Driven by the idea of Narcís Lagares and Josep Lagares - Besalú residents enamoured of our music- and with the impulse and support ofMETALQUIMIA and the Auditorium of Girona, THE SIMFÒNICA DE COBLA I CORDA DE CATALUNYA (THE COBLA AND STRING SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OF CATALONIA) was created in 2008, a brand new ensemble that combines the experience of the string instruments of the Orquestra de Cambra de l'Empordà and that replaces the wind instruments of the traditional symphony orchestras -oboes, flutes, clarinets, bassoons-for the highly personal sound of the cobla orchestra thanks to the recognised mastery of La Principal de la Bisbal. To round off the colours and the rhythm, THE SIMFÒNICA DE COBLA I CORDA DE CATALUNYA also has a harp, a piano, a soloist guitar and the corresponding hand percussion section.
In its initial stage (2008-2011), THE SIMFÒNICA DE COBLA I CORDA DE CATALUNYA (THE COBLA AND STRING SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OF CATALONIA) was composed by La Principal de la Bisbal, the official cobla orchestra of the Generalitat of Catalonia and holder of the Saint Jordi Cross, and the Orquestra de Cambra de l’Empordà (Empordà Chamber Orchestra, strings section).
Expert musicians have orquestrated the SCCC repertory, which in this initial stage is dedicated to traditional and contemporary Catalan music. The fruits of this creative labour are masterfully collected in the orchestra's three CD recordings: Sardanes per al món (Sardanes for the world, 2008), Inoblidables en concert (Unforgettable in concert, 2009) and Amb Catalunya al cor (With Catalonia in our hearts, 2012). All 3 of these works were presented at the Auditori of Girona and were warmly welcomed by public and critics and was also selected by TV3 (Catalonia Television) to perform the New Year’s Concert in the years 2010 and 2011.
We see the birth of new works
We believe that the possibilities of a group such as this, which is unique in the world, are infinite and that, without a doubt, it will offer its grain of sand to Catalan musical culture. Therefore, we commissioned recognised Catalan musicians, as Albert Guinovart , Salvador Brotons, Carles Cases, Enric Palomar, Francesc Cassu and Monseñor Valenti Miserachs to compose new musical works. Hence, the Sirenes (Mermaids), Companyonia universal (Universal comradeship), Arquivoltes (Archivolts), Introducció i Bailete (Introduction and Balletto), Perfum mediterrani (Mediterranean perfume) and En els braços de la mare (In the arms of the mother,) as well as Catalanitat (Feeling Catalan), an impressive masterpiece of patriotism that has already been broadcast on the most important radios of our country, specially on very significant dates for the Catalan people.
The beginning of a new phase
After some months of reflection in order to adapt the orchestra to the current Catalan cultural scene, this year 2012 the SCCC returns reinvented with renewed and rejuvenated enthusiasm, uniting the cobla instrumentalists from La Principal de la Bisbal with the Jove Orquestra de Girona JOCG. The JOCG is an initiative of theOrquestra de Cadaqués whose goal is to contribute to the training of talented young musicians from the Girona region and act as a bridge toward their integration into the world of professional orchestras.
In this new phase that begins now, the SCCC takes a firm step toward internationalization and cultural consolidation of the project by offering a repertoire of global melodies, integrated by unforgettable soundtracks from the history of cinema. In addition, the format of the orchestra has increased considerably to include more than 70 musicians, under the artistic direction of Francesc Cassú, conductor of the Cobla orchestra La Principal de la Bisbal, and the technical direction of Jaume Lleixà, head of artistic coordination for the Orquestra of Cadaqués.
This second stage of THE COBLA AND STRING SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OF CATALONIA has been characterized by the internationalization of its repertoire. This includes the albums Llegendes del Cinema (Legends of Cinema) (2012), with the major twentieth-century movie soundtracks, Llegendes del Musical (Legends of Musical Theater) (2013), with some of the most emblematic pieces from Broadway musicals with arrangements by Francesc Cassú and Adrià Barbosa, without forgetting "Flor de nit", by the Catalan composer Albert Guinovart, and Llegendes del Pop&Rock (Legends of Pop&Rock)" (2014), a compilation of hits from pop and rock groups of the twentieth century, with the singers Beth and Manu Guix, and the incorporation of new instruments such as the electric guitar and electric bass.
In 2016 the SCCC presented its work Tossudament Llach, a compilation of the most emblematic songs by Lluís Llach performed by the singers Beth, Manu Guix, Elena Gadel and Roger Padullés, compiled in a double CD that was presented with great success in the Auditorium of Girona in the month of November. This CD was the winner of the Enderrock 2017 Award to the Best Classical Disc.
The last discographyc work of the SCCC, the "zarzuela" Cançó d'amor i de guerra of Rafael Martínez Valls, was presented at Girona Auditorium the 24th and 25th of November 2017. With this new CD, the SCCC has been awarded again with the Enderrock Award 2018.
From 2012 to 2017 the SCCC has had the collaboration of the singers Nina, Cris Juanico, Beth, Manu Guix and Elena Gadel, and the saxophonist Pep Poblet in their recordings and concerts. In 2015 the SCCC performed at the Gran Teatre del Liceu with the tenor Josep Carreras and the Polyphonic Choir of Puig-Reig; at the Palau de la Música Catalana interpreting the Llegendes del Cinema; and, on the occasion of the National Day of Catalonia on September 11, the SCCC gave the concert "Seguem arran" at the Born Cultural Center.
A Future full of hope
With this new format, the path THE COBLA AND STRING SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OF CATALONIA has ahead of it is very exciting and is an authentic challenge, both in adapting familiar pieces from the cobla's repertory, and in commissioning pieces to young Catalan creative talents, who will be able to avail themselves of a new tool, with encouragement and full of hope to be able to offer a high-quality alternative to the public that loves our music. We are looking at a historic event: the consolidation of a symphonic ensemble that is unique and therefore, incomparable.