Compositions for Orchestra with soloists
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CONCERTO FOR PIANO AND ORCH.(1964) (21’) (2-2-3-2; 3-3-3-1; 4 perc;strgs) (Publ. General Music-EMI; repr. G.Schirmer Inc.)
CONCERTO FOR GUITAR AND ORCH No. 1.(1965) (18’) Commissioned and premiered by Narciso Yepes, Orq.Fil.Madrid Odon Alonso cond. (2-1-2-1;2-2-0-0; 2 perc; strgs) (Publ.General Music-EMI;repr. G.Schirmer Inc.)
CONCERTO FOR BANDONEON AND ORCH.(1970) (18’). Comm. A. Barletta (0-0-0-0;2-2-2-0;2 perc; strgs) (Publ. GM-EMI; repr. G.Schirmer Inc)
PONCE DE LEON (1974) (24’) narrator and orch.; prem. Jose Ferrer actor-narrator,New Orleans Philhar.
Werner Torkanowsky cond. (2-2-2-2; 4-3-3-2; timp, 3 perc; pno; strgs) (Publ.Belwin-Mills;repr.G.Schirmer)
[Other orch.: Spanish RTV Symph.Orch-Madrid; Barcelona Sym.; Charlotte Sym. Orch.
"...his invention just as often is just as distinctive as it was in his powerfully effective ‘Guenica’...(Balada) has a way of abstracting a programmatic sound to unexpected but fully communicative essence ."-The Times-Picayune-New Orleans;"...a master of dry textures."-Musical America; "The musical resources were used with enormous ability by the composer, giving life to what could be considered like a ‘fresco’, with lively rhythms and colors."-Arriba-Madrid
CONCERTO FOR PIANO,WINDS AND PERCUSSION (1974) (15’) Comm. Carnegie Mellon Univ., prem.Carnegie Hall,New York City, Carnegie Mellon Wind. Ensble., H.Franklyn pno. R.Strange cond.(CD rec.New World Rec) (3-3-3-3; 4-4-3-1; 4 perc) ( publ. G.Schirmer Inc)
(Select. perf. other orch.: Moscow Experimental Theater Sym.,Barcelona Sym, Madrid Municipal Sym. Band, Barcelona Municipal Sym. Band]
"The piano is almost exclusively treated like a percussion instrument...it sounds like fun to play."-The New York Times;"Balada was an admirer of Joan Miro’s painting, and one can imagine this piece as an entire canvas filled with colorful and bizarre images."-American Record Guide;"...frantic sense of playfulness....a work of considerable strengths."-Fanfare-The Magazine for Serious Record Collectors;"A striking concerto"-The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
CONCERTO FOR FOUR GUITARS AND ORCH. (1976) (19’) Comm. Tarrago Guitar Quartet, prem. Barcelona.Sym. Tarrago Qt., A. Ros-Marba cond. (CD Naxos Records, Barcelona Sym Orch, C. Pearce cond., Quatuor de Guitares de Versailles.) (G.Schirmer Inc)
other perf.: Radio Luxemburg Sym.Orch.
"Here we have an excellent concerto...what splendid moments...it is a very beautiful work."-Luxembourger Wort; "The concerto is a truly convincing work."-Diario de Barcelona.
”… has more to offer than Rodrigo’s Concierto Andaluz which is “the” work for this instrumentation”-Fono Forum.
“The amazing canonic colour of the opening movement and the hypnotic repetitions and shifting patterns are all most exciting. In the seconds Balada evokes Music Box sonorities (it is) delicate, static, compelling… in the finale we have agitation and drama perfect close to the Concerto” – Jonathan Woolf-Classical Music Web
“…one of the most successful guitar-and-orchestra essays that I have ever heard.” David Hurwitz-Classics Today.com
CONCERTO VIOLIN AND ORCH.(1982) (22’) Comm. Carnegie Mellon Univ.,prem.Carnegie Hall, New York;F.Siegal vn., Carnegie Mellon Philharm.; W.Torkanowsky cond. (2-2-2-2; 2-2-1-0; 1 perc; pno; strgs) [Other perf.:New World Sym , Orquesta Sinf. Do Estado de Sao Paulo, A.Cardenes Vn., Barcelona Sym. Orch. A. J. Garcia Vn.] (CD Naxos Records, Barcelona Sym. Orch., Andrés Cárdenes, Vn., M. Aeschbacher, cond.) (G.Schirmer)
"(Balada) has juxtaposed a curiously teasing violin line against extraordinarily original orchestral textures."-The Miami Herald; "The concerto is a tender, interesting, and thoughtful work. Balada’s mind is full of fertile ideas, and his music, as always, was stimulating and worthwhile."-Musical America. "...In the concerto, he [Balada] accomplishes what thought impossible: intertwining a number of Catalan melodies clearly designed and enveloping them in unconventional and very original sonorities..." La Vanguardia - Barcelona; “…an effective concert piece for an enterprising violinist in search of fresh repertoire.” American Record Guide; “…very original and unconventional textures…” X. Montsalvatge, La Vanguardia- Barcelona; “…Balada is certainly a master orchestrator…with a strong lyrical side.” R. Cummings, Classical Net; “…(a) beautiful- and decidedly original-work. Paul Cook, Classics Today. ; “An effective concert piece for an enterprising violinist in search of fresh repertoire.” American Record Guide.
“Satisfying and memorable, with attention –grabbing lines and effects.” Fanfare.
THREE ANECDOTES-Concertino for Castanets and Orch.(1977)( 10’)Comm.Lucero Tena, prem.Philharmonia Orch. London,L.Tena castg,Andrew Davies cond. (2-1-1-1;1-1-0-0; strgs)(GSchirmer) [Select.perf.other orch.:Philadelphia Orch., Cincinnati Sym., Evian Festival Orch., Wuttenberg Philharm.
(Germany),Limburg Sym(Holland),Orch.Nationale Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille, Spanish RTV Orch.Etc] [ Wood-percussion-soloist version perf. by Pittsburgh Sym Cham.Orch and Irish RadioTV Orch.]
"An intriguing composition. The work showed the range of virtuosity and subtlety she (the soloist)
achieves on the Spanish folk instrument.""-The Cincinnati Enquirer;" It was of particular interest the contrast between the three movements with interesting populism in the first and last and great beauty in the central one."-ABC-Madrid.
PERSISTENCIES-SINFONIA CONCERTANTE FOR GUITAR AND ORCH.(1972) (22’)
Comm.by Narciso Yepes. Prem. Yepes, National Orch.Spain in Madrid and Tokyo. J Lopez-Cobos cond. (2-2-2-2;2-3-3-0; 2 perc; pno; strgs) (G.Schirmer)(CD Albany Records-Troy, Barcelona Sym. Orch., Narciso Yepes guitar, L. Balada cond.)
Also perf. by Barcelona Sym.
"...there is an appropriate and interesting instrumental work in the composition, thanks to which the guitar is team up successfully with diverse sections of the orchestra."-El Pais-Madrid;"In this composition, Balada shows once more that he is one of the composers of his generation with the most quality as well as the greatest quantity of work."-ABC-Madrid.
MUSIC FOR OBOE AND ORCH-Lament from the Cradle of the Earth (1993)(22’) Comm.and prem.Pittsburgh Symph. Orch.,Lorin Maazel cond.,C.de Almeida oboist. (CD rec. New World Records)(2-0-2-2;4-3-3-1; timp, perc; pno; hrp; strgs) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
[Select. other orch.: Orq. Sim. Xalapa, M. Salazar ob., J.Mester cond. in Mexico City; National Sinf. Orch. of Peru, Eduardo Martinez ob., Francesc Prat cond., Lima, Peru]
"The theme of the work...is the struggle of humanity and nature to co-exist...The music ,however, is nothing short of impressive...Balada has created a masterpiece for an instrument that rarely is given such a vital role."-Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
MORNING MUSICfor Flute and Orch. (1994) (c.11") prem. Julius Baker, Carnegie Mellon Phil., Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.
J.P. Izquierdo cond. (1-2-2-2; 2-2-o-o;perc; strgs) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
"...a musical watercolor for flute and orchestra."-The Washington Post.
CONCIERTO MAGICOfor Guitar and Orch.(1997) (22’) (The poetry and drama of the Spanish Gypsies in a contemporary music setting.) Comm. Cincinnati Sym. and Hartford Sym. Prem. Cincinnati Symp. Orch. J.López-Cobos cond., Angel Romero guit.(2-2-2-2;2-2-0-0;2 perc.; pno.; strgs.) (CD Naxos Records 8.555039, Barcelona Sym. Orch., J. Serebrier, cond., Eliot Fisk, guitar) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
[ Other perf.: Chicago Sinfonietta, P. Freeman cond.; Hartford Sym. M.Lankester cond.; National Orch. Ireland, Colman Pearce cond.]"an understated blend of modern and traditional sounds, with the guitar given folk-like melodies, and the orchestra responding with a dissonant dialogue...interesting orchestral colors..." The Cincinnati Enquirer; " a colorful, demanding and exuberant work...Inspired freely by the music of the Andalusian gypsies, the three - movement work blends modernist colors and sonorities with traditional Spanish idioms." The Hartford Courant; The orchestrations are wonderfully imaginative. At times he transforms the orchestra into a giant guitar. At other times, the orchestra simulates the rhythmic clapping of gypsies at a flamenco bash.” Dan Davis, Amazon.com
CONCERTO FOR PIANO AND ORCH. n. 3(1999) (20’)( A modernistic virtuoso work exploring the Spanish pasodoble, Andalusí music and the jota). World premiere, Feb. 12-13 2000, Berlin Radio Sym. Orch., Rafael Fruhbeck cond., Rosa Torres Pardo piano.
(2-2-2-2;3-3-3-1;Timp, perc (4), hrp, pno; Strings) (CD Naxos Records 8.555039, Barcelona Sym. Orch., José Serebrier, cond., Rosa Torres Pardo, pno.) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
“Balada…convincingly blends folk music and avant-garde compositional techniques.” Dan Davis, Amazon.com; “…a fascinating listening experience.” Michael Jameso, Classics Today
MUSIC FOR FLUTE AND ORCHESTRA (2000) (21')
(picc.-2-2-2; 2-2-0-0; perc.(2); pno.; Solo Flute; Strings) (CD Naxos Records 8.555039, Barcelona Sym. Orch., José Serebrier, cond., Magdalena Martínez, fl.) (Beteca Music is exclusively distributed by Subito Music (store.subitomusic.com) Direct Link to Subito Music listing: http://store.subitomusic.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=3_101_1128)
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No. 2 -”New Orleans”-(2001) (19’)- [Virtuoso concerto in two movements, the first a meditative “Negro spiritual”, the second brilliant and jazzy, all in a contemporary language.]- (2-2-2-2; 2-2-0-0; 1 perc.; pno.; strings). Premiered March 9-10, 2002 in Berlin by Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Michael Sanderling cello, R. Frühbeck de Burgos cond. Other perf. by Barcelona Sym. Orch. Lluis Claret, cello. (CD Naxos Records, Barcelona Sym Orch, C. Pearce cond, M. Sanderling cello.) Other performances: Neubrandemburg Phil. Orch. (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
CAPRICHOS No. 1–Homage to Federico Garcia Lorca (2003) (20’) for Guitar and String Orchestra-or String Quartet- (A suite of seven short pieces using folk ideas from Andalusia) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music). Commissioned by the Austin Classical Guitar Society. Premiered July 2006 by Eliot Fisk guitar and the Miro String Quartet.
CAPRICHOS No. 2 (2004) (14’) for solo Violin, String Orch.-or String Quartet- and Harp. (A suite of three Latino American dances: I- Samba, II-Tango, III-Jarabe) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
Caprichos No. 3 (dedicated to the International Brigades) (2005) (23’) for violin and chamber orchestra. [ Five short movements inspired by Spanish, German and Irish folk melodies sang by the international volunteers that went to fight against the rebellious forces of general Franco in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39] Prem. Nov. 2005 by Andres Cardenes violin and the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra. (1 Trp., 1 Percuss., Strgs) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
Recorded on Naxos Records 8.572176 perf. by Pittsburgh Sinfonietta, Andres Cárdenes solo Vn., L. Loh cond.
“…Balada’s strong rhythmic drive and timbral creativity are strengths through his new work”. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“Balada’s highly successful sojourns into combining folk and abstract music techniques were evident here.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
CAPRICHOS No. 4 - "QUASI JAZZ" (2007) (22’) for solo Contrabass and Chamber Orchestra (Modernistic four jazz inspired movements) Comm. Pennsylvania Arts Council. Premiere March 27th 2008 by Jeffrey Turner and the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orch., Andres Cárdenes cond. (Cl., Pno, Strings.) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
Recorded on Naxos Records 8.572176 perf. by Pittsburgh Sinfonietta, Jeff Turner Cbs. solo, Andres Cárdenes cond.
“…impressive instrumental imagination…Caprichos No. 4 is moving, as well as clever, reaching its high point of eloquence in the third movement, Funeral.” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Concerto for Three Cellos and Orchestra - A German Concerto. (2006) (ca. 23’) (This concerto has an evolutionary form and conveys an emotional picture of 20th Century Germany. Based on a German song, there is drama and tragedy at the beginning but gradually it evolves into an ultimate triumph of the spirit.) Premiered Oct. 2007 by the Berlin Radio Sym. Orch,. at Philharmonie Hall, Berlin. (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music) (CD Naxos 8. 8.573298, Berlin Radio Symph. Orch., Eivind Jensen con.)
“… Balada calls his composition ‘A German Concerto’ and introduces concentration camp recollections…it revolves around the song ‘Moorsoldaten’, originating in the concentration camp of Bergermoor in Emsland…with incomparable simplicity and intensity Balada’s exemplary orchestral work converts monstrousness into art. The three excellent cellists whispered and sang against the threats of the orchestra which often roared rabidly, ultimately rising to a hopeful high meadow.” Berliner Morgenpost
DOUBLE CONCERTO FOR OBOE, CLARINET, AND ORCHESTRA (A modern fantasy of two Mexican folk melodies)-(2010) (17’). Comm. by Queretaro Symphony Orch. of Mexico. Prem. July 8, 2011, Queretaro, Mex Prem. soloists Eleanor Weingartner cl., Miguel Salazar ob.; (CD Naxos 8.573047, Malaga Phil. E. Colomer cond, E. Abbuhl, oboe, J.E. Lluna clarinet, 2013). (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music) VIOLA CONCERTO - for Viola and Wind Ensemble-(2010) (17’ )-Also performable by symph. orch without strings. Comm. by Barcelona Municipal Band. Prem. May 8, 2011 by Ashan Pillai viola and Barcelona Municipal Band. (Other perf. Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble) (CD Naxos Rec., Ashan Pillai viola, 2013) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
CAPRICHOS No. 1 - 'HOMAGE TO FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA,’ Guitar & Strg. Orch.. Prem. 2010 Leon, Iberian Chamber Orch., Bertrand Pietu guitar, J. L. Temes cond. Other perf. Orq. Carmara Iberica, Jose Luis Temes, cond. Bertrand Pietu, guitar (CD Naxos 8. 8.572625) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
MEMORIAS N. 2 - NUEVA YORK 1956 (2014) (8’) (2014): (2-2-2-2; 3-2-2; timp., perc., pno., strings)