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for choir and piano after a poem by Miguel de Cervantes | 5'ca. (2005) download | purchase
Commissioned by the Serranía de Cuenca International Choral Music FestivalDedicated to Carlos Gibert Checa
"Ovillejos" is a musical composition inspired by the vibrant and witty poetry of Miguel de Cervantes, particularly his use of the traditional Spanish poetic form known as "villancico" or "ovillejo." This piece, composed for choir and piano, aims to capture the essence of Cervantes' playful language and spirited humor, creating a harmonious marriage of music and poetry.
The ovillejo, a short and lively form of poetry, typically consists of ten lines divided into three quintillas (five-line stanzas) and a final quatrain. These verses often feature humorous themes, wordplay, and a musical rhythm that lends itself well to musical interpretation.
In "Ovillejos" the composer utilizes the inherent musicality of Cervantes' poetry to craft a dynamic and engaging choral work. Through intricate vocal harmonies, rhythmic patterns, and expressive piano accompaniment, the piece evokes the spirited nature of the ovillejo tradition while providing a contemporary musical interpretation.
The composition explores a range of emotions, from lighthearted whimsy to profound introspection, reflecting the depth and versatility of Cervantes' poetry. Each section of the piece offers a unique musical interpretation of the corresponding stanza of the poem, with the choir and piano serving as equal partners in bringing the text to life.
"Ovillejos" invites listeners on a journey through Cervantes' imaginative world, where music and poetry converge to celebrate the beauty of language and the power of artistic expression. With its vibrant melodies, rich harmonies, and rhythmic vitality, the composition pays homage to one of Spain's most beloved literary figures while offering a fresh perspective on the timeless art of storytelling through music.
¿Quién menoscaba mis bienes?¡Desdenes!Y ¿quién aumenta mis duelos?¡Los celos!Y ¿quién prueba mi paciencia?¡Ausencia!
De este modo en mi dolencianingún remedio se alcanza,pues me matan la esperanza,desdenes, celos y ausencia.
¿Quién me causa este dolor?¡Amor!Y ¿quién mi gloria repuna?¡Fortuna!Y ¿quién consiente mi duelo?¡El cielo!
De este modo yo recelomorir deste mal extraño,pues se aúnan en mi dañoamor, fortuna y el cielo.
¿Quién mejorará mi suerte?¡La muerte!Y el bien de amor, ¿quién le alcanza?¡Mudanza!Y sus males, ¿quién los cura?¡Locura!
Dese modo no es corduraquerer curar la pasión,cuando los remedios sonmuerte, mudanza y locura.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra