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"
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)
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.