Historietas del Viento

Conductor Notes:

This is a wonderful suite of four “Stories of the Wind” by contemporary Spanish composer Alejandro Yaguë. The Spanish texts are by Federico García Lorca. Yaguë sets each poem in a delicate, miniature,through-composed setting for SSAA choir and, in a total of 9 minutes, the suite takes us through a wide variety of moods, textures and tempi. This is a mature piece that requires a high skill level of both vocal technique and harmonic understanding. I conducted these over two seasons with Elektra and always enjoyed rehearsing and performing them because there was so much scope to try to reflect the characters of the various types of winds, from stagnant, oppressive ones to playful breezes. We first learned this suite under the direction of Javier Busto, when we had him in Vancouver to conduct Elektra in a concert called “Songs of Sanctuary”, of which half the repertoire was Spanish, brought by Busto for us. My understanding is that Busto asked Yaguë to write this work specifically to be premiered by Elektra that year. Being in Canada, neither the singers nor the audience is particularly versed in Spanish, but I can imagine these being a very good fit in the hands of a very good choir in the southern United States.

References:

This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.

Recordings

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Concerts:

Text:

Federico García Lorca I El viento venía rojo por el collado encendido y se ha puesto verde, verde por el río. Luego se pondrá violeta, amarillo y – Será sobre los sembrados un arco iris tendido. II Viento estancado. Arriba el sol. Abajo Las algas temblorosas De los Alamos. Y mi corazón Temblando. Viento estancado A las cinco de la tarde. Sin pájaros. III La brisa es ondulada como los cabellos de algunas muchachas. Como los marecitos de algunas viejas tablas. La brisa brota como el agua y se derrama, como un bálsamo blanco, por las cañadas, y se desmaya al chocar con lo duro de la montaña. IV (Maestro:): ¿Qué doncella se casa con el viento? (Niño:): La doncella de todos los deseos. (Maestro:) ¿Qué la regala el viento? (Niño:): Remolinos de oro y mapas superpuestos. (Maestro:) ¿Ella le ofrece algo? (Niño:) Su corazón abierto. (Maestro:) Decid cómo se llama. (Niño:) Su nombre es un secreto.

Translation:

I The wind came in red through the burned-over pass and changed into green down by the river. And it will change into violet and yellow and … Over fields sown with seed, an elongated rainbow. II Stagnant wind. Sun above you. Below you the tremulous algae of aspens. And my heart trembling too. Stagnant wind at five in the afternoon and no birds. III The breeze so wavy like the hair of certain girls. Like the oceans made small in certain old panels. The breeze now gushes like water, now overflows – tenuous balsamic white – through the canebrakes, now faints, where it crashes against the rock of a mountain. IV (Teacher:) What maiden will marry the wind? (Child:) The maiden of all our desires. (Teacher:) What does the wind give the maiden? (Child:) Whirlwinds of gold. A pileup of maps. (Teacher:) And she gives him what in return? (Child:) Her heart laid bare. (Teacher:) Tell me her name. (Child:) Her name is a secret.