The words of Francesc Cassú about Llull
Francesc Cassú, Artistic Director of Simfònica de Cobla i Corda de Catalunya.
I am proud of each and every one of the SCCC’s projects since its creation. The stylistic variety, the diversity of repertoires and the contributions of the different soloists have given the various projects their own unique personalities, an added attraction and interest that provides each one with its own identity, solid yet independent from one another. In short, they are all innovative.
However, the Llull project in particular has completely absorbed me. It is the first time that, in addition to directing the recording, I am also the composer. This means that, obviously, the degree of connection and emotion is even more profound.
Llull began as a commission from the Lagares family. I will always be grateful to them for having entrusted me with such an important project — a challenge I accepted enthusiastically and fearlessly (despite having no previous experience of composing operas). When Jaume Cabré agreed to write the libretto, it was a huge boost to the project.
And that is how I found myself delving into the story of Ramon Llull. For almost a year I shared the final years of his life, working with the determination and gentleness of Magdalena, the despotic Eimeric, the magnificent Molay and all the characters who form the cast of this opera. And now, finally, it will be seen on stage, its melodies heard and the poetic prose of Cabré flowing.
I have no doubt that this is one of the most honest works that I have ever written. I wanted it to be clear, austere, stripped down, placing the melody at the forefront. Without false modernity. Without fear of being branded ‘melodic’. And above all, sincere. Sincere with myself and with future audiences in the hope that when they listen to it they will be as moved as I was during the composition process.
I would like to thank everyone who was involved in this project. Narcís and Josep Lagares, for believing in it; Jaume Lleixà, for smoothing the path; Eulàlia Tomàs and everyone at Fundació Metalquimia, for making it happen; the musicians, who put all their talent into the recording; the splendid group of singers, who immersed themselves in their roles in the most incredible way; the Polifònica de Puig-reig, brilliant and wholeheartedly involved as always; Xavier Albertí, for putting the magic into the set design; Toni París, for the many hours spent together in his studio. And, above all, my thanks to Roger Padullés in the role of Llull. I think that, even though I did not know him then, I created this role for him and his magnificent voice.