New Album by Oboist Iria Folgado: Echoes of Breogán.

In the world of the oboe, each release of a new album is an exciting experience for the entire oboe community. Recently, I had the privilege of immersing myself in the latest work of the great oboist Iria Folgado, English horn soloist in the Konzerthausorchester Berlin. This album, titled “Ecos de Breogán,” marks Iria’s debut recording. In this article, we provide the link to the video podcast of the interview (in Spanish). Additionally, below, we offer a summary of the topics we discussed in this conversation with Iria and the link to listen to her album. We hope you enjoy it!

 

 

Summary of the interview points. 

Exploring “Ecos de Breogán”: Background, Production, and Listening Experience.

The sound of an album is as vital as the music it contains. In our latest conversation, we broke down how a captivating sonic environment was achieved in “Ecos de Breogán.” From the quality of production to conveying the atmosphere and concept through music and sound textures, each element plays a crucial role in the listening experience.

 

The Concept Behind the Music.

Each musical piece has its own narrative, and “Ecos de Breogán” is no exception. This album is infused with a rich cultural background inspired by the legend of the Celtic king Breogán and his epic journey across the Atlantic. From Galicia to Ireland, the music of this album seeks to represent the shared Celtic culture through its melodies and harmonies.

 

From Idea to Realization.

How was the idea of “Ecos de Breogán” born and how was it materialized? This section takes us behind the scenes, from the conception of the project at a festival to the search for funding and musicians to carry it out. We will discover how the project evolved over two years to become the impressive album we know today.

 

The Repertoire: A Careful Selection.

The repertoire selection is crucial for the success of any album, and in “Ecos de Breogán,” Iria Folgado has made a careful selection of works that reflect the rich Celtic and English cultural heritage. From Britten to Vaughan Williams, each represented composer brings a unique dimension to the album. We will explore in detail each of the chosen works and their profound cultural influences.

Ecos de Breogán Iria Folgado oboe

Album Ecos de Breogán

 

Recording: Challenges and Achievements.

Recording an album is a monumental challenge, especially when it comes to classical music. Here, we will learn about the challenges faced during the intensive week-long recording process. From meticulous preparation to the physical challenges of playing for consecutive days, this journey offers a fascinating insight into the world behind the music.

 

Favorite Moment: A Sonic Gem.

Every album has a standout moment, and in “Ecos de Breogán,” that moment is the excerpt from Vaughan Williams’ Studio No. 2. In this section, we will explore why this specific excerpt was chosen as a favorite, highlighting its sonic balance and unique beauty that resonates in the hearts of listeners.

 

Conclusion: Immersing Ourselves in Iria Folgado’s Music.

“Ecos de Breogán” is not just an album; it is a listening experience that transports us through time and space, exploring the rich history and culture of Celtic music. From its initial inspiration to its masterful execution, every aspect of this work reflects the talent and dedication of Iria Folgado and her team. By exploring this album, we immerse ourselves in a wealth of sounds and emotions that will endure long after the music has ceased.

 

Iria Folgado oboe

Iria Folgado, oboe and English horn.

 

Listen to Ecos de Breogán Here.

Buy the physical disk.

http://www.poliedrica.es/2023/12/iria-folgado-ecos-de-breogan.html

 

Repertoire of the album.

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)

01 Phantasy Quartet, Op.2 (1932)

Elizabeth Maconchy (1907-1994)

Quintet for Oboe and Strings (1932)

02 I. Moderato

03 II. Poco sostenuto

04 III. Allegro non troppo

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) 

Six Studies in English Folksong (1926)

05 I. Adagio ‘Lovely on the Water’

06 II. Andante ‘Spurn Point

07 III. Larghetto ‘Van Diemen’s Land’

08 IV. Lento ‘She Borrowed Some of Her Mother´s Gold’

09 V. Andante ‘The Lady and the Dragoon’

10 VI. Allegro ‘As I Walked over London Bridge’

Arnold Bax (1883-1953)

Quintet for Oboe and Strings (1922)

11 I. Tempo molto moderato

12 II. Lento espressivo

13 III. Allegro giocoso

Fernando Buide del Real (n.1980)

14 Adagio for English horn (2003-2004)

 

PERFORMERS

Iria Folgado, oboe and English horn

Raquel Areal, violin · Sara Areal, violin · Héctor Cámara, viola · Iago Domínguez, cello

 

Historical and conceptual context of the album.

In the early thirties, the oboe experienced significant promotion in its recognition as a solo instrument within the framework of two chamber music composition competitions: if the first had been driven by the industrialist and music lover Walter Willson Cobbett, from which Benjamin Britten emerged victorious with his Phantasy Quartet Op.2 for oboe, violin, viola, and cello; the second was convened by The Daily Telegraph and chose among its awarded scores Elizabeth Maconchy’s Quintet for Oboe and Strings. Both works were premiered immediately by Léon Goossens and Helen Gaskell respectively. One of the challenges of this generation was breaking away from the aesthetics imposed from Western Europe and the pursuit of a unique musical identity, an endeavor that led Ralph Vaughan Williams to compile English folklore by recording and transcribing it in the British countryside. From these investigations, the Six Studies in English Folksong were born, originally composed for cello and piano, later arranged for English horn and string quartet by Robert Stanton.

According to the legendary Irish traditions, Breogán was a Celtic king from Galicia who built a tall tower in Brigantia, the current city of A Coruña. From the top of this tower, his son Íth caught sight of the British Isles and set sail to reach a new land. Celtic customs and Irish culture captivated the composer Arnold Bax, a lover of the poetry of William Butler Yeats, influences that were evident in his Quintet for Oboe and Strings through the solemn initial melodies along with the festive character of the Irish jig that forms the third movement of the work. This sonic journey concludes with Galician composer Fernando Buide del Real, an active composer in the international contemporary scene. In 2021, based on one of his previous four-movement string quartets, Buide del Real arranged the Adagio for English horn for Iria Folgado’s performance at the Música no Claustro festival in the Cathedral of Tui.

In Ecos de Breogán, Iria Folgado leads a chamber formation composed of violinists Raquel Areal and Sara Areal, along with Héctor Cámara on viola and Iago Domínguez on cello.

 

 

Biography of Iria Folgado.

Galician oboist Iria Folgado was born in San Sadurniño (A Coruña) in 1996 and is currently the English horn soloist at the Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin, under the artistic direction of Joana Mallwitz. With the orchestra, she has performed prominent solo passages such as Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto and Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.

Her musical education began at the “Xan Viaño” Professional Music Conservatory in Ferrol, and she pursued specialized instrumental courses with Christina Dominik at the Escola de Altos Estudos in Santiago de Compostela. In 2014, she moved to Germany with the support of the Deputación de A Coruña to pursue her higher studies with Dominik Wollenweber at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler,” complemented by scholarships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Musical Excellence Consortium for the Promotion of Music from A Coruña. Her meticulous pursuit of technical and musical perfection is the driving force behind her continued association with this music school, where she is currently pursuing her Konzertexam with Professor Viola Wilmsen.

From 2019 to 2021, she was an academy member at the prestigious Berliner Philharmoniker’s “Karajan Akademie,” which provided her with significant orchestral experiences under the baton of conductors such as Simon Rattle, Kirill Petrenko, Iván Fischer, Andris Nelsons, and Daniel Harding. These experiences include international tours with the Konzerthaus Orchester in Japan, recent collaborations in Mumbai with the Symphony Orchestra India under the direction of Zubin Metha, and performances in various Swiss cities with the European Philharmonic of Europe conducted by Charles Dutoit and solo pianist Martha Argerich.

Parallel to her outstanding international career, Iria Folgado remains firmly committed to her homeland, collaborating with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, with whom she participated in a tour in Abu Dhabi in 2016, as well as the Orquesta 430 and the Orquesta de Cámara Gallega, with whom she has performed as a soloist. She performed at the first edition of the International Classical Music Festival of Vilagarcía de Arousa “clasclás” and from 2021 to 2023, she is an artist-in-residence at the Música no Claustro festival, an experience that led to the recording of the album Ecos de Breogán (Poliédrica 2023) with the support of the INJUVE Creation Grants 2022-2023. Additionally, she received the recent recognition of the Xunta de Galicia with the Talent Award Galicia 2023, in the category of culture and creation, from the Department of Social Policy and Youth.

 

 

In conclusion, we want to thank Iria Folgado once again for this wonderful conversation about her album. If you would like to see more interviews with her, we leave a conversation we had in 2020 here.

Greetings and good reeds! 😉

See you at www.eg-reeds.com!

 

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