Sunday, May 8, 2022 | 4PM
Faith Lutheran Church | 1212 Connection St, Shelton, WA 98584

 

First Chair
Chamber Series

Por Eso
Te Quiero

Music of Ernesto Lecuona,
Xavier Montsalvatge &
Carlos Guastavino

Welcome to the inaugural First Chair Chamber Concert, an annual series that goes through 2023 that focuses on the music of underperformed LGBTQ composers and composers of color.

Great Bend First Chair members are leaders throughout our community who support Great Bend Center for Music’s vision.

Program Note

“Back when my mother wore a strawberry sorbet for a hat…”

Thus begins Rafael Alberti’s poem reflecting on childhood memories, playfully set by Catalan composer Xavier Montsalvatge in his “Cinco Canciones Negras.”

Themes of love, loneliness and nostalgia are common in more commonly heard art songs from German, French and Italian composers. But with few exceptions (mostly focusing on Mary the mother of Jesus), art songs about the mysteries of motherhood are generally absent in those canons. Not so when it comes to Spanish language art song, where canciones de cuna (cradle songs, or lullabies) are nearly an entire genre unto themselves. This is why these beautiful, romantic and lush — but rarely heard — selections are ideal for a light Mother’s Day concert as Great Bend Center for Music marks its long-awaited return to live performance.

The names of Montsalvatge, Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona, and Argentine composer Carlos Guastavino may not be well known outside of their home countries.

But their music, demanding both piano and vocal virtuosity, is absolutely remarkable. The vocal lines are highly lyrical, but often make use of Latin rhythms and folk styles; while the piano parts are less accompaniment and more the piano telling its own version of whatever story is benign portrayed. The results are works that are both formal and highly expressive.

Our planned 60-minute matinee performance will be intimate and interactive, with Great Bend founder Matthew Melendez discussing more about the composers and poets featured in the program, as well as some of the colorful techniques they employ to suggest everything from tango dancing to weeping.

Performers

Matthew Melendez, Voice

Great Bend Center for Music Founder, General Director

Matthew’s passion is making music with people who don’t think of themselves as musicians. Kids who have never sung in groups. Seniors who haven’t sung since high school. Tourists who had no idea they were walking into a Beer Choir. Really, no one is safe from singing around him.

In addition to undergraduate degrees in the arts of persuasion (Advertising Copywriting and Social Psychology), he has a master’s degree in vocal performance and pedagogy (where his thesis research focused on the power of cultural tourism to revitalize rural communities) and a doctoral degree (ABD) in choral conducting.

His current research is centered on the community development applications of community music, and the transformative power of early childhood music for communities and families.

In 2019 he made his Carnegie Hall debut leading two non-auditioned youth and adult ensembles in a world-premiere choral cantata commissioned for the occasion. The Shelton, Washington performance of that work, “Borders” by John Muehleisen, won second in the community division of the 2019-20 American Prize: Ernst Bacon Award for the Performance of American Music. But even before this, community ensembles he’s either led or managed have shown a strong propensity for getting Lincoln Center and White House invitations.

Joe Sartori, Piano

Joe enjoys playing piano at home, but especially enjoys making music with others at Great Bend Center for Music. At Washington State University, Joe earned his bachelor of music degree in piano performance, where he studied both piano and organ performance. He also took extensive studies in collaborative piano—that is playing piano with other musicians—studying accompanying and taking private lessons focused on how to play as part of an ensemble. Collaborative piano exercises a very different skill set then that of solo performance.

Today, Joe lives in Gig Harbor, where he loves playing piano at his home parish, St. Nicholas, whenever given the opportunity. In his free time, he loves spending time outdoors while listening to all genres of music or just breathing in the fresh air.

Program & Lyrics

Ernesto Lecuona (1896–1963)

Córdoba (1928)

Xavier Montsalvatge (1912–2002)

Cinco Canciones Negras (1945)

i. Cuba Dentro de un Piano

iv. Canción de Cuna

Ernesto Lecuona (1896–1963)

Malegueña (1928)

Por Eso Te Quiero (1928)

Dame de tus Rosas (1939)

Gitanerías (1928)

Carlos Guastavino (1912–2000)

Seis Canciones de Cuna (1961)

vi. Meciendo

iii. Encantamiento

v. Rocío

La Rosa y El Sauce (1942)

Cuba Dentro de un Piano
Cuba in a Piano

Music: Xavier Montsalvatge, Rafael Alberti

Cuando mi madre llevaba un sorbete de fresa por sombrero
When my mother wore a strawberry sorbet for a hat

y el humo de los barcos aún era humo de habanero.
and the smoke from the boats was still Havana smoke.

Mulata vueltabajera …

Cádiz se adormecía entre fandangos y habaneras
Cadiz was falling asleep to fandango and habanera

y un lorito al piano quería hacer de tenor.
and a little parrot at the piano tried to sing tenor.

… dime dónde está la flor que el hombre tanto venera.
… tell me, where is the flower that a man can really respect.

Mi tío Antonio volvía con su aire de insurrecto.
My uncle Anthony would come home in his rebellious way.

La Cabaña y el Príncipe sonaban por los patios del Puerto.
The Cabaña and El Príncipe resounded in the patios of the port.

(Ya no brilla la Perla azul del mar de las Antillas.
(But the blue pearl of the Carribean shines no more.

Ya se apagó, se nos ha muerto.)
Extinguished. For us no more.)

Me encontré con la bella Trinidad …
I met beautiful Trinidad …

Cuba se había perdido y ahora era verdad.
Cuba was lost, this time it was true.

Era verdad,
True

no era mentira.
and not a lie.

Un cañonero huido llegó cantándolo en guajira.
A gunner on the run arrived, sang Cuban songs about it all.

La Habana ya se perdió.
Havana was lost

Tuvo la culpa el dinero …
and money was to blame …

Calló,
cayó el cañonero.

The gunner went silent,
and fell.

Pero después, pero ¡ah! después
But later, ah, later

fue cuando al SÍ
they changed SÍ

lo hicieron YES.
to YES.

English Translation © Richard Stokes

Canción de Cuna
Lullaby

Xavier Montsalvatge, Ildefonso Pereda Valdés

Ninghe, ninghe, ninghe,
Lullay, lullay, lullay,

tan chiquitito,
tiny little child,

el negrito
little black boy,

que no quiere dormir.
who won’t go to sleep.

Cabeza de coco,
Head like a coconut,

grano de café,
head like a coffee bean,

con lindas motitas,
with pretty freckles

con ojos grandotes
and wide eyes

como dos ventanas
like two windows

que miran al mar.
looking out to sea.

Cierra los ojitos,
Close your tiny eyes,

negrito asustado;
frightened little boy,

el mandinga blanco
or the white devil

te puede comer.
will eat you up.

¡Ya no eres esclavo!
You’re no longer a slave!

Y si duermes mucho,
And if you sleep soundly,

el señor de casa
the master of the house

promete comprar
promises to buy

traje con botones
a suit with buttons

para ser un ‘groom’.
to make you a ‘groom’.

Ninghe, ninghe, ninghe,
Lullay, lullay, lullay,

duérmete, negrito,
sleep, little black boy,

cabeza de coco,
head like a coconut,

grano de café.
head like a coffee bean.

English Translation © Richard Stokes

Por Eso Te Quiero
That’s Why I Love You

Ernesto Lecuona

Te quiero,
I love you,

Por tu cara de rosa,
For your rosy face.

Te quiero,
I love you,

Por tus ojos divinos
For your divine eyes.

Te quiero,
I love you,

Por que se que lloraste
Because I know you are crying,

En mis días de ausencia
De triste soledad.
For me during blue days and lonely nights.

Te quiero,
I love you,

Por que eres más gue santa,
Because you’re like an angel,

Te quiero,
I love you,

Por que eres mi allegria,
Because you make me so happy,

Te quiero,
I love you,

Por por que sé que me adoras,
Because I know you adore me,

Te quiero,
I love you,

Te querré hasta morir.
And I will until death.

Dame de Tus Rosas
Give Me of Your Roses

Ernesto Lecuona, Carlos Ramirez

Dame de tus rosas,
Give me of your roses

De tus rosas rojas,
Of your deep red roses,

De tus rosas blancas,
And of your white roses,

Mi jardin en flor.
My garden in bloom.

Mi jardin que sabe…
My garden who knows

De tristezas mudas,
of mute sadness,

De penas muy hondas…
Of the very deep sorrows

En mi corazón.
In my heart.

Como la rosa, nació…
Like the rose, was born

En mi pecho fragante el amor…
In my fragrant chest love

Que fue mi felicidad.
What was my happiness?

Como la rosa, murió…
Like the rose, it died

Desjojandose mi corazón,
stripping my heart,

Muerto de tanto llorar.
Dead from crying so much.

Fue bien fugaz el amor…
Love was fleeting

Que me brindaste tu…
What did you give me

Con engañoso afan.
With deceitful eagerness.

Ah, rosas que yo vi nacer,
Ah, roses that I saw being born,

No le cuenten a nadie que yo…
Don’t tell anyone that

Me muero aun por su amor..
I am still dying for his love

Meciendo
Rocking

Carlos Guastavino, Gabriela Mistral

El mar sus millares de olas
The sea with its thousands of waves

mece, divino.
Sways divinely

Oyendo a los mares amantes,
Listening to the loving seas,

mezo a mi niño.
I’m rocking my baby.

El viento errabundo en la noche
The wandering wind of the night

mece los trigos.
swings the wheat fields.

Oyendo a los vientos amantes,
Listening to the loving winds,

mezo a mi niño.
I’m rocking my baby.

Dios Padre sus miles de mundos
God, the Father, your thousands of worlds

mece sin ruido.
swing silently.

Sintiendo su mano en la sombra
I feel your hand in the darkness,

mezo a mi niño.
As I rock my baby.

Encantamiento
Enchantment

Gabriela Mistral

Este niño es un encanto
This boy is charming

parecido al fino viento:
like a delicate wind.

si dormido lo amamanto,
If he sleeps I feed him,

que me bebe yo no siento.
When he drinks I cannot feel it.

Es más travieso que el río
He is naughtier than the river

y más suave que la loma:
And softer than its bank:

es mejor el hijo mío
My son is better

que este mundo al que se asoma.
Than the world into which he comes.

Es más rico, más, mi niño
My child is much, much sweeter

que la tierra y que los cielos:
Than the earth and the heavens:

en mi pecho tiene armiño
On my breast he has ermine

y en mi canto terciopelos…
And in my singing, velvet…

Y es su cuerpo tan pequeño
And his body is so small

como el grano de mi trigo;
As a grain of my wheat;

menos pesa que su sueño;
Lighter than his sleep;

no se ve y está conmigo.
Unseen and with me.

English Translation © Lorena Paz Nieto

 

Rocío
Dew

Carlos Guastavino, Gabriela Mistral

Esta era una rosa
There is a rose

Que abaja el rocío:
That brings the dew to the field:

Este era mi pecho
The field, my chest,

Con el hijo mío
The rose, my son.

Junta sus hojitas
Gather your leaves

Para sostenerlo
Hold onto them

Y esquiva los vientos
And dodge the winds of your feelings

Por no desprenderlo
Not letting go.

Porque él ha bajado
He’s come from down

Desde el cielo inmenso
From the heavens

Será que ella tiene
To make

Su aliento suspenso
her breath catch with his beauty.

De dicha se queda
The happiness surrounds,

Callada, callada:
hush, hush:

No hay rosa entre rosas
There is no rose among roses like this,

Tan maravillada
And I am so amazed.

Esta era una rosa
There is a rose

Que abaja el rocío:
That brings the dew to the field:

Este era mi pecho
The field, my chest,

Con el hijo mío
The rose, my son.

Las Rosa y El Sauce
The Rose and the Willow Tree

Carlos Guastavino, Fernán Silva Valdés

La rosa se iba abriendo
The rose began to bloom

Abrazada al sauce,
Embracing the willow tree,

El árbol apasionada,
The passionate tree, passionately

La amaba tanto!
It loved the rose so much.

Pero una niña, una niña coqueta
But a little girl, a coquettish girl

Pero una niña, una niña coqueta
But a little girl, a coquettish girl

Se la ha robado
Has stolen the rose

Y el sauce desconsolado
And the desolate willow tree

La está llorando.
Is crying for the rose.

La está llorando.
Is crying for the rose.

English Translation © Lorena Paz Nieto

 

Support
our vision

First Chairs are the principals of each section of the orchestra, responsible for each section’s unity and musicianship.

Likewise, Great Bend First Chair members will provide leadership throughout our community, each communicating as an insider about Great Bend’s vision, and helping to ensure that news and information about our progress is delivered in the most orchestrated of ways.

Each First Chair member will receive a number of acknowledgments, but the primary is a named chair or chairs in the proscenium theater. Members also receive:

  • Advance access to both individual and season tickets, including the option to reserve their named chair(s) for their chosen performances.
  • Pod Squad Third Wave status, which is our membership program for complimentary access to classes, lessons, ensembles, concerts, and events.
  • Invitations to First Chair events throughout the capital campaign for community insiders to get news and updates first about everything from capital progress to collaborations with Jazz Alley acts to assemble a world class jazz season.

Membership Levels

$1000 Level: One named chair, orchestra aisle
$5000 Level: Four named chairs, center orchestra

Support
our vision

First Chairs are the principals of each section of the orchestra, responsible for each section’s unity and musicianship.

Likewise, Great Bend First Chair members will provide leadership throughout our community, each communicating as an insider about Great Bend’s vision, and helping to ensure that news and information about our progress is delivered in the most orchestrated of ways.

Each First Chair member will receive a number of acknowledgments, but the primary is a named chair or chairs in the proscenium theater. Members also receive:

  • Advance access to both individual and season tickets, including the option to reserve their named chair(s) for their chosen performances.
  • Pod Squad Third Wave status, which is our membership program for complimentary access to classes, lessons, ensembles, concerts, and events.
  • Invitations to First Chair events throughout the capital campaign for community insiders to get news and updates first about everything from capital progress to collaborations with Jazz Alley acts to assemble a world class jazz season.

Membership Levels

$1000 Level: One named chair, orchestra aisle
$5000 Level: Four named chairs, center orchestra

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