Compositions for Orchestra
(no soloists or chorus)
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GUERNICA (1966)(11’)[A work inspired by Picasso’s mural and the composer’s childhood memories of the Spanish Civil War] premiere New Orleans Philharmonic, W. Torkanowsky cond. (CD rec. Louisville Orchestra New World Records; CD Naxos Records, Barcelona Sym Orch, S. Mas cond.) (2-2-2-2; 2-2-2-1; 4 perc; strings). (Publ. EMI-repr. G.Schirmer Inc)
[select. perf. other orch.: Los Angeles Phil., Cincinnati Sym., Pittsburgh Sym., Louisville Orch., Rochester Phil., Aspen Festiv. Orch., Oregon Symph., Milwaukee Symph., Oakland Symph., Pasadena Sym. Jerusalem Sym., Barcelona Sym., Fil.de Mexico., Berne Sym., Oklahoma City Sym, Sacramento Sym, Kansas City Sym, Albany Sym, National Orch. of Peru, Sinfonieorchestre St. Gallen- Switzerland, etc.]
"...a forceful and somewhat melodramatic work of considerable direct power with highly effective orchestration"-Stereo Review; "Guernica’ impresses, even fascinates, but true to its message, repels. The repulsion was intended; the fascination is due to the imagination of a creative craftsman."-Los Angeles Herald-Examiner.; "Impressive in a bold modern spirit..."-San Francisco Examiner.
“…a masterpiece.”-Paul Shoemaker, Classical MusicWeb.
“…an impressive achievement”-Hubert Culto, Classical MusicWeb.
AURORIS (1973) (13’)[A work with rich abstract sonorities, like three aurora bolearis.] Commisioned & prem. National Orchestra Spain. Fruhbeck de Burgos cond.(3-3-3-2; 4-3-4-2; 4 perc; pno; strings) ( Publ. Belwin-Mills-repr. G.Schirmer Inc.)
"...a work with very atractive sonorities."-ABC-Madrid;"... is like a beautiful abstract neo-impressionist painting."-Arriba-Madrid
HOMAGE TO CASALS (1975) (9’)[A thoughtful work based on the ‘song of the birds’, a Catalan melody which Pablo Casals used to play after his cello recitals.] winner 1976 International Prize City of Barcelona. prem. Pittsburgh Symphony. D.Johanos cond. Other performances, Orchestra Estado Mexico, Malaga Philharmonic, Chile Symph. Orch. (2-2-2-2; 3-3-3-1; timp., 3 perc; pno; harp; strings) (CD Albany Records, Orq. Sim. Barcelona, L. Balada, cond.; CD Naxos Records, Barcelona Sym Orch, S. Mas cond.) (Publ. G.Schirmer Inc.)
[select. perf. other orch.: Israel Phil., Puerto Rico Sym.,National Orch.Spain, RadioTV Sym Ireland, Barcelona Sym, radio orch Leipzig, Düsseldorf Sym, Limburg Sym. (Holland), Xalapa Sym, Euskadi Sym, S.Dakota Sym, Nassau Sym, Orq. Simf. Balears, Nacional Sym Orch. of Colombia, Malaga Philh., etc.]
"It was impressive because of its artfully motivic development and its sonic richness, the result of imaginative craftsmanship and new techniques. Musikleben -Leipzig; "Beautiful and interesting..."- Ha’aretz -Tel Aviv.
…is genuinely moving in the way that the ancient tones of the ‘Song of the Birds’ emerge out of shimmering, fragmented textures and gradually gaining solidity and nobility.- BBC Music Magazine.
HOMAGE TO SARASATE (1975) (7’)[A brilliant opener or closing work based on the ‘Zapateado ’ - a Spanish dance- by Pablo de Sarasate.] Winner 1976 International Prize City of Barcelona. prem. Pittsburgh Symphony (CD Albany Records, Louisville Orch., Jorge Mester, cond.; Naxos Records, Barcelona Sym Orch, S. Mas cond.) (2-2-2-2;3-3-3-1; timp,3 perc;pno;hp;strs)
[Select.perf. other orch.: Israel Philh., Detroit and Dallas Sym., National Orch Spain, RadioTV Sym Ireland, Barcelona Sym., Aspen Festiv. Orch., Louisville Orch., Juilliard Orch., Pasadena Sym., Filarm. Mexico, Long Beach Sym, radio orchs. of Leipzig, Düsseldorf Sym, Helsinki, Hanover, Adellaide Sym., Calgary Phil. ,Euskadi Sym., Nacional Sym Orch. of Colombia, etc.] (Publ. G.Schirmer Inc.)
"Here too, the composer proved convincingly how the traditional and the new may be organically connected."-Musikleben-Leipzig ; "One could hear the inspiration in the nicely interwoven orchestration and rhythm..." - Ha’aretz- Tel Aviv; "...(a) complex and witty Sarasate tribute...(a) bright overture..."-Los Angels Times; "Balada certainly knows how to use the orchestra in new ways to produce one-of-a-kind sounds" - Dallas-Star-Telegram. “There is a clash here of traditional and modern harmonies that keeps the music fresh and exciting.” Fanfare.
SINFONIA EN NEGRO (SYMPHONY NO. 1) (Homage to Martin Luther King)(1968) [19’)[A profound work with Afro-American ideas.)Comm.&prem.SpanishRTVOrch.Madrid,E.Garcia-Asensio, cond.(2-2-2-2; 2-3-2-1-;3perc;pno;strgs) (EMI-repr. G.Schirmer Inc.) (CD Albany Records-Troy, Orquesta Sim. RTVE, E. García Asensio cond.) Other performances: Malaga Philharmonic. (CD Naxos 8.573047 Malaga Phil. Edmon Colomer cond.)
This symphony was performed on tour by the Spanish RTV Sym in several cities in the US including New York(Carnegie Hall), Washington D.C.(Kennedy Center ) as well as in Mexico.
[Select. perf. other orch.: New Orleans Phil.,Irish Radio TV Sym, Barcelona Sym.,Detroit Sym., Symphony Orch of the New World at A.Fisher Hall N.Y.C.,etc...]
"Is skillful and imaginative..."-New York Post;"...is a powerfully dramatic work, which reveals the orchestrational mastery of its composer...(a) work impressive and skillfully put together."New Orleans States-Item;"...there is life in the symphony and an abundance of original sounds."-ABC-Madrid
QUASI UN PASODOBLE (1981) (11’)[A musical fantasia based on a ‘pasodoble’, a Spanish dance-march performed during a bull-fight.] Comm. NEA Wash. D.C.prem. New York Philharmonic. Lopez Cobos cond. (3-2-2-3; 4-3-3-1; timp, 3 perc; pno; strgs.) (CD Albany Records, Orq. Sin. RTV Española, E. García Asensio, cond.; CD Naxos Records, Barcelona Symp. Orch., S. Mas-Conde cond.) (G. Schirmer Inc.)
[Select. perf. other orch.: Valencia Sym.-Spain-,Spanish RTV Sym., Phoenix Sym., Harrisburg Sym., Real Orq. Sinf. de Sevilla, etc.]
"...leaving the listener with the sense of having heard a talented composer manipulating potentially banal material with skill and sensitivity."-New York Times;“…the beautiful ‘Quasi un Pasodoble’ reminded me of Goya’s bullfighter put through a dreamy impressionist haze.” American Record Guide.
STEEL SYMPHONY (SYMPHONY NO. 3) (1972) (19’)[A bold work, a multi-rhythmic impression of the steel mills, with its drama and poetry.] prem. and CD recording by Pittsburgh Symph. L.Maazel cond. on New World Records. European prem. by Spanish RTV Symph. Orch. Adrian Leaper cond. (3-2-2-3; 4-3-3-1; timp, 3 perc; pno; strgs) Other Perf.: Barcelona Symph. Orch., Malaga Philharmonic. (Alfred Publishing) (CD Naxos 8. 8.573298, Barcelona Symph.orh., Lopez-Cobos cond.)
"...a substantial one movement work...The instrumentation is always ingenious..."-The Gardian-London;"...the sounds of the steel mills turned into richly varied, sometimes frightening, sometimes funny evocation of the assembly line”
"...is frightening, sometimes funny evocation of the assembly line"-Ovation Record Review
"Balada, a composer whose approach to the post-serial and aleatoric innovations of the 1960s is entirely his own.. This self-consciously theatrical score is full of Balada’s stylistic fingerprints."-Fanfare
"It is an extremely well-wrought and colorful work"-Stereo-Review
"It is a very successful effort "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"This was an original, bold work"-The Pittsburgh Press.
SARDANA (1979)(15’)[A colorful free version of the Catalan national dance.] Comm. by J.Cendros, prem. Pittsburgh Symphony. M.Lankester cond. (3-3-3-2;4-3-3-1;4 perc; pno; hrp; strgs) (CD Naxos Records, Orq. Sim. Barcelona, M. Aeschbacher, cond.) (Publ. G. Schirmer.)
[Select.perf.other orch.: BBC-Manchester Phil.,Dallas Sym.,Hartford Sym.,Barcelona Sym.]
"Sardana presented 17 minutes of unfailingly fascinating music...given half a chance, audiences may well come to love this vibrant and colorful score."-Star Telegram-Ft. Worth TX; "Balada’s piece imparts the flavor of dance and revelry as successfully as any 20th century piece one can think of. It should be recorded immediately."-Hartford Courant;"It is as sunny, colorful and irresistible as a Spanish fiesta...’Sardana’ should brighten orchestral programs the world over." Pittsburgh Press;“…so well crafted, so brilliantly orchestrated, that you’re apt to play it again and again. ” R. Cummings, Classical Net.
DIVERTIMENTOS (1991) (15’) (string orch.)[An unusual abstract work for string orchestra, in which a variety of techniques are used.] Comm. CDMC, Madrid, prem. Royal College of Music String Enble.of London.(CD rec. Albany Records, CMU Contemp. Ensble., Eduardo Alonso-Crespo cond.; CD Naxos Records, Real Orq. Sinf. de Sevilla, E. Alonso-Cespo cond.) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
"A very beautiful score"-La Vanguardia-Barcelona.;"...is simply a marvelous piece."-Fanfare.
ZAPATA:IMAGES FOR ORCHESTRA (1987) (19’)[A colorful four movement work using Mexican folk melodies, including ‘la cucaracha’, ‘Adelita’, and ‘Jarabe tapatio’. A suite from the opera ’Zapata’.] Comm. & prem. National Orchestra Spain, Walter Weller cond. (CD rec. Albany Records, Orq. de Valencia, M. Galduf cond.; CD Naxos Records, Barcelona Sym Orch, S. Mas cond.) (2-2-2-2;3-3-3-1;perc; hrp; strgs) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
(Select. perf.other orch.: Cincinnati Sym., Pittsburgh Sym.,National Orch.Wash.D.C.-selection-,National Orch. of Ireland, Orq. deValencia, Tucuman Sym. Symph, Orch. Sao Paulo; Youth Symph, Orch . Com. Madrid]
"Exceedingly resourceful display of composition..."-The Cincinnati Post; "...The new work is a delightful discovery, an example of inventive orchestration, tunefulness and directness."-The Cincinnati Enquirer; "A colorfully-scored scenes of balletic numbers that come across in the present rendition with an infectious immediacy."-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette;"A colorful work very well written.If the National Orchestra had any good sense would include it in their repertory and would take it on tour."-Diario 16-Madrid
COLUMBUS: IMAGES FOR ORCHESTRA(1991) ( 20’)[A colorful four movement work using Spanish folk ideas-in the three first movements- as well as Indian-American ideas in the fourth one. A suite from the opera ’C. Columbus’.] prem. Spanish RTV Orchestra.Madrid S.Comissiona cond.;Amer.prem. Hartford Sym.[Select. perf.other orch.: Tucuman Sym., Malaga Philh.] (CD rec. Albany Records, Spanish RTV Orch., S. Comissiona cond.) (CD Naxos 8.573047 Malaga Phil. Edmon Colomer cond.)(2-2-2-2;3-3-3-1;perc;cemb;hrp;strgs) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
"...the substance is Spanish and the gestures very original....the modernism in Balada is not like any other composer of his time...The success was great."-El Pais-Madrid; "It’s a large, colorful, evocative work."-The Hartford Courant
FANTASIAS SONORAS (1987)(14’) [ An exploration of sound, with virtuosity writing for the orchestra.] Comm. by Benedum Center Performing Arts, prem. Pittsburgh Symphony.S.Ehrling cond. (3-2-2-2; 4-3-3-1;perc; pno; hrp; strgs) (CD Naxos Records, Barcelona Sym. Orch., M. Aeschbacher, cond.) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
[Select. perf.other orch.: Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, Barcelona Sym. Bangor Sym. Orch.]
"(Balada) used his heightened sense of instrumental color to create a vigorous, coherent piece...this music was alive with color and explorations in sound."-The Philadelphia Inquirer;"The short piece was full of life, energy and the stamp of first-class craftsmanship was on it."-The Pittsburgh Press;"...full of original orchestral ideas...one could see in the work the personal touch characteristic in Balada’s music." -La Vanguardia-Barcelona;"Commissioning a new work (‘Fantasias Sonoras’) from Balada for the formal opening of the Benedum Center was one of the best moves made by the new house."-Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette;“…an absolute delight.” R. Cummings, Classical Net.
REFLEJOS (Music for String Orchestra and Flute no soloist, in two movements (I. Penas, II. Alegrías) (1987) (17’) Prem.- string quintet version - by Atlanta Virtuosi. (CD rec. on Albany Records by Cuart. Latinoamericano, A. Almarza, Fl., A. Bianco, Cb.) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
ALEGRIAS (1987) (7’)[A virtuoso movement, baroque in its elaborate writing, with humor and intensity.] -string orch. and flute no soloist- Comm. NEA Washington D.C., prem. Brooklyn Phil. Lukas Foss cond. (CD string quintet version Albany Records, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, A. Almarza, Fl., A. Bianco, Cb.) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
[Select. other orch.: French National Youth Orch, Orquesta de Córdoba, Spain, Orquesta de Cámara Ibérica]
CELEBRATION (1992) (13’)[ Archaic meditation, followed by modern brilliancy.] Comm. B.Bilbao-Vizcaya-Barcelona, prem. Prague Symphony Orchestra. Jiri Belohlavek cond.(2-2-2-2;4-3-3-1; perc; cemb; hrp; strgs) (CD Naxos Records, Barcelona Sym. Orch., Colman Pearce cond.) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
[Select. perf. other orch: Nacional Sym Orch. of Ireland.]
"A work in which Balada is faithful to himself, with very interesting contrasts between brilliant celebration and serene meditation."-El Pais-Barcelona
“an arresting fantasia based on tradicional Catalan melodies”-David Hurwitz-Classics Today.com
SYMPHONY n. 4 "Lausanne"(1992) (18’ )[A work blending Swiss folk ideas with ‘avant-garde’ techniques.] Comm. & prem. Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. (2-2-2-2; 2-2-0-0; timp; pno; strgs) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music) (CD Albany Records-Troy, Lausanne Chamber Orch. J.López-Cobos cond.; CD Naxos Records, Barcelona Sym Orch, S. Mas cond.)
[Select.perf.other orch.:Cincinnati Chamber Orch,Granada City Orch, Barcelona Sym,National Orch Spain]
"Brilliant and colorful...a musician who utilizes with consummate skill a good many procedures belonging to the most up-to-date language."-Journal de Geneva & Gazette de Lausanne;"The work won over the public and garnered a definite success."- 24Heures-Lausanne;"It is a work very well constructed, rich in its instrumental color and with a rhythmic drive that subjugates." El Pais-Madrid;"The work, unquestionably surprises, it is inviting, and produces a strange but healthy impact in the mood of the listener."-La Vanguardia-Barcelona
SHADOWS (1995) (7’)[A short work of light and darkness in which a Catalan popular melody is dissected.] Comm.& prem. Cincinnati Symph.Orch.J.Lopez-Cobos cond. (2-2-2-2;4-3-3-1;perc; hrp;strgs) (CD Naxos Records - see "Folk Dreams") (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
"A well-crafted play on light and dark...the crowd gave it a stamp of approval."-The Cincinnati Enquirer;"...wield the instrumental paintbrush splendidly."-The Cincinnati Post
LINE AND THUNDER (1996) (6’)) [Short fantasy on a Latvian folk melody, where the simplicity of the beginning turns into a ferocious orchestral statement.] Comm. & prem. Pittsburgh Symph. Orch., Mariss Jansons cond.(2-2-2-2;4-3-3-1; perc., pno., hrp.;strgs.) (CD Naxos Records - see "Folk Dreams") (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
“ …striking.” Paul Cook, Classics Today.
ECHOES (1998 ) (6') (A brilliant orchestral work in which several Irish melodies are freely presented. It is essencially an Irish jige.). Prem. National Orchestra of Ireland cond. by Colman Pearce.(1+Picc-2+Eng Hrn-2-2;4-3-3-1;perc.,pno.,hrp.,strgs.) (CD Naxos Records - see "Folk Dreams") (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)Ireland cond. by Colman Pearce. (1+Picc-2+Eng Hrn-2-2;4-3-3-1;perc.,pno.,hrp.,strgs.) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
“Echoes has a chance of entering the standard repertory…colorful and well crafted…its familiar Irish melodies are imaginatively handled.” R. Cummings, Classical Net.
FOLK DREAMS (1998) (19') (A suite of 3 movements based on folk melodies from Latvia-"Line and Thunder"-from Catalonia-"Shadows"-and from Ireland-"Echoes") Prem. National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland cond. by Colman Pearce. (2-2-2-2;4-3-3-1; perc., pno., hrp.;strgs.) (CD Naxos Records, Barcelona Sym. Orch., M. Aeschbacher, cond.) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
"...conjures up drifting clouds of intertwined lines, as if recollecting from hazy memory shapes that never quite resolve themselves in recall...the technique proved as effective as ever."- Irish Times, Dublin
PASSACAGLIA (2000)(10') (A work that starts in a solemn, baroque character transforms itself into a popular "pasacalle"). Comm. by the Cadaques Orch.- International Conductor's Competition. Prem. Cadaqués Orch.; Neville Marriner cond. Amer. Prem. by Duquesne Sym. Orch., Sidney Harth cond. (2-2-2-2; 2-2-0-0; 1perc.; strgs) (CD Naxos Records, Barcelona Sym Orch, C. Pearce cond.) (Publ.: Tritó S.L. - Barcelona) (2-2-2-2;2-2-0-0;perc.(1); strgs.)
[Select. perform other orch. Cuzco Symph. Orch (Peru)]
SYMPHONY n. 5-“American” (2003) (23’) [In three movements: I-“9/11 In Memoriam, II-“Reflection”, III-”Square Dance”. This symphony evolves from a dramatic-abstract first movement to a meditative Negro-spiritual inspired second and concludes with an uplifting square-dance.] Comm. and prem. Pittsburgh Sym. Orch. Hans Graf cond. (3-3-3-3;4-3-3-1; perc., pno., hrp.; strgs) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)(CD Naxos Records, Real Orq. Sinf. de Sevilla, Eduardo Alonso-Crespo cond.)
”…an impressive score.” David’s Review Corner-Web.
“Fifth Symphony follows a convincing emotional progression…He has written a fine symphony, and that’s all that need to be said.”- Classics Today
PRAGUE SINFONIETTA (2003) (10’) [A Mozart symphony transforms itself into a “sardana”, a Catalan folk dance. A surrealist trip.] Comm. and prem. Torroella Intern. Festival by the Czech Sinfonietta, Charles McMunroe cond. (2-2-2-1; 2-2-0-0; Timp.; strgs.) (CD Naxos Records, Real Orq. Sinf. de Sevilla, Eduardo Alonso-Crespo cond.) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
[select. perf. other orch: Czech Philharmonic, Arequipa Symph. Orch (Peru)]
"It’s an especially colourful work, strong naturally on rhythmic zest and powered by some spiky and pleasurable wind textures.”- Classical CD Reviews.Symphony No. 6 - Symphony of Sorrows (dedicated to the innocent victims of the Spanish Civil War) (2005) (18’) [A symphony that depicts the physical and psychological drama of a tragedy. The use as motifs of two hymns, symbols of the two fighting sides, “Cara al Sol” and “El Himno de Riego” adds identity and drama to the work.) Commissioned by the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra & National of Catalonia (Prem. Feb. 2006 by the Barcelona Sym. Orch. Salvador Mas-Conde cond.) (2-3-2-2; 4-3-3-1; Timp; Perc.(4); Pno.; Hrp; Strgs) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music) [Select. Perf. Other orch.: Galicia Sym. Orch.; Pittsburgh Sym.Orch.(Americ.prem.); Youth Orch Com. Madrid.] (CD Naxos 8. 8.573298, Galician Symph.orh., Lopez-Cobos cond.)
“ …the work proceeds at an imposing rhythm of a march…The two melodies oppose each other, they fight with violent contrasts and rich textures…The work left us astonished.” : El Pais, Spain;
“…the music does not have a feeling of sadness but it is like a commemoration as it would be with a monument; it does not go inwards but creates an impact through volume and sonorities.”: La Vanguardia, Spain.
“…The 20-minute, one movement symphony is imaginatively conceived, especially since marches play a large role. Balada achieves a fantastic variety of colors in his march music and arranges the sequence of those differing feelings with compelling freshness. The music moves from foreboding to grim energy to brutality.” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC IN HARLEM (2006) (12’) [A “serenade” by Mozart is transformed with some jazz connotations, a surrealistic fantasy.] comm.& prem. Hungarian Chamber Symphony Orchestra, Alberto Santana cond. For String Orch. (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
[ Select. perf. other orch.: Patras String Orch. (Greece), Duquesne Univ. Sym.Orch; Iberian Chamber Orch.) (CD Naxos 8.572625, Iberian Chamber Orch., J.L. Temes cond.]
MÚSICA TRANQUILA (1959) (5’) String orch. Prem. Santiago Compostela 1960. (General Music-Schirmer)
REFLEJOS - version Strg. Orch. & Fl.(no soloist) (1988) (17’). Prem. Leon, 2010, Iberian Chamber Orch., J.L. Temes cond.(CD Naxos Rec. 8.572625) (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
MEMORIES NO. 1 - BARCELONA 1938 (2012) (7’)- (impressions of the composer as a child during the Spanish Civil War). Prem. Carnegie Mellon Phil. (Beteca Music, distributed by Subito Music)
MEMORIES NO. 2 - NEW YORK 1956 (2014) (8’) (2-2-2-2; 3-2-2; timp., perc., pno., strings)