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Octeto "Séneca"

Clarinete en Si b, Violín, Viola, Violonchelo, Soprano, Contralto, Barítono y Piano

TENA, Abraham

Reg.: B.3848

35,00 €
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  • Ensemble: Octets.
  • Genres: Classical / contemporary: Chamber.
  • Language: Latín
  • Product format: Partitura + particellas
  • Difficulty level: Advanced-superior
  • Period: 2nd half S. XX - XXI
  • Publishing house: Editorial Boileau
  • Collection: Siglo XXI
  • No. of pages: 80+64
  • Measure: 31,00 x 23,00 cm
  • Lenght: 20'
  • ISMN: 979-0-3503-3698-0
  • Available in digital: No
  • Available for rent: No

This is Op. 30 from the catalogue of works by Abraham Tena Manrique and it issues from a personal 
order from Sergio Espejo, pianist of Spain’s National Orquestra and Choir (OCNE): a proposal for a concert called “Death and Beyond” to be performed on the 1st of March 2016 at the camera hall of the Auditorio Nacional, Madrid.

The work opens with the soloist voices: spoken word (as if it were the creative Word) wields its power while the voices rise, one by one, building up, with a recurrent leitmotif, the question that wants to be answered. Silence interrupted by voice. “Death we so much fear and avoid”. A sentece that looks for solace and will try, throughout the first movement, to find that easying Light, The instrumental section drives us, after a brief introduction, into an elegiac, almost biblical atmosphere (c.11). For three times a brief melody sounds over the waves drawn by the piano. We are rocked by uncertainty, but still quiet. Despondent voices interrupt the discourse to emphasize the beginning message (c.22a). Voices, the human condition, can not find consolation in the severe unfolding that the elegy suggests. There comes a climax (c.34) in which the word “Death” is repeated four times by soprano and mezzosoprano voices, while the baritone repeats the word death, that last syllable that we avoid. We are still avoiding death as the ultimate end. With a harmonic hesitation, as if it were revelation, we hear “interrupts life but does not extinguishes it”. Music stops, there is no pulse, no tension (c.38-49). Peacefully revelation announces, after a silence (c.50) that “it does not extinguish”; music and word rise to the sky looking for an answer, a space of solace. But it is just a mirage, it is not going to be so easy. Now the re exposition starts, but more stressed- anguish has to be more intense, for acceptance has not yet come. Restlessness has to be deeper from the beginning, for something is still sought to ease this existence damned to nothingness. Instrumentation changes, the piano powerful bass tones show the depths we are confronted with since we can not find solace. The words “we avoid” are now shouted in despair (c.78). We failed. A brief silence gives way to the initial re formulation.

The second movement shows us what we fear so much: Death. Words are needless. It is nothingness, our fear of the loss of self. There is no solace, only pain, a pain that sweeps us away. An initial motif (c.1) gives unity to this funeral march. As a ghost, section b appears (c.11), the anguish of the damned souls. The initial movement is recapitulated (c.20), but now with falling tones that increase pain. The middle section of this funeral march (c.30) is just that, a funeral march in C minor. The procession of souls receiving death, a parade towards the hill of souls. They are headed for eternal rest. But not all; some souls have not found solace yet. Now they fight in a combat in which pain prevails over that parade that marches on in a pianissimo (c.42), now in B flat minor, keeping a defying harmonic pedal that fills with painful sounds  the peaceful and unshakeable journey of these souls heading for their end. With piano bass tones epilogue remarks the mounting unrest of this march; pain seems to prevail. Piercing and powerful final piano movement.

The leading role of the piano in the second movement raises, now in B flat major, the salvation message offered by the second quote from the chosen epistle. Three well drawn planes in these first bars. Deep basses without evolution, movements in the high tones and a stressless, peceful melody. There follows a clarinet solo (c.6) that forwards a gracious, legatissima phrase. Cello, viola, violin and finally clarinet repeat the melody while the soloist voices sing the beginning of the epistolar sentence “veniet iterum qui nos in lucem reponat dies…” Cords retake now the phrase with which the piano started the final movement (c.16). Some complaintive notes sparkle what was at first a moment of serenity ; rising and falling intervals of second sow with complaint even this moment of peace. For a third time, the piano repeats the idea of acceptancy, coexistenece of the celestial and the call of the depths, with a gracious melody. Above the melody, long notes; voices repeat the quoted epistolar sentence; the restlessness of clarinet and violin provides a state of almost complete illumination and then music stops (c.27). An epistolar superclimax is reached, with the return of the Word sung by the baritone who, as a Messiah announces, supported by cello and piano pedals, that Light, which so many had avoided, will come back to our lost memory. Ecstasy found in (c.21) is repeated; joyfulness is finally reached. The moment is come to recapitulate the Octet’s initial doubt (c.42). A recapitulation of our fear of nothingness which sounds while the clarinet plays the messianic healing melody. Beginning and end. Life and death. True climax of the piece. After this, there is onlythe slow extinction, slow and peaceful death that, as a fugato, keeps repeating the musical phrase that allows to die, to close the eyes, waiting for that promised Light. 

Work dedicated to S. 31

I. Adagio "Et mors quam pertimescimus ac recusamus intermittit vitam..." II. Marcia funebre III. Largo "Veniet iterum qui nos in lucem reponat dies, ..."