Gabriela Ortiz

Seis Piezas a Violeta

for string quartet and piano

About the work

"Having been raised in a family where Latin American folklore and the so called "Canto Nuevo" were always present, I had the opportunity to be in contact with South American composers, singers and groups through which I acquainted myself with the music of Violeta Parra. As a girl I met Uruguayan performer Daniel Viglietti, Argentinean Mercedes Sosa, and Chileans Victor and the famous Inti-llimani. All of them gave me the access read to Violeta’s songs which I enjoyed enormously although, due to my age, I was not yet aware of the meaning of her texts and her own life.

After Pinochet’s coup, I had the opportunity to be in touch with the members of Inti-llimani during the group’s forced exile, either on their visits to Mexico or during my years of study in Europe. Our last encounter took place in the port city of Valparaiso, during the winter of 2001, in a Chile that had recovered its democracy. Thanks to all this, I was able to deepen my knowledge of the greatness of this Chilean composer and performer Violeta Parra. Later on, the Cuarteto Latinoamericano commissioned a work to celebrate its twentieth anniversary and, taking into account that three of them had seen the first light in the very country where this extraordinary woman was born, I decided to write and dedicate this quintet to her memory.

The work is divided in six small pieces, three of them: Andean Prelude, Song of the Little Angel and Amen are inspired and closely related in a very personal way to the life of Violeta, whereas the remaining ones, Austral Geometry, Genesic Rhythm and Danza Esdrújula are studies that utilize certain technical aspects of polyrhythms already used in other works of mine."
- Gabriela Ortiz

SPECS

Duration:

17'

Movements:

I. Preludio Andino
II. Geometría Austral
III. Rítmo Genésico
IV. Canto del Angelito
V. Danza Esdrújula
VI. Amen

Instrumentation:

string quartet, piano

BACKGROUND

Date of composition:

2002

Commissionner:

Cuarteto Latinoamericano with funds provided by The Mexican Institute of Fine Arts

Performances:

Premiere: November, 2002; Sala Blas Galindo, Centro Nacional de las Artes, Mexico City, Mexico

ABOUT THE COMPOSER

Two Latin Grammy nominated Gabriela Ortiz is one of the foremost composers in Mexico today, and one of the most vibrant musicians emerging in the international scene. Her musical language achieves an extraordinary and expressive synthesis of tradition and the avant-garde; combining high art, folk music and jazz in novel, frequently refined and always personal ways. Her compositions are credited for being both entertaining and immediate as well as profound and sophisticated; she achieves a balance between highly organized structure and improvisatory spontaneity. Although based in Mexico, her music is commissioned and performed all over the world.

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