Nuevas monodías españolas / José Evangelista (1999)
This piece consists of 21 arrangements of traditional melodies from Spain, mostly from Castile. They are work songs, love songs, narrative songs, dances, lullabies, etc. plus two Sephardic melodies. The title refers to my previous piece, Monodías españolas (1988). As in the first collection, I have considered two facts: many traditional Spanish melodies are still performed monodically, just with rhythmic accompaniment, and many of these melodies carry some modal features which are difficult to reconcile with the tonal language. Thus, my settings do not use harmony or counterpoint. As a consequence, I have been exploring a piano style where register changes and ornamentation predominate. The goal is to create the illusion that several voices simultaneously perform slight variations of the same melody on different octaves. Eve Egoyan commissioned this piece with the assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts.
- José Evangelista
José Evangelista was born in Valencia (Spain) in 1943. He began his musical studies with Vicente Asencio while simultaneously studying physics. Later work in computers led him to Canada. Settling in Montreal in 1970, he studied composition with André Prévost and Bruce Mather. Since 1979 he has been a professor at the University of Montreal where he created the Balinese Gamelan Workshop in 1987. He has been a founding member of several concert societies, has received several awards and numerous commissions, among others, from Itinéraire (Paris), the Kronos Quartet, the Groupe vocal de France, the SMCQ and the CBC. Evangelista pursues an artistic path by which he has explored ways of making a music based exclusively on melody.
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