The Palau de la Generalitat’s current carillon has 49 bronze bells and weighs a total of 4,898 kilograms. This number of bells gives it the category of a concert carillon due to a pitch range extending to four chromatic octaves.
It was made by Petit & Fritsen in Aarle-Rixtel (Netherlands) and inaugurated on December 21st 1976, a few months before President Tarradellas ‘ return from exile and the re-establishment of the Generalitat.
Appearing in the video, Anna Maria Reverte (carillonista del Palau) ) interprets the 3rd and 4th Movements ( Valsa-Chôro i Gavota-Chôro, respectively) from H. Villa-Lobos’ “Suite Populaire Brésilienne”.
The carillon is a singular musical instrument that can interpret a wide array of compositions as well as multitude of adaptations that are written specifically for it. Many world famous concert carillonists have played the Palau’s carillon on special events.
For more information, contact the carillon mailbox.
Auditions and Concerts
There are usually daily auditions (from Monday to Friday) at noon and at 6pm played by the Palau’s carillonist and occasionally on Saturdays at midday. On these auditions, the carillon can be heard from the streets of the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona.
Concerts can be heard from inside the Palau of the Generalitat, the Orange Tree Courtyard and the Gothic Gallery depending on the weather conditions. In these spaces the acoustics are at their optimum level and, along with the auditory, a visual image of the instrument’s keyboard being played can be seen through a closed television circuit. The entrance is free but once the capacity is full one can always listen to the interpretation from the streets of the Gothic Quarter.
The season offers midday concerts every first Sunday of each month (except on August and September) with a wide arrange of pieces, from the classical to the more popular works, as well as concerts on La Mercè or Sant Esteve festivals. Additionally, in the month of July the International Carillon Festival concert takes place in Barcelona at 9 pm.
The estimated duration of each of these concerts is 60 minutes. Attendees are asked not to enter or leave until the concert is finalised so as to not interrupt the audition.
Visits to the Palau are also offered on the second and fourth weekend of each month. Arrangements to take part in these guided visits should be made previously through the website or by calling 012.