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Epílogo del misterio (Sobre un poema de José Bergamín) / Epilogue of the mistery (on a poem by José Bergamín)

Voice (Mezzosoprano) & Piano



The difficulty of setting a text to music without losing the sensation sought by its author (when the latter has only foreseen that his words are to be read, and not sung) disappears when that text has a great musicality implicit in it. Or at least that is how it seemed to me when I wrote, in May 1979, Epílogo del misterio on a poem by José Bergamín, whose work also helped me to compose Requiescat (1980) for vocal quartet and piano four hands, having always been impressed by his immense facility to treat the most overwhelming themes with the utmost simplicity.
Written for mezzo-soprano voice and piano, the work is divided into three sections, the central one being the longest and most important, as it includes the full text of Bergamín's poem, and the other two an "introduction" and "coda", respectively, without any text.
Epílogo del misterio was written in order to complete one of the sides of the double LP that the Spanish Confederation of Savings Banks published in 1979 on the occasion of the V musical composition competition "Golden Harp Trophy", in which my work Crucifixus, for twenty string instruments and piano, had been finalist after the concert held at the Teatro Real in Madrid, in January of that year.

Cover of the LP with the finalists pieces of the
5th "Golden Harp Trophy" competition (1979)

The recording was made by the mezzo-soprano Esperanza Abad, accompanied on piano by the late composer Francisco Guerrero, and was not premiered in concert until 30 April 1986, as part of the cycle "20th century Spanish song" at the Fundación Juan March in Madrid, being performed by María Aragón and Miguel Zanetti.
The score is dedicated to my parents.

Program of the concert held at the Joan March
Foundation (Madrid, 1986)
Download the complete program of the cycle

Primera página de Epílogo del misterio


El misterio está en el aire,
en el aire y en el fuego,
en el fuego y en la luz,
en la luz y el pensamiento.

En la palabra y la idea,
en la voz y en el silencio,
en lo profundo del mar,
en los abismos del cielo.

El misterio está en su sitio,
y de par en par abierto
a la claridad del sol,
a la oscuridad del tiempo.

Tiempo que distiende el alma,
desvelándola de sueño,
y hace que en el corazón
del hombre tiemble el misterio.

(José Bergamín)
The mystery is in the air,
in the air and in the fire,
in the fire and in the light,
in the light and in the thought.

In the word and the idea,
in the voice and in the silence,
in the depths of the sea,
in the abysses of the sky.

The mystery is in its place,
and wide open
to the brightness of the sun,
to the darkness of time.

Time that relaxes the soul,
unveiling it from sleep,
and makes the heart of man
tremble with mystery.