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Gudrun Ólafsdóttir (right) and the Sonor Ensemble, in a photo taken in 2014

Callada partida / Silent leaving (on a poem by Conchita Colón on her mother's death)

a) For Mezzosoprano (or Clarinet) an Piano Sextet
b) For Viola (or Clarinet) and Piano

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Callada partida was born from a commission by Luis Aguirre, director of Sonor Ensemble and with whom I have been for many years sharing a sincere friendship, to commemorate, with his first performance in April 2014, the first anniversary the death of his mother, Concha Colón, from an emotional sonnet composed by herself on the occasion, in turn, of the death of hers.

Conchita Colón

Given the very special circumstances of the commission, few times like this one have I had the initial sensation of finding myself facing a difficult task to carry out, finally deciding to resolve the conflict (or so I think) letting myself be carried away by the vibration contained in the poem, without entering into aesthetic speculations and placing myself at all times at the service of the intimate, painful and resigned meaning of the sonnet:

Te has ido sin saberte despedida,
madre, poco ha, y rito de la muerte,
retuviera yo el tiempo por prenderte
el minuto anterior a tu partida.

Te has ido sin decir al menos: Cuida
esta herencia que dejo de no verte.
El curso le trocara yo a la suerte
por saberme gozosa de tu vida.

Te has ido, por tu ley, presa la boca
de la sana costumbre de tus años.
Dios en todo, y silencio, por respuesta.

Te fuiste sin hablar. Habla la roca
de tu cuerpo -ya nieve en negros paños-:
"Esto es Dios. Vedlo aquí. Mi gloria es ésta."
You left without farewell,
mother, so short ago, and rite of death,
could I retain the time to hold you
one minute before your departing!

You left without saying: Take care
of this inheritance I bequeath for seeing you nevermore.
Were I able to reverse the course of destiny
me knowing your lifetime was delight!

You left, abiding your law, mouth sealed
over your habit of wise years,
God ommipresent, and silence in response.

You went without a word. Your innert body speaks
-already snow, clad in black cloths-:
"This is God. Behold Him. This is my glory".

Written for mezzo-soprano and a small chamber group made up of two violins, viola, violoncello, double bass and piano, the piece can be performed purely instrumentally, the vocal part being replaced by a clarinet which, far from limiting itself to reproducing it verbatim, reworks the main melodic line in the form of a continuous variation. At the request of Ana María Alonso, from this second purely instrumental version I made during the summer of 2021 a new one, in which the solo part was transcribed for viola, accompanied by a piano reduction of the chamber group of the original version.
Callada partida was composed between the months of August and October 2013, and is dedicated to the memory of Concha Colón.

Program of the premiere of the vocal version of Callada partida (March 25, 2014)

The premiere of the vocal version took place on March 25, 2014 at the Theater of the High Singing School in Madrid, within the International Festival of Sacred Art and with the mezzo-soprano Gudrun Ólafsdóttir as a soloist.

Program of the premiere of the clarinet version of Callada partida
(May 6, 2014)

The version with clarinet, meanwhile, was premiered on May 6, 2014 in the Auditorium of the Faculty of Philology of the Complutense University of Madrid, with Iván García performing the clarinet part. On both occasions the soloists were accompanied by the Sonor Ensemble under the direction of Luis Aguirre.
The versions for Viola and piano (written for violist Ana María Alonso) and for Clarinet and piano are from 2021. The first one was premiered by Ana Mª Alonso and pianist Rubén Yessayan on June 30, 2022, at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Madrid, within the concert "Soundscapes (21st century Spanish music for viola and piano)".

Program of the premiere of the viola and piano version of Callada partida

First page of Callada partida


I. Vocal version
Premiere: Theater of the High Singing School (Madrid, March 25, 2014
Gudrun Ólafsdóttir (mezzosoprano) and Sonor Ensemble (Cond.: Luis Aguirre)

II. Clarinet version
Athenaeum of Madrid, March 2015
Antonio Lapaz (clarinet) and Sonor Ensemble (Cond.: Luis Aguirre)

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(Score and parts without watermarks available at www.asesores-musicales.com )