fragments, like the seduction fragment, for example. I don´t know if it was because of the superbe interpretation of the work with its appreciated organic (approach), or the actual education of our ear for such works- surely for all of the above- but the musical composition won out as time passed; the best thing one can say about a work of art. That is to say, it was a musically impeccable concert, of beautiful timbre and chamber ensemble, really enjoyable and evocative.
The best thing one can say about he ensemble (piece) 30 years after its composition, it that not only did it not age, but now it seems more current than when it was presented to the public in the 80s.
Less than a month ago, Teresa Catalán, the composer, gave a conference in the Mediatic City of Music Complex in Pamplona. In that act, created principally for Composition students of the Superior Conservatory, the illustrious composer offered some advice, among which she repeated time after time. Composers should seek their own voice. It isn´t about writing during each moment in the style that is most in successful at the time, because styles pass and only authenticity is permanent and constant.
The work breathed fluidity, with an architecture full of science and mystery, and a dazzling timbre. (It) is still pleasing, (it) has a certain return to tonality and lyric passages and uses things inherited from the XX century, hardly insinuated and well fit into the discourse.
Catalán proposes a relatively classical score, but with passages that have great energy and effective colore. Emerging in her poetic world…
The two works chosen by the OSE to start the concert were exquisite and superb. The first of those, “Prinzesaren Dantza” written by Teresa Catalán, displayed numerous orchestral techniques (means) and an entire sonorous world that highlighted the orchestra´s own personality. A work to keep in mind for the orchestras coming programming for its quality composition with denotes the great knowledge of the instrumental world that the composer has.
Teresa Catalán displayed with “Sine Die” a refined compositional work.
In Teresa Catalán’s Works there is a palpable refined style, based on contrast between grave tumult and slow meditation, broken always by a fury that grows in the ostinato, in search of new timbric input.
El Pájaro de Estinfalo. Flauta y piano… Certainly a very interesting composition that thrives on effects, timbres, dynamic variety and surprising twists, with which the scary birds of Arkadines, which Heracles were supposed to kill and drive away, are brought to life.
The work, “Esparzas” of Teresa Catalán dosifies the materials with criteria in a long composition…with an impressive start with acapella voice and an intelligent and imaginative orchestration.
… This book is, without a doubt, one of the most elaborate and useful texts to appear recently in Spain. As a result of the persistence and patient work over several years of its author -composer and professor of Composition-, this volume will allow us to get closer to clearly understanding the internal mechanisms and relationships of different systems of tempered composition in the century XX. Raised as a study of the bases that make up the musical system itself (without assessing influences of another type such as social or aesthetic), it rigorously addresses those principles that determine the identity and particularities of different compositional approaches.
… The two very special master classes by this illustrious teacher that are now being spread around the world… are a magnificent book, Tempered Compositional Systems in the 20th Century, and a no less splendid CD, Teresa Catalán. Chamber Work ...
… Teresa Catalán's work "is an example of a careful, elaborate and scientifically irreproachable investigation. But above all it is an act of artistic courage and honesty". For our part, we add again that it is also a master class that demonstrates how good teachers always teach, wherever they are at all times, and they educate fruitfully from all the initiatives in which they take part.
This album hides a history of those that do not abound, that of a passion for music.
… I suppose that since you have had such an excellent teacher and composer, Teresa Catalán, you will have understood that the more you know, the better one develops in musical creation. Some say that it is better not to study anything to be more original. Do not trust that: it is a nonsense that very often only leads to discovering (small seas).
I now receive a splendid book (Compositional systems tempered in the twentieth century) and it is its author Teresa Catalán… Here is this essay that studies very significant proposals of contemporary music… Works like that of Catalan are not only useful, but also improve –because they enrich it- the image of our musicology.
The characteristic of color that makes Catalan's works more easily recognizable is perhaps the harmonic treatment since from the beginning it has remained very firm in the search for harmonic fabrics neither tonal nor atonal.
To begin with what was of special interest, the “Pamplonian” composer and pedagogue Teresa Catalán who had a great deal with the premiere of her duo for harp and flute "Límite infinito", the result of a commission from the Santander Festival itself. Deserved success, no doubt. Because, supported by an instrumental treatment as refined as appropriate to each voice, it manages to articulate, in the barely eight minutes of the new page, a logical and attractive "continuum", based on a personal (Methodism) that reconciles, in dialogical succession, introversion and abandon. Big success.
Teresa Catalán, in addition to carrying out an intense teaching task at the Conservatory, is considered one of the most interesting and prestigious contemporary composers on the current scene, not only in Spain, but also in many other countries.
Along with the already named interpretation of Benjamin's work, it was with the composition “Viaje a Cólquida” of Catalán that we enjoyed the best moments. Based on the ancient Greek myth, this composer, born in Pamplona, builds a work full of effects, sound and textural complexities but within a vitalism and musicality that excited the public. It achieves a perfect balance between constructive complexity and sonic simplicity that give the work a great quality.
Of all of them, it is worth highlighting… Teresa Catalán's “First Toy” for its beauty, although it was built with important technical difficulties, since it is composed of three voices.
The lied –Hom fora seny-, performed with great virtuosity… was without a doubt the most aesthetic moment of the evening. Voice and piano traveled with understanding, in a cohesive way, using with ease and expressive force a truthful, resounding and brilliant atonal language.
Teresa Catalán is a restless person in the world of composition, she distills her findings until she offers us music that is austere in form, but rich in content and brilliant.
In its VI edition, the Veruela International Composition Course has reached definitive consolidation and recognition within the current musical scene ... Teresa Catalán, who has seen how a project that a priori seemed very risky has established itself as one of the inevitable appointments of the cultural summer.
A veritable party of Spanish premieres… interesting dialogue and creative animation in the Rondó para un Mayorazgo, for flute and string, by Teresa Catalán, with an excellent solo performance by Mª Antonia Rodríguez.
Rondo para un Mayorazgo provokes more than applause: the desire to listen to it again ... Teresa Catalán's score objectifies in sounds how many suggestions are provoked from the painting and it becomes a balanced succession, rich in linear and polyphonic invention and great power affective.
A new generation, different, devoid of prejudices, followers of the paths opened by their elders of the fifties and radically universalist, comes to the fore in Spanish musical creation.
Una generación nueva, distinta, carente de prejuicios, seguidora de caminos abiertos por sus mayores de los años cincuenta y radicalmente universalista, accede al primer plano de la creación musical española.
Catalan uses solo flute in her "Rondo para un mayorazgo": the combination of timbre with the strings is suggestive and the work, which very freely recreates the tripartite scheme of the traditional "Concerto", achieves originality and strength especially in the intermediate "Lento".
“Rondo para un mayorazgo” ... The work is an interesting work by Teresa Catalán from Navarra, with a more continuous language with the tradition that is even reflected in the form chosen for the work (a rondo), which was extremely beautiful due to its rhythmic and melodic contrasts.
This time Olives contrasted groundbreaking works (Distanzen by Isang Yun and Kya by Scelsi) and works that do not hide their links with tradition (Figures Nº 1 by Professor Teresa Catalán and Tree line by Takemitsu). These won by a landslide for good construction, timbral interest, expressive warmth and even high class lyricism.
The composer Teresa Catalán, gave a brief but lucid presentation of the Spanish music of this century… Elective Affinity in G, by Teresa Catalán, is an attractive work in which with the references to (that note) she achieves moments of great tension.
The Sarasate Orchestra performed "El rapto de Europa" ... The melodic and timbral beauty of the piece by Teresa Catalán stands out in the work.
Teresa Catalán is, in my opinion, the most valuable name of the Iruñako Taldea… Such an opinion is not from today: it was evident and was printed years ago… Time sometimes helps to understand that culture and creation are usually personal work, with name and surname… The program offered samples of the music that Teresa Catalán has written throughout her years. Contrasting and even contradictory examples, which today perhaps the same author qualifies as eclectic ... Sufficient examples to conclude that today Teresa Catalán is, due to her work, the most interesting name, not only the most notorious, of that group.
The concert hall of the Camón Aznar museum recently hosted the premiere of the new proposals by Teresa Catalán, one of our composers with the most projection, both at a state and continental level in terms of avant-garde music.
It is rare to see a packed concert hall when performing contemporary music, and it is rarer to appreciate that the applause of the audience transcends mere courtesy. Teresa Catalán, the Iruñera composer, achieved great success last Wednesday.
Teresa Catalán's work, in the field of the Bartokian and using a language neither tonal nor atonal, is not far behind in its rigor. Catalan is probably the most abstract member of the Pamplona group, betting on a more structural than semantic option.
There is a clever use of "sweetness, ambiguity and calculated abandon", as defined by the cited notes printed in the program. In this aspect, Teresa Catalán, the most interesting sensitivity and musicality of the group in which she is integrated, as I labeled her years ago, shows her progress and also her difficulties "Tremulae sinuantur flamine uestes", Ovidio ends the second book of his "Metamorphoseon", whose final forty verses describe the rape of Europa. With that undulation of the breeze, the musical piece seems to start, which then advances through shadows and broken games of continuities, such as those that Ligeti defined a decade ago.
Europa is a ballet whose nucleus is a previous sextet. Teresa Catalán achieves, with a wise orchestration, expressive romantic results that are formulated on the well-planned rhythmic formula so necessary for dance.
Of particular interest was also the branno "Figuras 2" by the Spanish composer Teresa Catalán, presented in the first Italian performance. The work born from the emotions aroused on the author by drawings representing geometric figures has allowed the performers to unleash all the technical-expressive baggage they possess, both for the continuous rise of the melody in the over-high register, and for the frenetic evolution rhythmic and dynamic events.
Teamwork is not exactly common among composers. In Spain, however, there are five “Tonkünstler” who composers together as a "group from Pamplona". The wind quintet "Raub der Europa" is a collaborative effort. With their music, the composers take turns telling the story of the father of gods approaching Princess Europe in the form of a bull. All five composers write the same musical handwriting - vividly visual, rich in gestures, humorous and full of color. The performance of the delightful composition was the focus of the music evening that the Stuttgart wind quintet created in front of the Glienicke Palace ... The Stuttgart wind quintet created sensitive sound images.
Iruñeako Taldea… One work by each of the musicians was enough to reveal elevated stylistic heights in all these musicians encouraged in their training by Agustín González Acilu and Ramón Barce. Current music, restless, but not far from the aesthetic restlessness of the community; an accessible creation of deep humanistic concern. It is undoubtedly the most cohesive and leading movement of those that exist in the country.
Teresa Catalán, appeared in Musikaste with a Quartet without number, a work that shows a very well found balance between the plan and the realization, something rare. Fast-slow-fast design. Wide sounds in the first movement that dissolve in pure lines, which gives a special character. The short slow movement, with the beautiful popular melody, acquires a very concentrated lyrical density and results in a page of great chamber flavor. A brief episode of running passages leads to the end of this work performed with depth by the Arriaga Quartet.