Amor a Roma (1997) (Urbana 12.a)

For a mezzo-soprano and piano.

Five songs based on texts by C.E.Feiling

Alondra de luz (The lark of light)
Plango vulnera (I cry for the wounds)
Himeneo (Hymen)
Común requiebro (Common flattery)
Proceso (Process)

There is no point in me emphasising how important these songs are for me. The bond of friendship between Charlie and me lasted between our 13 and 36 years of age. My brother had died and his sister had emigrated, far away, forever. Having ‘aristocratic’ and very understanding parents also made us bond. As we were teenagers, we were allowed to do anything; a kind of arrogance and irreverence that had been kindly remarked by “Baco” Ferrero, our literature teacher: “you two are romantic and anarchic souls,” and maliciously by the school’s priest: “there is fire in my soul for sinners like you.”

When I was 17, I set one of his texts to music, which my composition teacher disapproved of. Some years later, in the ‘90s, Charlie gave me a typewritten copy of poems and translations that would later constitute “Amor a Roma.” The song cycle was born there.

The respectful relationship to tradition pervaded the work on the metric and the rhymes which can be compared to the classicism of musical form. I have Quevedo and Góngora to thank for my incursion into a subtly veiled Spanish golden age in “Plango Vulnera,” and the neologisms and slang for the inevitable tango “Común Requiebro.”

[ Urbana Cycle ]
[ Chambre Music ]