Five poems of Garcia Lorca
Duration (in minutes): 12
Difficulty: High (professional)
Category: solo voice(s) with chamber ensemble
Publisher: Hidden Oaks Music Co.
Score PDF: iv.__la_luna_asoma_pg._1_sample-5.pdf
Description: Five Poems of García Lorca for soprano, cello, clarinet and piano was written for and premiered by the Gotham Ensemble on October 8, 1992, at the Greenwich House Music School in New York City, in commemoration of the 500 years of the discovery of America in 1492. The New York Times described the work written in "Imaginatively colored tonal idiom." - New York Times.
Five Poems of Garcia Lorca was inspired by five poems from Spanish poet Federico García Lorca (1898-1936), namely, “Casida del Llanto” from the collection El Diwan del Tamarit (1931-1935), “Un Punto Lejano,” “Ay!,” and “Fuera” from the collection El Poema del Cante Jondo (1921) and “La Luna Asoma” from the collection Canciones (1921-1924).
Casida del Llanto (Casida of the Lament) is characterized by the tritones of the melodic line. The long and unresolved ascending soprano lines reflect the anguish of the poem elicited by the incessant weeping that can be heard over and over through imaginary walls. The texture thickens towards the end and the piece ends with an unresolved crescendo that leads into the beginning of the second piece, Un Punto Lejano.
Un Punto Lejano (A Distant Point) has a transparent texture and the calm mood of the music evokes the naivety of children looking at a far and distant point. The abundance of quiet trills in the piano and clarinet, along with the hypnotic, repetitive bass line pattern in the piano, produce a dreamy impressionistic atmosphere.
Ay,! is the most Spanish sounding piece of the set. The expression “Ay!” is a typical poetic expression in "cante jondo." This movement is built around a syncopated melodic pattern in the soprano that is transformed into driven machine-like imitative and contrapuntal passages in the cello, piano and clarinet. Shifting key signatures create contrasting moods, especially in the C-flat minor middle section, where the bouncy quality of the piano accompaniment gives to the soprano melody the character of a waltz.
La Luna Asoma (When the Moon Appears) evokes the mysterious atmosphere and the symbolism of the poem by Lorca. To him, the moon is usually a female symbol with a double erotic and threatening meaning: she can be both the source of erotic pleasure and death-like pain. This symbol of the ambivalent dangerous female threat is evoked by the timeless impression given by the repetitive clock-like pattern in the piano, the gradual thickening of the texture and the slow and sustained drive to the final climax.
In Fuera (Out), the piano starts with a hurried and repetitive chromatic motif that introduces the dynamic and eerie first lines of the poetry ("abandoned screams float in the air, Andalusia stabber!"). Then the music continues in a calmer mood while the poet describes the Andalusian landscape. The end goes back to the hurried and repetitive chromatic motif of the beginning, bringing back the violent vision of the poet.