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Gabriela Lena Frank

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Rapsodia Andina (2011)
G Schirmer Inc
Works for 2-6 Players
Sub Category
Mixed Ensemble
Year Composed
15 Minutes
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Programme Note
Gabriela Lena Frank Rapsodia Andina (2011)
Composer note:
Rapsodia Andina (Andean Rhapsody) is inspired by the glimpses of ancient Perú contained in dusty yet colorful textiles, cracked ceramics, and carved bones. Not being an archeological expert, merely one who is fascinated to claim heritage from this small Andean nation, my imagination is stirred by the fragments of humanity that speak so poignantly to me. In this work, I’ve captured my musings in seven short movements scored for flute, harp, viola and cello. They are:

I. Fragmento: Flautista Mochica (Fragment: Mochica Flutist): A pre-Inca civilization in habiting northern Perú, the Mochica left behind a legacy of pots featuring mysterious dancing flutists.

II. Fragmento: El Canto del apu (Fragment: The Song of the Apu): The apu is a minor deity that inhabits objects in nature such as rocks, trees, and mountains. They sing to people passing by and must be appeased with gifts of food.

III. Fragmento: Responsorio del campo (Fragment: Countryside Call-and-Response): Simply formed, many songs from “el campo” have a call-and-response feel. Here, the calls are fielded by solo harp, a duo between the viola and cello, and a pizzicato section decorated by panpipe-like tongue stops in the flute.

IV. Fragmento: Hombre-Pájaro (Fragment: Bird-Man): This movement is inspired by the “bird-man” figure from the textiles of the Parácas culture. Copied out in endless rows of alternating directions, these figures either seem to be falling from the heavens or flying upwards to grace.

V. Fragmento: El ultimo camayoq (Fragment: The Last Camayoq): The camayoq was an important orator from the Inca times who was the resident historian, keeping the past alive for the present. They became a dying breed when the Spanish conquered his culture.

VI. Fragmento: Viento del desierto (Fragment: Desert Wind): Inspired by famous stone figures of singing women from the Lauramarca desert plains to the north, this movement begins with vocal-like calls. A fast middle section evokes the wind that blows through the plains.

VII. Fragmento: Zampoña rota (Fragment: Broken Panpipe): Broken panpipes have been found in a number of ancient ruins, suggesting ritualistic smashings. Typical panpipe techniques (glissing and pulsating tenuto notes, for instance) characterize this movement. The ending is somewhat abrupt, suggesting where the last pipe of the panpipe has been broken off.

— Gabriela Lena Frank

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