Monday 10 June, 2024

The Basque National Orchestra to surround itself with great Basque artists in a new Gabriel Erkoreka album

The Basque National Orchestra to surround itself with great Basque artists in a new Gabriel Erkoreka album

Juanjo Mena, Asier Polo, Alfonso Gómez and Carlos Mena are on the lineup of artists who, along with the Basque National Orchestra, have recorded three pieces made by Bilbao born composer Gabriel Erkoreka. 

Prestigious Finnish producer Ondine has been in charge of the worldwide release of the album, already available in CD format and on numerous digital platforms.

 Download press kit 


The Basque National Orchestra keeps increasing its already extensive archive of recordings, already containing over 80 albums, mostly paying tribute to Basque music. This time around it does so with a monographic record of Bilbao born composer Gabriel Erkoreka, which has been out for a few days now, since June 7, and has been produced with the help of the record company Ondine.

EkaitzaPiscis and Tres sonetos para Michelangelo are three recent pieces of Gabriel Erkoreka´s composition catalogue, and they now come together in this album. All three works were created by Erkoreka for the aforementioned three soloists –Asier Polo, Alfonso Gómez and Carlos Mena–, were premiered by them and registered under their interpretation in August 2023 in Miramon. In the words of Erkoreka, “these three pieces are very relevant within my composition catalogue, very significant in that they contain a lot of information and means which provide different perspectives”.



Good friends, great artists 


Asier Polo has led the cello concert by the name of EkaitzaAlfonso Gómez has done so with the piano concert Piscis and Carlos Mena has been in charge of Tres sonetos para Michelangelo . All three have shown enormous responsibility during the recording, aware that this is the first reference point for all three pieces.

The musical direction of this project has been in coordination with Juanjo Mena, who knows all those artists and Erkoreka´s work itself very well indeed. Here is what the composer has to say about this new project: “The interpreters are all guaranteed to perform, we have worked hard, they are marvellous and have been guided by Juanjo Mena, who knows my music well and has premiered various pieces of mine. A lot of emotion is condensed in this project”.

The soloists have had their say too on the importance of this recording. As cello player Asier Polo puts it, “Gabriel works from emotion, demands colour, emotion and involvement, and I think that makes him stand out above other composers”. In the words of Alfonso Gómez, “it is as if 50 people were speaking at once in this piece; as if every one of them tells you something different but interesting at the same time”. Carlos Mena says, in regards to the record, that it is “like joining together the roots of various artists from here, the master and the orchestra, and then projecting that to the world”. And the master himself, Juanjo Mena, thinks that “we stand before a high level recording”.




Musical heritage 


This project has great relevance in musical terms, and it projects in an integral way the essence and mission of the Basque National Orchestra in regards to pushing for cultural dissemination in Euskadi, to project musical values outwards, to serve as a stimulus and platform for Basque interpreters and composers alike and to build a collection of our musical production through the use of recordings. The Provincial Councils of Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa have supported this recording, which reflects the rich musical heritage this country has.



International producer Ondine 


This is the fourth recording the Basque National Orchestra has done under Finnish producer Ondine, within the Naxos group. In the last three years, both orchestra and producer have published two CDs dedicated to Maurice Ravel, and another one on lesser known American composers (Americascapes), all under the leadership of Robert Treviño. Ondine owns a significant worldwide distribution network, which has helped position the Basque National Orchestra in an international reference market and has also helped with gathering reviews on the most prestigious specialised media (Gramophone, France Musique, BBC Music Magazine, Diapason, The New Yorker…).

That partnership will soon bring with it further novelty. A second volume of the Americascapes collection has already been recorded guided by Treviño´s baton. It was registered in autumn last year and will hit the shelves in a few months’ time. Another discographic novelty is coming under Richard Strauss´ name, a German author the Basque National Orchestra had not had amongst its ranks up until now. And it will do so with two great and recognisable scores in Macbeth, symphonic poem and Domestic symphony.  The new recording is set to come out in the month of September.



More information about the pieces


The leaflet on the CD comes with a lot of information about the recording, piece by piece. The notes carry the signature of Joan Gómez Alemany.

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