Compositions for Chorus
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MARIA SABINA (1969) (90’) A symphonic tragedy for narrators, chorus and orch. Work composed in collaboration with literature Nobel Prize winner C.J. Cela. (A dramatic accusation and self-defense by the Mexican-Indian mushroom-cult priestess María Sabina) Prem.Carnegie Hall N.Y.C. Also perf. at Madrid Opera Festival. (Gen. Mus-EMI;repr. G.Schirmer Inc) SEE LIBRETTO“…María Sabina…in 1969. It is full of social activism and the white-hot intensity of a composer forging a new and personal style in the face of the academic forces which smothered so many other composers.”Mark Sebastian Jordan-MusicWeb International.
MARIA SABINA (1969) (35’) (reduced version).Prem. San Francisco.
(G.M.-EMI; repr. G.Schirmer Inc)
[Select. other perf.: Pittsburgh (concert form and ballet form), Louisville,Madrid]
(CD rec. by Louisville Orchestra and chorus, Jorge Mester, cond., New World Records, CD Naxos Records, Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid, José Ramón Encinar cond.)
"One of the most startling scores of recent years is this’symphonic tragedy’."-Stereo Review; "Sheer impact swamped all qualifications at the West Coast premiere of Balada’s ‘Maria Sabina’...one of the most overpowering events of the season."-San Francisco Chronicle;"’Maria Sabina’ was a smashing success." -San Fracisco Examiner;"It is an ambitious, largely designed, often moving piece."-MusicalAmerica; "Through his natural symphonic ability...plus his control of the vocal writing, Balada has succeeded in a work that is very contemporary but at the same time accessible to audiences that are not familiar with today’s language."-El Pais-Madrid-Barcelona. "drop-dead remarkable...This is a most handsomely constructed, hypnotic work." -Fanfare-The Magazine for Serious Record Collectors.
LAS MORADAS (1970) (20’) chorus and instr. ensemble.(A modern cantata using the mystical text of Saint Teresa of Avila) Comm. Dir.Gral Bellas Artes,Madrid. Prem. Avila, Spain. by Agrup.Coral de Cámara de Pamplona,cond. L. Morondo ( Union Musical Espanola)
NO-RES (Nothing)(40’) (1974-revised version 1997) narrators, chorus and orch. A symphonic tragedy for a narrator, chorus and orchestra. (A dramatic futuristic protest of death.) Comm. by Fund. J. March of Madrid. Composed in collaboration with French writer Jean Paris. Prem. 1997 Barcelona by Barcelona Sym. Orch., National Chorus Spain cond. Lawrence Foster. (CD Naxos Records, Orquesta y Coro Comunidad de Madrid, J. R. Encinar.) (G.Schirmer Inc)
"...Balada composed ’No-res’ two decades ago and had its world premiere now with great success. Despite the passing of time the score has not lost any of its original power... The public was won over by the vitality of this music..." -La Vanguardia-Barcelona; "Balada has something to say:death is nothingness and against its injustice he is going to shout a brutal protest. And this can only be expressed with desperate sounds..."-El Mundo-Barcelona.
“…Balada’s musical language for the work is characteristically eclectic… In the hands of a lesser composer, this diversity could be a total disaster, but dealing with diverse musical materials and ideas is perhaps Balada’s greatest musical strength…the piece is a magnificent musical achievement”- Music & Vision Homepage.
“…the howling of desperate wolves opens “No-res”…a harrowing look at death…its impetus and immediacy stem from the death of the composer’s mother…all harrowing and even touching” : Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
VOICES No.1 (1972)( 9’) chorus a cappella.(A brilliant choral work without text) Prem. Pamplona, Spain. by Agrup. Coral de Cámara de Pamplona , cond. L.Morondo (G.Schirmer Inc)
(many perf. in Europe and USA by several choruses)
TORQUEMADA (1980) (25’)-cantata with text by the composer-for baritone soloist, chorus and instr. ensemble.(The autocratic Spanish Inquisition of the XV century is denounced by the modern people of XX century Spain) Comm. Radio Nacional España, Madrid. Prem. Carnegie Mellon Ch.& Ens. R.Page cond, Pittsburgh. (several perfor. in Spain) (CD rec. on New World Records, CMU Contemporary Ensemble and chorus, R. Page, cond.) (G.Schirmer)
"...(Balada’s) cantata demonstrates how effective he is in a historical dramatic context. The striking thing about ‘Torquemada’ is Balada’s juxtaposition of textural and musical forces."-The Pittsburgh Press;
THUNDEROUS SCENES(1992) ( 26’)-cantata with text by the composer- for vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra.(Four dramatic scenes in the real and unreal life of Columbus.) Comm.CDMC, Madrid. Prem.Alicante International Festival,Spain. National Orch.Spain. (CD rec. on NewWorld Records) Amer. prem. Carnegie Mellon Philh. & Chorus, J.P. Izquierdo cond. (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
Dionisio: In Memoriam (2001) (30’) for Narrator, Chorus and Orchestra,[ An emotional cantata based on the texts of the poet-politician Dionisio Ridruejo and the writings of Emilio Ruiz.] comm. by the Soria Autumn Festival, prem. 2002. (CD recording Naxos Records, Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid, José Ramón Encinar cond.) (2-2-2-2; 3-2-2-0; 4 perc; strings.) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
”…in Dionisio: in Memorian from 2001, we find a mature composer with assured hand, still broadcasting his anger and independence, but also with a noble air of valediction.” Mark Sebastian Jordan-MusicWeb International.
EBONY FANTASIES: Prem. by Orquesta y Coro Comunidad de Madrid, Lorenzo Ramos cond., Madrid Feb. 2004. (Beteca Music) (CD Naxos 8.557343, Orq. y Coro Com. Madrid, J. R. Encinar cond.)
“…Balada adds his characteristic extended orchestral techniques and colors to ‘wrap’ the spirituals in his own personality. The resulting piece, though somewhat ‘odd’ compared to almost any other treatments of spirituals, is a very exciting work.”- Music & Vision Homepage.
Voices No.2 (2006) (8’) chorus a cappella ( A fantasy on an Indian-American chant). World premiere July 2006 by Coral de Cámara de Pamplona. (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
Voices No. 3 (2010) (5’) chorus a capella (phantasy on the names Maria Angeles and Juan Francisco) prem. Chorus Comunidad de Madrid, Lorenzo Ramos cond. Feb. 2012 (CD Naxos Rec. 2013) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
La Pasionaria: The Farwell to the International Brigades (2011) (30’) mixed chorus, mezzo-sopr., orchestra. Comm. by “Concell Nacional de la Cultura y de les Arts”-Barcelona. ( This cantata is a free interpretation of the historical farewell speech of La Pasionaria to the International Brigades in Barcelona in 1938.) (Subito Music)