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Quintet núm. 1

Title: Quintet n. 1

Composer: Victor Vallés

Instrumentation: Brass Quintet

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Quintet # 1 is a piece that presents four main influences: Webern’s concept of unification, fractality in music, electro-acoustics and the introduction of figures in music.

Anton Webern’s works, such as Symphonie op.21, Koncert op.24, Variationen for piano op.27 and Streichquartett op.28, are built upon a single series. But, in addition, this series is formed by 3 or 4 cells which are the result of  a single series transformed 3 or 4 times.  In this way, 2 or 3 intervals unify the entire piece (in this Quintet # 1 something similar happens), but the idea of transformation and/or mutation appears in a different way. A fractal is a geometric form which is characterized by the repetition of a particular pattern with slight and constant variations. In other words, it is a whole which is formed by smaller parts which have a similar geometric form as the whole. These parts are also formed by smaller cells which again have a similar geometric form to the whole, and so on…

To achieve these “fractal” transformations, a pure electro-acoustic technique of stretching is applied, in this case, to the instrumental music. The main cell expands (not uniformly) in intervals, and when it cannot be stretched any more, the intermediate frequencies appear which create a new interval. This horizontal vision, which also happens in the vertical plane, gives more unity to the piece.

The result is quite attractive to the ear as it is a very dynamic piece with a lot of contrast in the different musical parameters: texture (choral passages contrasting with counterpoint), sudden dynamic changes, tension contrasting with relaxation…

Finally, the influence of the figures in music is important, and particularly a figure studied in the composition Gaudí*um by the composer Enrique Sanz-Burgeute in his research paper: the hyperbolic parabola (used by Gaudí in his buildings).