Retorn a la terra (2012)
for narrator, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, percussion, violin, and double bass
texts by Catalan poets Josep Carner and Joan Maragall.
Unai Urrecho and Jong Hoon Yoo narrator at the Hwaseong Arts Center (Ban Sook Concert Hall of the Dong Tan Art Center of Hwaseong) on May 26, 2012. The Virtuoso Ensemble includes Rodrigo Puskas, 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 poem in the Catalan language: Retorn a Catalunya by Josep Carner and La Sardana by Joan Maragall. Carner’s poem describes both the excitement and nostalgia he feels on returning to his country after a long absence. Maragalls’s poem is an homage to the sardana, the National dance of Catalunya. This work has three movements – the first and the second are connected. Carner’s poem is read at various points throughout the first and second movements. Only one paragraph from Maragall’s poem is read at the beginning of the third movement.
I. La serra de foc (The mountain of fire) is inspired by the poem’s sense of expectation and excitement at the return to Catalunya, and also by the proverbial Catalan strength. As the poem says: “la forca tota vella … que ens agermana” (the old force … that makes us family).
II. In Records (Memories) the music freely uses fragments of old Catalan melancholic melodies that impart a medieval religious tone to the entire movement.
III. Dansa (Dance) is an homage to the sardana and uses its basic rhythm, as well as typical melodic turns of the dance.
Retorn a la terra uses the same instrumentation as L’Histoire du soldat by Stravinsky and both works will be performed at the same concert.
Text of Josep Carner poem Retorn a la terra