#172– November 07, 2022
III. Fanfarria y coral
Entornos, by Spanish composer Amando Blanquer Ponsoda is our Composition of the Week.
Written in Valencia in 1997 and premiered in February of 2001, at the Teatro Principal de Alicante by the Banda Municipal de Alicante, with José Rafael Pascual Vilaplana conducting.
Entornos has a duration of 18 minutes, and it is scored for large symphonic band, including bass saxophone, two flugelhorn parts, cello, string bass as well as five percussion parts.
It is structured in three movements:
I.Allegro Grazioso – II. Lento – III. Fanfarria – Coral
“This is perhaps one of the fundamental scores in the evolution of Blanquer’s band writing. The title refers to environments: symphony of the mountains of Alcoy, some verses that the Alcoyano musicologist and poet Adrián Miró had written to accompany the illustrations of Luis Solbes in the book Alcoy: City and Landscape, the work is dedicated to the aforementioned poet and essayist Miró, who was also one of Blanquer’s closest friends as well as his biographer.
This score was commissioned by the Diputación de Alicante to be a required work in the Provincial Contest of Bands. It was also designated a compulsory work of the Valencia International Competition.” (Program Note by José Rafael Pascual Vilaplana)
Amando Blanquer Ponsoda began his career in music as a horn player in the “Banda Primitiva de Alcoy”. His musical talents attracted the attention of various private and institutional benefactors who helped him in his musical career.
He studied at the Conservatory of Valencia with Miguel Asíns Arbó and Manuel Palau. He continued in Paris, where he studied with Olivier Messiaen. Further studies took him to Rome, where he has worked with Goffredo Petrassi.
Besides composing, he devoted his career to teach, mainly at the Conservatory of Valencia, where he taught counterpoint, composition and conducting.
Blanquer’s fondness of the wind ensemble is evident in his work, as he left a significant number of compositions for both band and smaller sets of wind instruments. However, his work encompassed all kinds of genres having reached a wide audience in Spain as well as abroad.
Among the many awards he has received, the Distinction of the Valencian Generalitat for Cultural Merit, the Medal of Fine Arts and the National Music Prize, and the Unicef International Prize are the most prominent.
Other works for bands include:
- L’ambaixador (1958)
- Concierto para banda (1970 – 71)
- Gloses II (1989)
- Caleidoscopio (1995)
Read more (Spanish) on Blanquer’s music in this article by conductor José Rafael Pascual Vilaplana