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Anoche cuando dormía - (2008)     

Antonio Machado

for tenor and piano


for Douglas Duno

      Anoche cuando dormía
soñé, ¡bendita ilusión!,
que una fontana fluía
dentro de mi corazón.
Di, ¿por qué acequia escondida,
agua, vienes hasta mí,
manantial de
nuestra vida
de donde nunca bebí?

 

      Anoche cuando dormía
soñé, ¡bendita ilusión!,
que una colmena tenía
dentro de mi corazón;
y las doradas abejas
iban fabricando en él,
con las amarguras viejas,
blanca cera y dulce miel.

 

      Anoche cuando dormía
soñé, ¡bendita ilusión!,
que un ardiente sol lucía
dentro de mi corazón.
Era ardiente porque daba
calores de rojo hogar,
y era sol porque alumbraba
y porque hacía llorar.

 

      Anoche cuando dormía
soñé, ¡bendita ilusión!,
que era Dios lo que tenía
dentro de mi corazón.

[ 7 pages, circa 3' 30" ]


Antonio Machado

 

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt -- wondrous dream!—
that there was a flowing spring
inside my heart.
I said: why, hidden aqueduct,
water, are you coming to me,
source of new life
which I have never drunk?

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt -- wondrous dream!—
that I held a beehive
inside my heart.
And the glittering bees
were busy making
from the old bitterness
white honeycombs and sweet honey.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt -- wondrous dream!—
that a fiery sun was burning
inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a glowing hearth,
and the sun gave light
and tears to my eyes.

Last night, as I slept,
I dreamt -- wondrous dream!—
that it was God I held
inside my heart.

 

 

The persistence of the C major seven chord throughout within the domain of E minor as the final tonic lends a feeling of unsettledness to the setting. Flowing from octave to octave, the simple gesture underpins most of the strophes' duration, breaking only thereafter into an interlude which suggests the sub-mediant or final tonic as the rest position for the song.

 

 

The strophes follow each other with a rising tessitura for the voice, and each ends with an unsettled F sharp against the predominant C major seven throughout.

 

 

The final utterances call upon the image of God within the dream, as within the heart. For this the final lines rise to underscore the proclamation of "God ...within my heart." The final cadence reaffirms the C major seven chord in the right hand, over the deep E in the bass, leaving slightly unfinished this setting, as all dreams await the next....

 

 

The score for Anoche cuando dormía is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.

 

Anoche cuando dormía