“Tiempo de amor” for soprano, tenor & piano (2015)

Duration 15′

Commissioned by the 2015 Barcelona Festival of Song and director/soprano Patricia Caicedo.

Premiered on June 27, 2015, by Patricia Caicedo, soprano, Lenine Santos, tenor, and Nikos Stavlas, piano.

Texts by Ibn Zaydun and Wallada.

Tiempo de amor (Time for Love) (2015) for soprano, tenor and piano is set to texts by Andalusi poet Ibn Zaydun (1003-1071) and princess Wallada (1011-1091). Both poets were born in Cordoba at the height of the Al-Andalous culture in Spain and were known as the lovers of Cordoba, due to their passionate love relationship. The text used in this work are fragments of the letters they wrote to each other, which have come to us through Wallada in the form of poems.

This song cycle includes six songs that are sung without a break. The tenor (Ibn Zaydun) and soprano (Wallada) sing alternate songs as if it were a dialogue, sometimes questioning each other or commenting on the state of their relationship. The text of the last song are the epitaphs written in a monument in Cordoba dedicated to them.

 

Text by Ibn Zaydun and Wallada (in Spanish)

(Wallada writes to Ibn Zaydun)

I. “Cuando apunta la oscuridad” (When night falls) – for Soprano and Tenor

Espera mi visita cuando apunta la oscuridad

Pues opino que la noche es más encubridora de los secretos

Tengo algo contigo que si coincidiera con el sol

éste no brillaría

y si con la luna, ésta no saldría

y si con las estrellas, éstas no caminarían.

 

Ibn Zaydun responds:

II. “Tu amor me ha hecho célebre” (Your love has made me a celebrity) – for Tenor

Tu amor me ha hecho célebre

entre la gente

por ti se preocupa mi corazón y

pensamiento,

cuando tú te ausentas

nadie puede consolarme y

cuando llegas todo el mundo está presente.

 

(spoken) Si he perdido el placer de verte,

me contentaré oyendo hablar de tí.

Si el guardian se descuida,

Me contentaré con un breve saludo.

Temo que los censores sospechen, pero

Hay plazo en el amor?

 

Wallada writes when Ibn Zaydun was absent:

III. “Despues de esta separación”(After this separation) – for Soprano

Acaso hay para nosotros,

después de esta separación, una salida;

puede quejarse cada uno de nosotros

de lo que ha sufrido?

 

Giran las noches y no veo el fin.

De nuestro distanciamiento,

ni la paciencia me libra

de la esclavitud de mi anhelo.

Riegue dios la tierra donde estés

con toda clase de lluvias copiosas.

 

Ibn Zaydun wrote to Wallada:

IV. “Cuando tu te uniste a mí” (When you joined me) – for Tenor

Cuando tú te uniste a mí

como se une el amor al corazón,

y te fundiste conmigo

como el alma se funde con el cuerpo,

enfureció a los detractores

el lugar que yo ocupaba en tí:

en el corazón de todo rival

arde la llama de la envidia.

 

After Ibn Zaydun being seduced by a slave he begged Wallada to forgive him.

He writes:

V. Desde que estás lejos de mí (Since you are away from me) for Tenor and Soprano

Desde que estas lejos de mí,

el deseo de verte consume mi corazón

y me hace lanzar torrentes de lágrimas

mis días son ahora negros y

antes, gracias a ti, mis noches eran blancas.

 

Wallada responds:

(spoken) Si hubieses hecho justicia

al amor que hay entre nosotros

no hubieses amado ni preferido a mi esclava

ni hubieses abandonado la belleza de la rama

cargada de frutos

ni te hubieses inclinado hacia la rama estéril

siendo asi que tu sabes que yo soy

la luna llena en el cielo,

sin embargo, te has enamorado,

por mi desgracia, de Júpiter.”

 

VI. Epitafio (Epitaph) (text written in the monument dedicated to them in Cordoba)

In Ibn Zaydun’s epitaph:

Ay, qué cerca estuvimos y hoy qué lejos!

Nos separó la suerte, y no hay rocío

que humedezca, resecas de deseo,

mis ardientes entrañas; pero en cambio,

de llanto mis pupilas se saturan.

 

In Wallada’s epitaph:

Tengo celos de mis ojos, de mi toda,

de ti mismo de tu tiempo y tu lugar.

Aún grabado tú en mis pupilas,

Mis celos nunca cesarán.

Homenatge a Pau Casals for cello (2015)

Homenatge à Pau Casals (Homage to Pau Casals) for cello, was commissioned by American cellist David James Kim, in occasion of its premiere at the ‘Mas i Mas Festival’ in Barcelona on August 7, 2015. In this solo cello work, I pay homage to Catalan cellist Pau Casals by using ‘El cant dels ocells’ (The song of the birds), an original traditional Catalan Christmas song popularized by Pau Casals himself that became internationally known as a symbol of peace and freedom. Throughout this homage, I use the beginning ascending scale of  ‘Cant dels ocells’ as a recurring motive embedded in the melodic structure. The tune in its entirety does not appear until the end as a symbol of hope for the future!

Gacelas de amor for soprano, flute & piano

Duration: 9′ 30″  Based on three poems (in Spanish) by Federico Garcia Lorca from the collections Diwan del Tamarit (1931-1934) and Canciones. Commissioned by and written for Christiane Meininger, flute; Jörg Waschinski, male soprano; and Rainer Gepp, piano. World premiere at the Zentrum for Information und Bildung in Unna, Germany. Sponsored by the American Embassy in Berlin, the Center for International Light Art in Unna (Germany) and a travel grant from the Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University.

See full concert program.
Read Concert review (in German) and in English).
I. El amor desesperado
II. Lucia Martinez
III. El amor maravilloso

Published by Hofmeister Musik Velag.

Retorn a la terra (Return to the homeland) (2012) for narrator, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, percussion, violin, and double bass

Duration: 20′. Premiere on May 26, 2012, by the Virtuoso Ensemble under the direction of Unai Urrecho and Jong Hoon Yoo narrator Hwaseong Arts Center (Ban Sook Concert Hall of the Dong Tan Art Center of Hwaseong), South-Korea.  The Virtuoso Ensemble included Rodrigo Puskás, violin; Hyo Sun Lee, double bass; Hyonsuk Kim, clarinet; Nguyen Bao Anh, bassoon; Eric Robins, trumpet; Lim Hyun Su, trombone; and Kevin Clarke, percussion.

This composition was inspired by two Catalan poems: Retorn a Catalunya by Josep Carner and La Sardana by Joan Maragall. The first poem is narrated in its entirety and certain parts repeated at certain points in the first and second movements. Carner’s poem portrays the excitement of the poet returning to his native country describing the most characteristic attributes. In the first movement the music is inspired by the anticipation of the return, the excitement at seeing familiar landscapes and vegetation, as well as meeting the Catalan people; in the second movement, connected to the first without a stop, the music freely uses a melancholic Catalan melody that imbues a religious tone to the entire movement. The third movement uses the basic ‘sardana’ rhythm as well as certain melodic turns typical of sardana’s melodies.

Retorn a la terra uses the same instrumentation as L’Histoire du soldat by Stravinsky, and both works were performed at the concert.  Retorn a la terra consists of three movements (the first two are connected.)

I.   La terra de foc (The land of fire)
II.  Records (Memories)
III. Dança (Dance)

Youtube Video of premiere

Published by Hidden Oaks Music Co.

‘Homenatge a Mompou’ for piano solo (2007)

Duration: 7 ‘
Commissioned by Dutch pianist Marcel Worms.
Premiered by Marcel Worms (November 2007) in a all-Mompou Festival in Amsterdam at the Noorderkerk, a beautiful church in the centre of Amsterdam, and at the Bethaniënklooster, a former 15th century monastery in the Wallen ‘red light’ district in Amsterdam.

PROGRAM NOTES (read more)

Published by Friedrich Hofmeister Musikverlag.

 

 

Goyescas for flute and guitar (2008)

Duration: 20′
Goyescas for flute & guitar (2008) was commissioned by flutist Marina Piccinini and guitarist Emanuele Segre.
Premiere by Piccinini and Segre at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society on January 23, 2009.
Goyescas is inspired by five paintings of Francisco Goya.  Click here for  GOYAS’ PAINTINGS

I.      Pregón
II.    La familia de Carlos IV (The family of Charles IV)
III.   Las majas en el balcón (The maiden on the balcony)
IV.   El sueño (The dream)
V.     La fragua (The foundry)
VI.   La gallina ciega (Blind men’s bluff)

Click here for full PROGRAM NOTES

Published by Hidden Oaks Music Company.

 

 

 

Voices of the Rainforest for flute, cello and piano (2008)

Duration: 23′
Written for the Meininger-Trio.
Premiered by the Meininger-Trio at Nachtmusik – WDR Broadcasting Station in Cologne (Germany) on March 15, 2008.

I. Awakening
II. Sago gatherers
III. Evening storm
IV. Voices of inside night
V. Night spirits

Click here for full PROGRAM NOTES 

Published by Friedrich Hofmeister Musik Verlag.

Winged serpent for clarinet and piano (2001)

Duration: 10′ 30″
Written for and premiered by Kevin Schempf and the composer at the Bowling Green New Music Festival in October 2001.

Audio
Click here for full PROGRAM NOTES

Published by Hidden Oaks Music Company.

Portraits II for flute, violin, cello and piano (1999/2003)

Duration: 17′
Arranged for Quarteto Sereno and premiered on June 11, 2003, by Quarteto Sereno at the Gustav Luebcke Museum Hamm (Germany) in honor of a Picasso Exhibition.

Version of Portraits II for clarinet, violin, cello and piano available.

Published by Hidden Oaks Music Company.

Voces de mi tierra for flute, cello and piano (2003)

Duration: 18’30”
Written, for the Meininger-Trio.
Premiered at the 15th International Bodensee Festival in Meersburg, Germany, on May 24, 2003.
Performance History

Voces de mi tierra is a tribute to my native country and to the Spanish music that I love so much. Even though the melodies are distinctively Spanish I have not borrowed from Spanish music folklore.

I.    El Cortejo (Courtship)
II.   Noche en la Alhambra (Night in the Alhambra)
III. La moza y el gitano (Scherzando) (The peasant and the gypsy)
IV. Gigue 

Click here for full PROGRAM NOTES

Published by Friedrich Hofmeister Musik Verlag.