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Evocation of Caturla*

March 8, 2010 Leave a comment

From Wednesday March 3 to Sunday March 7, the Brothers Saiz Association held the XXIV meeting of the event, A Tempo con Caturla, which brought together young instrumentalists in cultural institutions in Villa Clara province, some 200 miles from Havana.

They participated in the gathering of soloists and chamber ensembles that evoked the great composer Alejandro Garcia Caturla (1906-1940), innovator of the island musical stave and founder of the Chamber Orchestra of Remedios (1927) and the Symphony Orchestra Caibarién (1932 ).

The Soloist Orchestra of Havana began the day at Teatro La Caridad de Santa Clara, on Wednesday, March 3 at 9:00pm, while the Quartet Chalumeau set up in the courtyard of the provincial art gallery. In addition, Metales Cuba, Maikel Quartet, the trio Trovarroco, Ruy López Nussa, the Coro de Clave from Sancti Spíritus, Carlos Mora, and municipal music bands like the Remedios, whose museum is named after García Caturla, also performed.

On Thursday, March 4, Elizabeth Hernandez, a musicologist, addressed the theoretical session. On Sunday morning La Banda De Remdios performed at the municipality of the same name, with Chalumeau and the Coro de Clave. At night, in farewell mode, there were open air concerts with other bands in Santa Clara.

Alejandro García Caturla, born in Remedios, where he began his musical studies with Fernando Estrems in 1914, was a pianist, violinist, an occasional singer and director of orchestras and choral groups both in the central region and in Havana. From 1924 he studied singing with the Italians Tina Farinelli and Arturo Bari, and fugue and counterpoint with the composer and Spanish director Pedro San Juan. He traveled to Paris, Barcelona and other cities in Europe and the United States, where he interacted with musicians and directors who spread his creative work.

Caturla was transcended by his huge choral and orchestral legacy. Among his better known compositions we have two Afro-Cuban poems and three Cuban dances, Lucumi Dance, Dance of the Drum and Bembé. Despite the strength and frenzy of his rhythms, Caturla was not a fashionable musician, if not an innovator outside private chapels, and music aesthetics.

The artistic day A Tempo con Caturla evokes his contributions to the national stave and the inclusion of some of his works in the repertoires of orchestras and choral groups of Cuba, America and Europe.

*Alejandro García Caturla (1906 – 1940), Cuban composer

Translated by: Karen vB