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Matthew Tommasini: "Three Spanish Songs"

As promised, here is Part II of the Matthew Tommasini music that will be part of our February concert. Below are the program notes for Three Spanish Songs (2005). More information, and a recording, can be accessed via Tommasini's website.

This cycle is a setting of three contrasting poems by Latin-American poets Leopoldo Lugones, Rubén Darío, and José Martí. Olas grises uses evocative rain and sea imagery to meditate on the nature of life and death. Set as a lyrical, quasi-strophic song, these images are portrayed through the opening percussion rain drop motive and the moaning vocal line used throughout the movement. Nocturno is a frantic soliloquy set as an extended opera scene. The piano and percussion accompany the soprano in the opening recitative which is followed by a surreal aria accompanied by the rest of the ensemble. This is followed by a re-statement of both sections. Sueño despierto is a short poem about the contrasting images of a waking dream. Based on a fragment of the lullaby Nanita nana, heard in its entirety at the opening, the song is a set of three variations, followed by a coda, which portray these various images.

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