“FAMARA” for Orchestra
“Erkoreka’s piece Famara, which proved to be as personal as other of his recent works, was premiered in London in 1998. The music is fresh, independent, and brilliantly scored; full of contrasts such as the extreme separation of the ‘voices’, achieved through rich instrumental distributions. Abundant in folk references and certain traditional elements, it remained both abstract and very expressive, and merited the warm applause of the audience.”
El País, 27/03/2001; Auditorio Nacional de Música, Madrid

“IZARO” for Chamber Ensemble
“Wie sich in Zeitlupentempo bewegende Farbtupfen wirkte Erkorekas Stück “Izaro“. Dabei zielte Erkoreka in seiner zwischen Statik und langsamer innerer Bewegung pendelnden Schreibweise weder auf banale äußere Wirkungen noch auf esoterisches Einlullen. Es gelang ihm vorzüglich in seiner sehr reflexiv wirkenden Musik eine Zeitlosigkeit zu vermitteln, die den Hörer bis in die Unendlichkeit hinein in Spannung halten könnte. So bekam der Hörer eine Ahnung von dem, was Ewigkeit sein könnte. Ein bewegendes Stück, das zudem ideal dem Festivalmotto gerecht wurde.”

NMZ - neue musik zeitung, July-August 2001; Biennale für Neue Musik, Hannover
“BIZITZA” for Mezzo-soprano and Ensemble
“Gabriel Erkoreka’s dramatic 1998 setting of texts by Bernardo Atxaga, Bizitza (Life) showed a grasp of the theatrical. The mezzo Diana Moore negotiated the demanding vocal line with ease and projected the unexpected appearance of a quasi-folksong element convincingly. The performance was sung in Basque, a language whose percussive sounds suited Erkoreka's musical language well.”
Seen & Heard, 23/11/2002; Purcell Room, London

“DUDUK II” for Saxophone Quartet
“…Gabriel Erkoreka's Duduk II is named after the traditional Armenian oboe, whose vibrant modal music and somewhat doleful timbre the composer brought to life with care and affection.”

The New York Times, 28/11/2003

“This work, whose title refers to an Armenian oboe, seemed formed of slowly shifting plates of sound, with the instruments as drones… The hazy atmosphere summoned up by the musicians was marvelous.”
Seen & Heard, 24/11/2003; Prism Quartet, Symphony Space, New York City

“OCEANO” for Orchestra

"In the ocean all sounds are present, and they are beautiful. Some are intriguing, or even
enigmatic, but all evocative and imaginative, transporting us from calm to storm. All this was expressed by Erkoreka in his Océano, with an opulent orchestration, generous in timbres emanating from the percussion...The public liked this piece, which they could get to grasps with even after a first hearing."

Noticias de Navarra, 10/10/04

AFRIKA at "La Biennale di Venezia"

" The young composer Gabriel Erkoreka has something which is difficult to explain, but that the dedicated listener feels immediately: he is exportable, undoubtedly modern and above all, he has his own personality. Afrika displays a freedom of thinking both admirable and sharp.”

El País, 17/10/2004

"... Gabriel Erkoreka's (1969) AFRIKA, for marimba and orchestra, a bright evocation of an imagined African sound-world, found a perfect answer in the impeccable performance of it's soloist Pedro Carneiro.”

El Mundo, 18/10/2004

"...The subtle control of substance and coherence on Erkoreka´s AFRIKA was highly applauded, enhanced by the performance of its phenomenal soloist, Pedro Carneiro. To enter like this in Venice is a total triumph."

ABC, 17/10/2004

“CANCIÓN y DANZA” for Orchestra
Canción y Danza, written for large orchestra with an important percussion section, sounded splendid and very clear. Gilbert Varga, who is already familiar with Erkoreka’s work, demonstrated an enormous capacity with the music of today. The professors from the orchestra had the opportunity to shine with the excellent instrumentation of the piece.

El Correo, 12/03/05; Palacio Euskalduna, Bilbao

"NOCHE SERENA" for Soprano and Cello-Octet
"The première of Noche Serena, with texts of Fray Luis de León demonstrated the capacity of the Basque composer to create ambiences with a masterful control over the instrumentation, and a very sensitive treatment of the voice, magnificently interpreted by the gifted soprano Pilar Jurado.
El Diario Vasco, 27/08/2005
"Taking as point of departure Fray Luis de León's text, Erkoreka displays a broad spectrum of procedures, which anticipate and summarize, reaching moments of vibrating evocation that are heard with true interest, as it was confirmed by the very positive response from the audience"
ABC, 28/08/2005

"AFRIKA" for Solo Marimba and Orchestra
"Gabriel Erkoreka, an exceptionally creative musician, arrives to a remarkable degree of expressiveness in his work "Afrika" (2002), one of his most accessible compositions, and this without needing to make any folkloristic reference to the continent who inspired him. The work is extremely interesting from beginning to end. Pedro Carneiro, a true marimba virtuoso, performed his solo part brilliantly. His work was essential for the understanding of the composition. The composer had one of the greatest cheers ever heard in Bilbao, for a work presented practically as a première."
El Correo,15/10/2005

“KRATER “ for Chamber Ensemble

"…Erkoreka makes the never easy decision to acknowledge nature as source of inspiration: A creative destruction as the only possibility for survival? Or, A beautiful symphonic poem of today? In either case the result is excellent, the sonorous aspect being of a sharp brilliance"

Ritmo, December 2005, Fundación Juan March, Madrid

"KRATER by Erkoreka, which ended the concert was also it's warmest point. With this piece, the young composer from Bilbao swept the audience with the strenght of a mind which is open both to the intellect and also the emotion."

El País, 17/11/2005

“VENI CREATOR” for Chamber Choir, Organ and Percussion
“Veni Creator, a marvellous piece by Gabriel Erkoreka”
“A piece that couples an excellent, skilful writing to an internal beauty which is clearly perceptible by the general public, even if the Basque composer hasn’t opted to make any concessions.

Each of the five different sections of the hymn has a different aspect to it, but the intricate structural design is rich in elements, whilst also surprisingly coherent. All throughout the piece one can hear echoes of different Renaissance schools, but the modern aesthetics of the piece is unquestionable, attaining marvellous results.

From beginning to end, it’s the sum of the depth of the idea, the certainty of the assimilated means of expression, of the unitary conception of the piece… All of which translates in the interest every step produces until the ending, invaded by the bells and glockenspiels, which seems to elevate to a magical scale towards the divine mystery.”

Deia, 04/04/2006

“Gabriel Erkoreka, among the most international of Basque composers, shows in his Veni Creator a refined creative talent. The fusion of seemingly disparate elements: voice, organ and percussion, make up for an utterly convincing compact whole. It is certainly contemporary art, both powerful and consistent, which I would like to listen again and again to fully apprehend its emotional content.”

El Correo, 04/04/2006

“HAMAR” for Chamber Ensemble
written for the 10th Anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum’s opening

La obra Hamar, de Gabriel Erkoreka, muestra con tan resonante como encantador efecto el objetivo de su creación: la conjugación musical con los componentes materiales y artísticos del Museo Guggenheim, así como con los distintos espacios del recinto. Tal y como lo adelantaron el director Juan Ignacio Vidarte y el propio compositor en la presentación ante la prensa, el recorrido alternante de la música realiza una interesante conexión con los elementos a "describir" o, mejor, a "insinuar" (alturas, formas, situaciones, etc…) al oyente-vidente.

Erkoreka ha realizado una labor tan inteligente como refinada y artística en las tres diferentes secciones de su composición, con una simbiosis perfecta de simbolismo y realidad, tal y como es el fundamento del arte en general. Desde las piezas individuales de los siete instrumentos hasta el tutti final, pasando por las variadas combinaciones, el visitante acogerá, sin duda, ricas sugestiones relativas a las diversas artes, con expresiva referencia de volúmenes, formas y espacios.

Tal vez, como se había insinuado en la presentación, lo más atrayente puede ser el registro sonoro concerniente al espacio de las esculturas de Richard Serra (la música "recrea" la imagen al mirar los volúmenes y cortes de perfil de las mismas), pero no cabe duda de que la forma sonora de todos los "pasos" posee una clara sugestión iconográfica. Hay que valorar asimismo la excelente interpretación de los siete instrumentistas, que han captado bien el objetivo del autor y la nada fácil como refinada escritura.

Todo resulta tan artístico como provechoso. Recordemos lo que, ya hablando del arte más antiguo, indicaba el famoso historiador Ernst Gombrich con la concepción de no simples obras de arte, sino como objetos que poseían una función definida. La utilidad no rompe el arte, sino que origina su creación, como se ve en esta obra de Gabriel Erkoreka.

Deia, 16/10/2007