first glance, this piece seems to be a love-song, interweaving the original
verses by José Angel Valente to create an imaginary dialogue of inconceivable
love: Giordano Bruno at the Inquisition’s stake on the Piazza dei Fiori and the
mental projection of impossible love in the form of the goddess Diana as the
object of desire (cf. the parable of Acteon, the hunter, who spied on the naked
goddess; she turns him into a stag who is then torn apart by his own dogs –
man, consumed by the flames of his own desire).
This burning soundscape has no philosophical
background. It consists of the rebounding echoes of sounds once intensely
experienced and now welling up from the mind’s memory. The memory of the
unmistakeable Viennese element in certain sonic images kept returning in my
discussions with Josep Pons – and our talks about the expressive power of sung
music, so prominent in the voices of singers in the traditional flamenco genre,
were coloured by inevitable recollections of the so-called Vienna Sound and the
typical, bittersweet character of some of Beethoven’s works, Schubert’s, Hugo
Wolf’s, Schönberg’s, Mahler’s.
through the months when I was working on the piece, I couldn’t help remembering
that Mahler composed his impressive Lied
von der Erde precisely 100 years before. Although it is coincidence that my
score calls for human voices – a soprano solo (an alto in Mahler), sung by
Milagros Poblador, and a tenor solo, performed by the flamenco singer Arcángel
– it is certainly not a coincidence that structures occasionally appear in my
usual, characteristic orchestral sound which are reminiscent of Mahler's in Lied von der Erde – not as quotations or
paraphrases, but conceived as purely poetical expressions of implicit metaphors
for a sonic world overflowing with energy and dynamism.
work is dedicated to Josep Pons, in profound friendship and admiration. He is a
superb conductor who succeeded in penetrating the secrets concealed in the
notes in the score and making them audible in his performances of my piece.