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Fernando Villalón (1881-1930)

Manuel Machado (1874-1947)

Pregón / Street cry (on text by Fernando Villalón and Manuel Machado)

For Soprano and Piano

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At the end of 2019 I received from the restless and versatile pianist Albert Nieto (for whom I wrote the piano piece piece Amb "P" de Pau (With "P" for Pau) as far back as 1986, and thirty years later Salome, empty chalice, for voice and piano, which would be integrated in the show "Tres pasiones de mujer" together with works by David del Puerto and Fernando Lázaro) the proposal to compose a work to be part of a recital project for voice and piano in homage to the Barcelona soprano Victoria de los Ángeles, whose centenary of her birth would be celebrated in 2023.

My knowledge of Victoria de los Ángeles comes from the mythical recording of Canto a Sevilla by Joaquín Turina, made in 1955 for Angel Records and in which she was accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anatole Fistoulari, a recording that was heard very frequently in my closest family environment. The project did not include any songs by Turina, but Albert himself suggested the possibility of writing something alluding to his music and his figure, and for this I recovered a first-time vocal piece entitled Pregón (Street cry), with a text by the Sevillian Fernando Villalón, which I reworked by inserting a central part on a fragment of the poem "Falseta to the glory of the Sevillian maestro Joaquín Turina" by the also Sevillian Manuel Machado, which opens the biography of the composer published in 1943 by Federico Sopeña in the National Publishing House.
The final text of the new version of Pregón reads as follows:

La calleja es una herida
honda y curada con cal.
Juega el sol con un rosal
en la ventana florida.
La siesta a rezar convida.

Porque dicen la Giralda,
la caña de manzanilla,
el crujido de la falda
y el son de la seguidilla.

Ya ves la escena…
Nadie la imaginara
más hechicera, más verdadera,
más duce y clara…

Reza el agua eternamente
en el patio, y de repente
un grito asustó a la rosa,
que se desmayó, mimosa,
sobre el cristal de la fuente.
The alley is a wound
deep and cured with lime.
The sun plays with a rose bush
in the flowery window
The siesta to pray invites.

Because they say the Giralda,
the cup of manzanilla,
the rustle of the skirt
and the sound of the seguidilla.

You see the scene...
no one would imagine
more sorceress, more true,
sweeter and clearer...

Pray the water eternally
in the yard, and suddenly
a scream frightened the rose,
who fainted, cuddly,
on the glass of the fountain.

In this way, the new piece recreates an undeniable Sevillian atmosphere, but without the slightest direct or indirect reference to popular or stylized music.

Carmen Romeu

Albert Nieto

Pregón was premiered by the soprano Carmen Romeu and the pianist Albert Nieto, within the concert "An Angel sings (Tribute to Victoria de los Ángeles on the centenary of her birth)" held on March 29, 2023 in the Foyer Space of the Theater Arriaga of Bilbao.

Program of the premiere of Pregón (March 29, 2023)

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