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Juan Ramón Jiménez (1881-1958)

Primera antolojía / First anthology (On poems by Juan Ramón Jiménez)

For Voice (Soprano) and Piano

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Composed in Madrid in March 1981 at the request of the duo formed by the soprano Ana Higueras and the pianist Félix Lavilla, to whom it is dedicated, to form part of the closing ceremony of the International Commemorative Congress of the Centennial of Juan Ramon Jiménez, the Primera antolojía ( with that Juanramonian "j" characteristic, please don't correct it) was premiered by its dedicataries in the Church of the Monastery of La Rábida (Huelva) on June 25, 1981.

Ana Higueras y Félix Lavilla

The work consists of a cycle of three songs on poems by Juan Ramón Jiménez that are strongly contrasting with each other, whose character and vocal and instrumental treatment give it a great variety. In the first one, Blanco, primero ("White, first") , the piano accompaniment creates a mysterious atmosphere, in keeping with the enigmatic meaning of the poem, which goes from light to darkness to finally return to the first one.
Ajuste ("Adjustement"), for its part, tries to recreate a popular atmosphere, very much in keeping with its second title, Cantar de siembra ("Sowing song"). That is why it is written entirely for voice alone, in which passages in "boca chiusa" alternate, written in a free atonality, along with modal-style verses that seek a clear reference to the popular songs used in harvesting tasks. Finally, in Aria otoñal ("Autumn Air") the piano reappears, in an accompaniment that serves the melancholic state of the poem before the arrival of autumn, although ending with optimism before the future arrival of spring.

Program of the premiere of Primera antolojía (June 25, 1981)

The Primera antolojía was included in the collection of CDs "Nine centuries of song", recorded by Ana Higueras and Jaime del Val, published in 2010 by Higueras Arte label.

Cover of the CDs collection "Nine centuries of song"

First page of Primera antolojía



Blanco, primero / White, first

Blanco, primero, de un blanco
de inocencia, ciego, blanco,
blanco de ignorancia, blanco ...

Luego verdea el veneno;
sus ventanas abre el cuerpo;
lo blanco se pone negro.

¡Guerra de noches y dias!
El viento mata a la brisa.
La brisa al viento ... La brisa

torna, conquistado, el blanco,
blanco verdadero, blanco
de eternidad, blanco, blanco.

White, first, of a white
of innocence, blind, white,
white of ignorance, white ...

Then the poison greens;
the body opens his windows;
white turns black.

War of nights and days!
The wind kills the breeze.
The breeze kills the wind ... The breeze

turns, conquered, the white,
true white, white
of eternity, white, white.


Ajuste (Cantar de siembra) / Adjustement (Sowing song)

¡Qué difícil es unir
el tiempo de frutecer
con el tiempo de sembrar!

(El mundo jira que jira,
ruedas que nunca se unen
en una rueda total.)

¡Un solo día de vida,
un día completo y todo,
que no se acabe jamás!

How difficult it is to join
the time to be fruitful
with the time to sow!

(The world rotates and rotates,
wheels that never join
on a total wheel.)

A single day of life,
a full day and everything,
may it never end!


Aria otoñal / Autumn Air

¡La otra tarde, se ha llevado
el viento más hojas secas!
¡Qué pena tendrán los árboles,
esta noche sin estrellas!

He entreabierto mi balcón:
-La luna camina muerta,
sin luz de besos ni lágrimas,
amarilla entre la niebla-.

Y he acariciado los árboles,
con miradas de terneza,
que les van abriendo hojitas
verde luz de primavera.

¿Es que están soñando, así,
con sus pobres hojas secas?
Yo les digo "No lloréis;
vendrán con las hojas nuevas".

(Juan Ramón Jiménez)

The other afternoon, the wind
took away more dry leaves!
What a shame the trees will have,
tonight without stars!

I have ajar my balcony:
-The moon walks dead,
without the light of kisses or tears,
yellow in the mist-.

And I have caressed the trees
with looks of tenderness,
that they are opening little leaves
green spring light.

Is it that they are dreaming, so,
with its poor dry leaves?
I tell them "Don't cry;
they will come with the new leaves".


Recording: Ana Higueras (soprano) and Jaime del Val (piano):

I. Blanco, primero / White, first
II. Ajuste (Cantar de siembra) / Adjustement (sowing song)
III. Aria otoñal / Autumn Air


Video (SGAE): Johana Simón (soprano) and Beatriz Boizán (piano)

Madrid, Manuel de Falla Hall of the General Society of Authors and Editors, February 11, 2009. Concert Homage from Turina to Turina, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the death of Joaquín Turina


I. Blanco, primero / White, first

II. Ajuste (Cantar de siembra) / Adjustement (sowing song)

III. Aria otoñal / Autumn Air


Voice and piano at the Segovia Music Week
By Carlos Gómez Amat
(Review published in the newspaper El Mundo. Madrid, July 17 1991)

José Luis Turina, always active, incisive and interesting, gives us a sample of how modern song can be approached in his «First anthology» on high Spanish poetry, even accepting the dangerous challenge of unaccompanied voice. In the third song appears, like a friendly ghost, the shadow of grandfather Joaquín.

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