Edition revised by
Year of composition
… Among the symphonic music produced by Bernat Calbó Puig i Capdevila (Vic 1819 – Barcelona 1880), a composer, chapel master and organist born in Vic, we must highlight this Symphony Homage to Beethoven, written during the summer of 1877, and which remained unpublished until May 2012, when it was played for the first time at the Auditori de Barcelona as part of my final concert in orchestra conducting. I focused my final thesis on making an edition of the score so that it could be played from the unpublished manuscripts preserved in the archive of the Capuchin friars in their convent in Sarrià, in Barcelona.
It had been a while – when I was taking the musical heritage classes in the musicology degree – that this work had fallen into my hands, and it had been a while since professor Josep Maria Gregori insisted that I research that score, as it was attractive, already either by the name and for whom the tribute was dedicated, as by its dimensions and structures. Four different manuscripts of the symphony are preserved in the Capuchins archive, three of which are original manuscripts by Bernat Calbó Puig, and a fourth, a copy made by a copyist. In none of the four manuscripts was the year of composition stated, nor were the particellas found.
But why Beethoven? And why four different manuscripts of the same work and one of them by an unknown hand? The work was not dated and neither were the particellas… it all became a bit mysterious.
During 2008, I investigated the mystery surrounding the genesis of this work and I formulated different hypotheses that are recorded in my master’s thesis. But it wasn’t until four years later, in 2012, that I was able to unravel the mysteries surrounding the Sinfonia á 4 partes – Homenage a Beethoven.
Jordi Piccorelli i López