Sunday, October 14, 2018, at 4:00 pm
Join us on a journey from the rhythms of Spain to the melodies of Argentina with a brilliant program featuring Alberto Ginastera’s Variaciones concertantes, de Falla’s “The Three-Cornered Hat,” and the New Mexico premiere of Mariano Morales’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra featuring Latin GRAMMY® Award-winner Nestor Torres. This collaborative work—brought to life by three Puerto Rican artists: Mariano Morales, Nestor Torres, and Guillermo Figueroa—showcases the flute in a mixture of Western European music traditions. It is a tribute to the people of Puerto Rico who, although devastated by Hurricane María, are resilient and hopeful. Musical devices, such as the song of the Coquí (autochthonous small toad) and the use of the Bomba rhythm, serve as reminders of the sense of Puerto Rican pride on the island and abroad.
Variaciones concertantes, op. 23
Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, a New Mexico premiere
Nestor Torres, Flute
El sombrero de tres picos (“The Three Cornered Hat”) Suite No. 2
Overture to Los Esclavos Felices (“The Happy Slaves”)
JUAN CRISÓSTOMO ARRIAGA
Born: January 27, 1806, Bilbao, Spain
Died: January 17, 1826, Paris, France
Born in Bilbao, Spain, Juan Crisóstomo Jacobo Antonio de Arriaga y Balzola was nicknamed the “Spanish Mozart,” because, like Mozart, he was a child prodigy who died tragically young. Arriaga studied violin, counterpoint, and harmony at the Paris Conservatory. A very talented composer known for his undeniable gifts of freshness and grace, Arriaga was so precocious that he was asked to be a teaching assistant during his short tenure at the Conservatory.
Though a contemporary to Beethoven and Schubert, his style is more akin to earlier classical period composers. Among Arriaga’s understandably small oeuvre includes an opera, Los Esclavos Felices (“The Happy Slaves”), of which unfortunately only the overture survives. Composed at the age of fourteen, his teacher, François-Joseph Fétis, remarked that “without any knowledge whatsoever of harmony, Juan Crisóstomo wrote a Spanish opera containing wonderful and completely original ideas.” “Its’ overture opens innocently, the flowing pulse suggesting a pastoral scene, while the body of the movement is (almost) pure Rossini, complete with a crescendo to bring in the coda, but with a surprise ending.” (quote from notes by Robert Dearling)
Arriaga’s meteoric rise came to a tragic end just ten days short of his twentieth birthday when he was stricken with a severe lung ailment (possibly tuberculosis). He was buried in an unmarked grave at the Cimetière du Nord in Montmartre, Paris. A public theater in Bilbao is named in his honor.
Variaciones concertantes, Opus 23
Born April 11, 1916, Buenos Aires
Died June 25, 1983, Geneva
Alberto Ginastera composed this work, commissioned by the Argentine Friends of Music, in 1953. Igor Markevitch conducted the first performance on June 2nd of that year, in Buenos Aires. It is scored for two flutes, piccolo, oboe, two clarinets, bassoon; two horns, trumpet, trombone; timpani; harp; and string choir. Variaciones concertantes germinated for five years before Ginastera formally composed it during the second of four creative periods in his life. Variaciones concertantes and Pampeana No. 3 (for small and large orchestras, respectively) typify the second period (1948-1961), which also hatched the First Piano Sonata and the First String Quartet, culminating in Cantata para América mágica.
Ginastera said that Variaciones has “a subjective character. Instead of employing folkloric materials, an Argentine atmosphere is obtained by the use of original melodies and rhythms…whose expressive tension has a pronounced Argentine accent.” He called it “concerto-like,” with some variations being decorative or ornamental, others “written in the modern form of metamorphosis, which consists in taking motives from the principal theme and constructing a new theme from them.” The work is in 12 parts, played without interruption.
—Description by Roger Dettmer
Concerto for Flute, a New Mexico premiere
Born April 30, 1960, Puerto Rico
We are excited to present the New Mexico premiere of this piece by Puerto Rican composer/arranger/music director and instrumentalist, Dr. Mariano Morales. Commissioned by our very own Guillermo Figueroa along with the Lynn Conservatory, the concerto is one movement comprising of three sections. Bringing in influences from both Jazz and Latin American style brought to life by the aptly-matched flute of Nestor Torres, the piece starts off with a tonal, lively rhythm, with the flute at many points being matched by such supporting sonorities as marimba and tremolando strings, and progresses through a slow middle movement to a grand finale infused with the Puerto Rican dance rhythm of bomba sicà.
The concerto was commissioned by Maestro Guillermo Figueroa and the Lynn University Conservatory of Music. The world premiere of the piece was performed on April 21, 2018, by the Lynn Philharmonia in Florida. Written in one uninterrupted movement, the concerto has three main sections (Fast, Slow, Fast). The concerto uses the Puerto Rican Bomba Sicá rhythm to generate both melodic and rhythmic ideas that are woven into the composition.
The piece begins with an unaccompanied introductory melody by the soloist. Then, the main theme is presented and developed by the soloist and the orchestra. The slow middle section showcases the lyrical aspects of the soloist and leads into the cadenza. The percussion section begins an extended exchange which showcases the different sections of the orchestra. This passage is followed by some improvisation by the soloist and culminates with a tutti by the orchestra and soloist. In the finale of the piece, the bassoon brings back the melody originally played in the Intro by the flute. This is followed by a last commentary by the soloist and orchestra thus, bringing the composition full circle.
The composition is a tribute to the Puerto Rican people, who although devastated by Hurricane María, are resilient, hopeful, and strong of spirit. Musical devices such as the song of the Coquí (authochthonous small toad), and the use of the Bomba rhythm, serve as reminders of the sense of pride of the Puerto Rican people on the island and those abroad.
El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat), Suite No. 2
MANUEL DE FALLA
Born November 23, 1876, Cádiz, Spain
Died November 14, 1946, Córdoba, Argentina
During World War I, Manuel de Falla—one of Spain’s most important musicians of the first half of the 20th century —wrote a pantomime ballet in two scenes and called it El corregidor y la molinera (The Magistrate and the Miller’s Wife). The work was scored for a small chamber orchestra and was performed in 1917. Sergei Diaghilev—a Russian art critic, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes, having seen the premiere of El corregidor y la molinera, commissioned Falla to rewrite it. The outcome was a two-act ballet scored for large orchestra called El sombrero de tres picos. Brilliantly scored, the music of the performance is directly based on traditional Andalusian folk music with Suite No.2, being the most famous of the two Suites.