ANDRÉS CONDUCTS SHOSTAKOVICH 5

Friday, May 5, 2017                                   8:00 PM       Jones Hall
Saturday, May 6, 2017                              8:00 PM       Jones Hall
Sunday, May 7, 2017                                 2:30 PM       Jones Hall

Program 

G. L. Frank:

 

Conquest Requiem

I. Introit:  Cuicatl de Malinche (Song of Malinche):  In reverence

II. Judex ergo cum sedebit:  Maestoso—

III. Dies Irae:  Cuicatl de Martín (Song of Martín):  Vigoroso

IV. Recordare, Jesu pie:  Peaceful—

V. Rex Tremendae:  El aullido de Malinche (The Howl of Malinche):  Misterioso—Appassionato

VI. Confutatis maledictis:  Solemno—

VII. In Paradisum:  Benediction de Malinche y Martín: In reverence

[38]

 

 

                   INTERMISSION

 

Shostakovich:

 

Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Opus 47  

I. Moderato

II. Allegretto

III. Largo

IV. Allegro non troppo

[46]

Program Notes

Conquest Requiem
Gabriela Lena Frank 

The Conquest Requiem is in seven movements, totaling about 38 minutes, with a substantial role for the choir that sings, even if just a few lines, in every movement.  While a requiem in the traditional sense in that it speaks generally of life and loss, this requiem is positioned from the vantage point of the Spanish Conquest of the New World in present-day Mexico.  More specifically, we hear the voices of Malinche, the multi-lingual concubine of conquistador Hernán Cortés, and their son Martín, one of the first "mestizos" of the New World, as they describe the destruction and rebirth of their land.  

The Conquest Requiem features a solo soprano, a solo baritone, and SATB choir; and three languages are utilized: Latin, Spanish, and Nahuatl, the Indian language of the Aztecs.  The Latin texts draw from traditional liturgical texts generally used in requiem, the Spanish texts are original words by playwright Nilo Cruz, and the Nahuatl texts draw on rescued poetry from Aztec nobility.  

The choir ONLY sings in Latin.  Traditional Italian pronunciation is preferred and text-setting was employed accordingly.  The soloists mostly sing in Spanish and Nahuatl, but also occasionally in Latin.  

A brief description of each movement follows:

I. Introit: Cuicatl de Malinche (Song of Malinche)

This is a substantial movement that features both sung words and humming on the part of the choir as well as a large role for the solo soprano.  The choral lines are mostly tonal and supported harmonically by the orchestra.  I think the biggest challenge of this movement will be breath endurance as some of the oscillating lines are long.  

II. Judex ergo cum sedebit

This is a vigorous movement just for the choir until the baritone comes in at the very end with one final line and takes us attacca into the third movement.  The choral lines are mostly tonal and supported harmonically by the orchestra, and there is quite a bit of repetition.  

III. Dies Irae: Cuicatl de Martín

I believe that this movement will be the most challenging for the choir.  It is almost like an opera scene as the "action" music moves quickly, even erratically, and is not typically tonal.  Wherever possible, the lines are supported in the orchestra.  Most of choral singing is in the first half of the piece but they do sing, even if just intermittently, throughout as the baritone carries a very big solo.  There is some repetition.  

IV. Recordare, Jesu pie

A short movement just for choral sopranos with the solo soprano taking the very last line.  Quite tonal, not difficult.

V. Rex Tremendae

Big part for the solo soprano, with a somewhat brief but powerful appearance for the choir that is harmonically supported by the orchestra.  

VI. Confutatis maledictis

Brief movement with slow tonal lines for the altos and basses singing together, then a brief appearance of sopranos and tenors before the solo baritone takes the final line.  Choral lines are supported harmonically by the orchestra.  

VII. In Paradisum: Benedicion de Malinche y Martín (Blessing of Malinche and Martín)

After an extended duet between solo soprano and baritone, the choir enters with music that is quite similar to what was sung in the opening Introit movement.

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