« Forma Antiqva » continues from Asturias, under the baton of Aaron Zapico, his crusade to rescue jewels of the Spanish musical heritage. His new album is « Baset symphonies, Madrid 1753 ». The set of brothers Paul (baroque guitar), Daniel (theorbo) and Aaron Zapico (conducting) shows the richness and exuberance of eighteenth-century Spanish orchestral music from Vicente Baset, composer and violinist of the orchestra of the Coliseo del Buen Retiro in Madrid. And it is a world first recording.
Aarón Zapico gives us a background: « Vicente Baset was a boy from Alboraya, Valencia, who one day decided to leave the comfort of home to head to Madrid and earn a living with his violin. He became a renowned violinist and was part one of the most important saraos in the capital. Baset came to my hands through another great musician of the 18th century, Blas de Laserna, and from the first moment I was surprised by the daring of his writing. It seemed a bit ‘here I am and you’re going to like what I do. ‘This determination won me over from the start. »
Baset survived an assassination attempt, at that time « it was lived with intensity and the insults were paid dearly. The sword or the pistol were hot and very close at hand and with the honor of one’s own or of others it was not played. The history of music it is riddled with examples of duels, premature deaths, provocations and composers who were not as innocent as Romanticism idealized them for us. They were passionate human beings, after all. »
Baset lives up to a Vivaldi or a Telemann, « Although it is always difficult to establish this type of distant comparisons in times, styles or origins. I don’t even know if it is very productive that we walk perennially comparing ourselves with what was done outside, really. We should start thinking a little bigger and sure of our possibilities as an undoubted musical power of the first order « .
Zapico is moved, upon entering Baset’s music, « with the speed he has to draw one or another affection, especially. He goes from melancholy to the most exuberant joy in a couple of notes. The affections are very well outlined and the language he uses, very idiomatic for the instruments, allows the composer’s intentions to be played clearly and interpreted in a very direct way. There are slow movements where he achieves pain that is sublime « .
Spain still has many musical complexes to overcome « but not only the public or the programmers. We, the Spanish musicians, must trust more and better in our possibilities. The panorama that surrounds us, confirms this: we have orchestras, soloists, teachers and composers of an exceptional level. Let’s go for it. And let’s begin to change the concept in which we encase our culture: that it stops being an event to become an entire industry that creates jobs, is exportable and gives prestige to the Spain Brand « .
He likes to talk about honesty in these types of recordings: « What does it imply? Well, the greatest possible preparation when approaching this repertoire. Not only in personal study, but also in prior preparation, in knowledge of the context and in delivery on stage or in the recording room. You have to end up exhausted on all levels after a creative act. If not, something has gone wrong or less well! »
The members of the relevant orchestras used to also be composers in the 18th century, and this causes that « what they write is perfectly translatable on the instrument. Over the years, this practice or tradition of composer and interpreter in the same person has become it has been losing and has caused, in numerous cases, that the intellectual ideas of the creator are more complicated to transfer to the instrument « .
The confinement made clear the importance of art in daily life, but, he regrets, « I don’t know if it has gone from being a mere anecdotal balm for the vast majority, I’m afraid. Culture is not present in dialogue, from day to day. day, of our politicians and it shows a lot. What a great example it would be to read tweets from our leaders where they explain that they have attended this or that play, have read the last book by that writer or are moved by Juanjo Mena and the Berlin Philharmonic. It would be a very valuable and exemplary work. «