#217– September 18, 2023
Americanism, by Spanish composer and conductor José Vicent Egea Insa is our Composition of the Week.
Americanism was written in 1997, and premiered some years later at the Teatro Gayarre, in Pamplona, Spain, on May 20, 2000, by the Banda de Música de Pamplona with José Vicent Egea conducting.
Americanism was the compulsory piece at the Alicante Regional band contest during that same year.
“Alluding to the title “Americanism” the work reflects the different musical influences received, especially during my stay in New York and specifically from the composers Charles Ives, Edgard Varèse, John Corigliano and David Noon.
The language used is expanded tonality with various incursions into pointillism, serialism, randomness, oriental music, and jazz style with a great use of the percussion section.
The work was runner-up in the 1997 Rodriguez Albert Composition Contest and is dedicated to my teacher and friend Enrique García Asensio.” (Program notes by J. Vicent Egea)
Americanism is scored for the typical Spanish large instrumentation, including flugelhorns, cellos and double basses, as well as 5 percussion parts.
It has a duration of around 15 minutes, and it is available at Ediciones Piles, Spain.
José Vicent Egea Insa studied trumpet, composition, choir, and orchestra conducting the Conservatorio Superior de Donostia, Spain. He obtained a Certificate of Advanced Studies in orchestral conducting from the Royal Academy of Music in London as well as in the Manhattan School of Music in New York.
He has also studied piano, violin, sociology of music and contemporary composition, jazz, electroacoustics, computer music and film music.
Since 1986 he has been the director of the Instrumental Group of the Pyrenees. In the period 1991-92 he was principal guest conductor of the Manhattan Contemporary Ensemble, followed by the position of assistant conductor of the National Orchestra of Spain and head of studies of the Escuela Superior de Música “Reina Sofía ” (1993-1994). In 1993 he created the instrumental group Finale (1993-2000).
As a guest conductor, he has collaborated with many organizations, such as the band of the Sociedad Ateneu Musical de Cocentaina (1995), the Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese of L’Aquila, the Savaria Chamber Orchestra of Hungary, the Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia of the Royal Academy of London, the Pablo Sarasate Orchestra of Pamplona, the JONDE, the Basque National Symphony Orchestra, the LIM Group (1993), the Sax-Ensemble (2003), the Orchestra of the Community of Madrid, the Real Filarmonía de Galicia, etc.
José Vicente Egea Insa has received several music awards for his works for band, orchestra, and choir, such as the Amand Blanquer Prize (Alcoy, 1991) for his march Picadilly Circus.
Other works for winds include:
• Fanfàrria per a una cerimònia (1985), for 8 wind instruments.
• Sinapsis (1986) for wind quintet
• Los jueces de los infiernos (1988) for wind quintet.
• Fantasia flamenca (1992) for brass quintet and wind band
• Funky Fancy (1992) for wind band
• Americanism (1997) for wind band
• Suite Céltica (1999) for wind band
• Timanfaya (2004) for wind band
• Poema Sanférmico (2016), transcribed for wind band by the composer.