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Foto Jaoquim Homs

Joaquim Homs, compositor

After a beginning of self-education, Homs studied Composition with Robert Gerhard for different time periods between years 1931 and 1938. Like many other composers of his generation, Homs was drawn, from the very comencement by the necessity of solving the problem provoked by the tonality crisis. Curiously enough, he reached a solution that brought him closer to Schoenberg's dodecaphonism, system which, after some weighing up in some of his first pieces, he finally adopted during the course of the fifties.

Somehow, in Homs' evolution, it is hard to identify great aesthetic changes, one could rather talk about a logical and coherent process in the adoption of new ideas as well as in the variance of position or earlier concept nuances. Thus, in his first compositions, this can be observed almost as constants in the conception of his works: the use of chromatic whole of the scale and the primacy of counterpointistic canons in the elaboration of his discourse, with which it becomes possible to state that the score's harmonic structure is being shaped by the polyphonic sense, meant as a free melody play, eventhought always controlled by the conciseness in the thematic developments.

Apart from the sporadic dodecaphonic system application in four pieces of the first phase, Duet de clarinets of 1931, Dos moviments per a quartet de corda of 1932, O vos omnes de 1933 and Quartet de corda núm 1 of 1938, Homs did not use this technique until 1954, when he composed Polifonia per a instruments d'arc. Nevertheless, this step does not constitute any radical change, it rather is a consequence of the necessity of freeing himself from the idea that "everything is permitted" and of finding in Schoenberg's principle, a discipline which, for its purely combinatory aspect, contributes to maintaining coherence in the explotation of new paths for his musical language. Finally, it rather is a matter of adjusting the "dodecatonic" system to his compositorial concepts.

Another change, also very fine and subtle, can be observed in the pieces he composed from 1967 to 1970, where the painful period of losing his wife Pietat Fomesa, his master and friend Robert Gerhard and Joan Prats, collaborator in the tasks of the Club 49, gave a nostalgic and dramatic tone to his music, hard to perceive in earlier productions. In like manner, the colouring received a touch of greater luminosity and the melodic line a greater contemplative accent.

Surely because of this continuous rememberance, in the pieces he wrote from 1982 onwards, one can observe that Homs undertook the synthesis of his compositorial path, since many elements of his first period blended with the ones of his personal evolution in the sphere of "dodecatonism". This is clearly shown by some titles of his latest pieces, Biofonia for orchestra (1982), Rhumbs for instrumental ensemble (1988), Memoràlia for orchestra (1990) or Derivations for orchestra (1990).

Obres / Works