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Heitor Villa-Lobos

Chôro N°7 Year of composition 1924 in Rio de Janeiro

 

The form of Chôro N°7 creates a sense of unity between the sounds of Amerindian primitivism and the polkas and waltzes of suburban dance halls in Brazil. The opening Amerindian character is gradually transformed, eventually giving way to a slow waltz. At the end, the opening theme is recalled, to demonstrate the transformation it has undergone throughout the piece. The syncopations in Chôro N°7 are characteristic of the habanera and the polka (polquinha).

 

Alberto Ginastera

Pampeana N°2 Year of composition 1950

 

Alberto Ginastera’s Pampeana N°2 is divided in three movements. The first is Cadenza-Allegro—an energetic cadenza of recitative character. The second movement, “Lento ed esaltato,” is an adaptation of an Argentine folk melody known as “Triste Pampeano.” The third and final movement is an  “Allegro vivace,” full of rhythm and virtuosic prowess.

 

Anton Webern

Ach Jüngen Lieder Year of composition 1901-1903

 

Ach Jüngen Lieder is one of the first vocal compositions by Webern, composed in 1899. The song reflects the work of Wolff and Wagner—common influences among the young musicians of the time.

 

These Eight Lieder of youth were inspired by 8 different poets:

 

1. Tief von fern (Text: Richard Fedor Leopold Dehmel)

2. Aufblick (Text: Richard Fedor Leopold Dehmel)

3. Blumengruß (Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

4. Bild der Liebe (Text: Friedrich Hermann Frey, as Martin Greif)

5. Sommerabend (Text: Wilhelm Weigand)

6. Heiter (Text: Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche)

7. Der Tod (Text: Matthias Claudius)

8. Heimgang in der Frühe (Text: Detlev von Liliencron)

 

Alicia Terzian

Yagua Ya Yuca Year of composition 1992

 

Yagua Ya Yuca is dedicated to the Chiriguano and Chanel people, who belong to a lost indigenous northwestern Argentine culture. It is the first of a series of 6 pieces for percussion called “The Tiger Roaring” and is inspired by a ceremony that takes place on the last Sunday of “Carnaval” in the Argentine province of Chaco. The “Candombe” is a native dance where masked dancers reenact a legendary conflict between two figures. One is the bull, who represents the foreigner, and the other is the tiger, the powerful king of the territory and the representation of the Yagua people. The driving rhythms of these drums lead them to a paroxysm. Finally, the tiger defeats the bull, representing the land’s final triumph over the foreigner.

 

Luciano Berio

O King Year of composition 1968

 

O King, composed the same year as Martin Luther King Jr.’s tragic murder, commemorates the American pastor and civil-rights activist. Luciano Berio was deeply moved by King’s death, wrote this short piece in which the text consists of only the word King. That same year, Berio made O King a movement in his Sinfonia. At the end of the piece, the soprano sings first the vowels of the name and then the consonants, finally forming the name of King.

 

Pierre Boulez

Dérive Year of composition 1984

 

Dérive is a brief quintet dedicated to William Glock on his retirement from the Bath Festival. In a letter to Glock, Boulez explained the inspiration for his piece and its title, “dérive,” which in translation means the drifting of a boat in the wind. In this quintet, the piano takes the lead. The material is derived from six chords and, according to Ivan Hewett, the piece “shuffles and decorates these chords, bursting outwards in spirals and eddies, before returning to its starting point,” and at the end the music “shivers into silence.”

 

Alicia Terzian

Les Yeux Fertiles Year of composition 1997

 

Les Yeux Fertiles was commissioned by Radio France in 1997 and premiered in the same season by the French Ensemble Fa in their Messiaen Concert Hall. I used combinations of poems by the French poet Paul Eluard in order to build a new poem. In this piece, I explore microtonality, specifically quarter tones, and my work reflects this exploration by expressing microtones in every instrument with techniques such as glissandi, clusters, trills, and slow and fast vibrato. In the second part of the piece, the musicians play and sing the melody in a way which imitates humming (bouche fermée) but with a natural feeling of instability and being out of tune.

 

Franz Schreker

Der Wind Year of composition 1909

Subtitle: After a poem by Grete Wiesenthal

 

In the years between Franz Schreker’s graduation from the Vienna Conservatory in 1900 and the composition of Der Wind in 1909, Vienna’s music culture entered a noticeably modern age. Schreker was a key figure during this cultural revolution, leading musical modernism into Vienna in the first decades of the twentieth century.

 

In 1908 the members of a Viennese artistic group commissioned Schreker to write Der Wind. This work combines elements of impressionism, Schoenberg’s ideals of expressionism, and links to the Symbolist movements. This work was rediscovered by the Austrian musicologist Gösta Neuwirth in the cellars of the publishing house Wiener Universal Edition, and finally received its first performance on 14th April 1980 in an RSO Berlin chamber concert. The same year, 1980, the score of Der Wind was given to myself by Schreker’s daughter, Lily Schreker Bures. I premiered this work in 1980 in Buenos Aires with Grupo Encuentros, where the piece was met with great success.

 

-notes written by Alicia Terzian

 

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