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C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

D0 note (18.35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

F0 note (21.83 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

G0 note (24.50 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

A0 note (27.50 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

Frank, Gabriela Lena: Requiem for a Magical America 

 

 

Basic information

  • Title: 
    Requiem for a Magical America
  • Subtitle: 
    El Día de los Muertos
  • Duration (in minutes): 
    15
  • Year of composition: 
    2012
  • First performance (year): 
    2012
  • First performance (venue): 
    Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, MD
  • First performance (performers): 
    Annapolis Symphony Orchestra conducted by José-Luis Novo
  • Conductor: 
    Obligatory
 

Notes

  • Program notes: 

    As one of the most important holidays in Latin America, El Día de los Muertos is a yearly celebration of the dead beginning during the last days of October and continuing into the beginning of November. Coinciding with All Souls’ Day, this festival is an example of “folk Catholicism”, a blending of post-Conquest and pre-Conquest religious beliefs. As a folk requiem, this work traces one village’s celebration of their own deceased.  Though originally conceived as a ten-movement work lasting 25 minutes, a 15-minute version, approved by the composer, can be performed featuring six movements which is how it is presented here.

    Preludio: Canto Religioso (Prelude: Religious Song): Church bells and organ music quietly set the opening scene, testifying to the village’s Catholic faith. 

    Sacando a los Espíritus Malos (Driving Away the Evil Spirits): The somber worship music from the first movement quickly shifts, however, to the first of many native customs associated with El Dia de los Muertos. Initially approaching from a distance and sweeping through the village, young men run around banging pots and pans in order to drive away bad spirits. At times, the primal pulse of an underground heartbeat can be heard. 

    Danza del Pueblo (Village Dance): In this folkloric dance, we are introduced to the spirit and culture of the village as they prepare for the arrival of the dead – Cooking favorite dishes, preparing altars with marigolds and candy, and hosting lively dance and music performances. 

    La Llegada de los Muertos (The Arrival of the Dead): In trance-like music, the spirits arrive as thunder rumbles in the distance. They are greeted by the living. 

    Almas Perdidas (Lost Souls): The unbaptised spirits and those that died from violent deaths arrive. They are decidedly disturbed spirits who are unable to find peace in the afterlife. 

    Danza del Guerrero Precolombino (Dance of the Pre-Colombian Warrior): Out of the unrest of the previous movement emerges the defiant spirit of a warrior from pre-Colombian times. An important part of many El Día de los Muertos festivals, the depiction of the warrior is perhaps the strongest evidence of enduring beliefs from pre-Catholic Latin America. The heart beat hinted at in the second movement returns here, and is the sound of the warrior’s own beating heart. An angry spirit who still rages against his defeat at the hands of the conquering Spanish, he is finally driven away by the clangor of the pots and pans beaten at the hands of the villagers as the sun dawns.

    Originally conceived for symphonic winds in 2006, Frank revised the score for orchestra during her New Music USA/League of American Orchestras-supported Music Alive residency with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra who gave the first performance of the orchestral version at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, MD under the direction of José-Luis Novo on November 2, 2012. A perusal score is accessible via issuu on the G. Schirmer website.

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Instruments

Total number of musicians: 
81
Musicians1st player2nd player
Flute
2
C
C
Piccolo
Oboe
2
Oboe
Oboe
Cor anglais
Clarinet
2
B-flat
B-flat
Bass
Bassoon
2
Bassoon
Bassoon
Contrabassoon
Horn (F)
4
Trumpet
2
B-flat
B-flat
Trombone
2
Tenor
Tenor
Tuba
1
MusiciansInstruments
Percussion
4
Chimes
Marimba
Timpani
Xylophone
Bass Drum
Cymbals
Tamtam
Tom-Toms
Bongos
Temple Blocks
Wood Blocks
Other
Musicians1st player2nd player
Violin
30
Viola
12
Cello
10
Double Bass
8
4-string
4-string

 

 

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