Rosa engalanada was composed in May 1992, intended for a concert in homage to Tomás Marco, on the occasion of his fiftieth anniversary. This concert was made up of twelve very short compositions -around five minutes long- by as many authors, in which the different ages and aesthetics were unified by the common denominator of friendship and affection for the Madrid composer.
My modest contribution to the event had only one conditioning factor: the instrumental combination of flute and guitar. Reviewing the catalog of Tomás Marco, recently published by the General Society of Authors of Spain, I found that one of his most recent works had been written just a year before, in 1991, for the same performers who would premiere my work composed for the occasion: the Versus Duo, made up of flutist Ian Fawcett and guitarist Daniel Sanz. Both the instrumental combination and its title, Luciérnaga furiosa, served as a starting point for my Rosa engalanada.
Carlos Gardel (1890-1935)
The Luciérnaga furiosa ("Furious Firefly") is an ingenious distortion of the image of the “luciérnaga curiosa” ("curious firefly") that appears in a song, El día que me quieras ("The day you love me") immortalized by Carlos Gardel (in fact, as furious, and not curious, it is like many people -myself included- understood it). Rehearing the song, I stopped at a point where the lyrics recreate a new image (…“la rosa que engalana…" -... the rose that adorns...") that I immediately grasped, due to the undoubted affective importance that the word "rose" has for Tomás Marco. For the title, I looked for, in addition, an expression that recalled a usual mode of title of Tomás: noun + adjective (Campana rajada -"Cracked Bell"-, Espejo velado -"Veiled Mirror"-, Espacio sagrado -"Sacred Space"- or the same Luciérnaga furiosa -"Furious Firefly"- can serve as an eloquent sample), and I organized the music into two differentiated sections "Canción" and "Tango", rushing to add that "Canción" has nothing of a song, and "Tango" little of a tango, beyond a simple burst. They are simple connotations, aimed at creating false expectations in the listener, whose frustration gives off a certain expressiveness.
Fragment of the movie El día que me quieras (1935)
Together with the other works written for the mogae, Rosa engalanada was premiered by the Dúo Versus at the Teatro Monumental in Madrid, in December 6, 1992. Naturally, it is dedicated to Mª Rosa and Tomás Marco.
In 1994 it was included on the CD Jeune musique de chambre espagnole, of the label L'empreinte digitale, performed by Isabelle Duval (flute) and Caroline Delume (guitar).
Cover of the CD with the recording of Rosa engalanada (1994)