Sleeping Notes, the only work in my catalog for solo harp, was composed in 1992 by commission of Graciela Torres, wife of San Sebastian harpist Nicanor Zabaleta, as a gift to her husband on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of their marriage. Its title refers to the famous Rhyme 7th by Gustavo Adfolfo Bécquer ("From the room in the dark corner, / from its owner perhaps forgotten..."), and more specifically to the first verse of its second stanza ("How many notes were sleeping in its strings...!"), and is structured in two main parts, which are largely two elaborations of the same material that is harmonically transformed by a different organization of the pedals. Each of the two sections closes with a very quick quotation, like a waft, of a fragment of the Romanesca, the harmonic ground of so many differences or variations composed in the Spanish 16th century for harp, keyboard and vihuela.
Ground of the Romanesca
Tablature of the Romanesca or Guárdame las vacas by Alonso Mudarra (1510-1580)
Final of Notas dormidas, following the harmmonic scheme of the Romanesca
The score is dedicated to Graciela and Nicanor Zabaleta. He died in 1993 without having performed it, and the piece was finally premiered in January 25, 2006 at the Cánovas Theater in Málaga by Cristina Montes, within the Contemporary Music Series of the Málaga Philharmonic Orchestra.
Harpist Cristina Montes
Cover of the book-program of the 12th Contemporary Music Cycle of Málaga Philharmonic Orchestra (January 9-27, 2006)
Program of the premiere of Notas dormidas (January 25, 2006)