BALADA, L.: Symphony No. 6 / Concerto for 3 Cellos and Orchestra / Steel Symphony (López–Cobos, Jensen)
The ‘romantic avant–gardism’ of Barcelona–born Leonardo Balada pairs complex techniques with a very direct emotional impact. These characteristics have often been employed in exploring the impact of historical events, none more so than the wars of the 20th century. Symphony No. 6 ‘Symphony of Sorrows’ (Dedicated to the Innocent Victims of the Spanish Civil War) embeds traditional melodic ideas in a coruscating single–movement exploration of the tragedies of war. The Steel Symphony reflects the sonorities–in an abstract, non–programmatic way–of Pittsburgh’s steel foundries, while the Concerto for Three Cellos, inspired by Germany’s recovery after two catastrophic world wars, combines complex techniques in a vivid work of almost surrealistic transformations.