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Lecture: Haydn, or the humor of an enlightened creator

Lecture by the composer Benet Casablancas

Activity framed in the
Biennal del Pensament Ciutat Oberta

Can classical music offer a space for humor? Can the creation of the masterpiece category be achieved without embracing it?

The composer Benet Casablancas argues that humor is the manifestation of intelligence and reveals, in music, a whole tradition of jokes, parody, irony and games where supposedly solemnity reigned. Mozart, Rossini, Schumann, Wagner, Shostakovich ... even Bach, Beethoven, Stravinsky and Ligeti played to be jugglers and predisposers, each with different languages ​​and resources. We will learn to detect mood in the great scores, with Haydn as a great master of witty humor: comic effects, sudden silences, accelerations to spur the audience, unexpected endings and a compositional legacy that, in part, already warns us "an accomplice and popular with the audience, such as the quartet The joke or the symphony The clock. Subtle transgression, ingenuous satire and selfless refinement. Its humanistic charge illuminates some of the deepest aspects of the human condition.


The composer Benet Casablancas is formed musically in Barcelona and in Vienna. He has a degree in Philosophy from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a PhD in Musicology from the same university, has received numerous awards for his works: Ciutat de Barcelona, ​​National Prize of the Generalitat of Catalonia, National Music Prize of the Ministry of Culture, National Prize of the Disc, Musician's Accord of New York, Composer's Arena of Amsterdam, JJ.MM. of Barcelona, ​​finalist of the Prix de Composition Prince Pierre de Monaco, Oscar Esplà, Ferràn Sors, ​​etc.). His intense compositional activity has recently crystallized with the celebrated The Art of Ensemble recorded with the London Sinfonietta and will soon be released at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, his first opera with Rafael Argullol's text: L'enigma di Lea. He also emphasizes his teaching and research activities, as well as his advice to different institutions and foundations and the publication of specialized articles and books L'humor en la música. Joke, parody and irony (Galaxia Gutemberg, 2014) and Architectures of Emotion (Galaxia Gutemberg, 2017).