STRINGS OF THE WHCO: MOZART, FRANK, LASCURAIN & DVOŘÁK
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Fort Washington Collegiate Church
729 W. 181st St., New York, NY 10033
Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra
Chris Whittaker, Conductor
This concert will last approximately two hours including intermission.
The strings of WHCO present a wonderful afternoon of old and new: Mozart's Divertimento in D major, K. 136, Gabriela Lena Frank's "Legendas: An Andean Walkabout," a new work by Fernando Arroyo García-Lascurain, and Dvorak's Serenade for Strings. Reception to follow for Friends of WHCO.
Free and open to all ages.
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Divertimento in D major, K. 136 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout Gabriela Lena Frank (1972- )
Nostalgia de una Amistad (Lamentos) Fernando Arroyo Garcia Lascurain (1986- )
Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22 Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)
Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout - Note from the composer
Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout (2001) mixes elements from the western classical and Andean folk music traditions, drawing inspiration from the idea of mestizaje as envisioned by the Peruvian writer Jose María Arguedas, wherein cultures co-exist without the subjugation of one by the other. "Toyos" depicts one of the most recognizable instruments of the Andes, the panpipe. The largest kind is the breathy toyo, which requires great stamina and lungpower and is typically played in parallel fourths. "Tarqueada" is a forceful and fast number suggestive of the tarka, a heavy wooden duct flute that is blown harshly in order to split the tone. Tarka ensembles typically play in casually tuned fourths, fifths, and octaves. "Himno de Zampoñas" takes its cue from a particular type of panpipe ensemble that divides up melodies through a technique known as hocketing. The characteristic sound of the zampoña panpipe is that of a fundamental tone blown flatly so that overtones ring out on top. "Chasqui" depicts the chasqui, a legendary runner from the Inca times who sprinted great distances to deliver messages between towns separated from one another by the Andean peaks. The chasqui needed to travel light, so I imagine his choice of instruments to be the charango, a high-pitched cousin of the guitar, and the lightweight bamboo quena flute, both of which influence this movement. "Canto de Velorio" portrays another well-known Andean personality, a professional crying woman known as llorona. Hired to render funeral rituals (known as velorio) even sadder, the llorona is accompanied here by a second llorona and an additional chorus of mourning women (coro de mujeres). The chant Dies Irae is quoted as a reflection of the llorona's penchant for blending verses from Quechua Indian folklore and western religious rites. "Coqueteos" is a flirtatious love song sung by men known as romanceros and is direct in its harmonic expression, bold, and festive. The romanceros sang in harmony with one another against a backdrop of guitars, which I think of as a vendaval de guitarras (storm of guitars). - GABRIELA LENA FRANK
Nostalgia de Una Amistad (Lamentos) - Note from the composer
Nostalgia is yearning for the past, it’s wishing to "return home," it's pain, it's ache for someone of something that isn't there anymore. It can be triggered by an image, a sound, a smell or a remembrance. Nostalgia is happiness and sorrow, it is going from a beautiful place to a quiet place. It is the intimate sobbing of the soul, sometimes happy, sometimes sad.
This piece reflects the pain, joy, hope and longing for someone who is not there anymore. I urge you to close your eyes and imagine something or someone you've lost as you listen to the piece and remember them. - FERNANDO ARROYO GARCÍA LASCURAIN