Tres Canciones de Ana María Fagundo - (2008)
for soprano or tenor and piano
for the poet, Ana María Fagundo
i. Malvas en la pradera [ 2 pages,
circa 1' 40" ]
las flores de las malvas
festonean de lila el verde de la pradera
en frescura y color
con las rojas amapolas.
ii. A la poesía [ 5 pages, circa 3' 55" ]
que se despierta
en mis venas,
rumor de Dios,
que me encadena,
voz de mi voz,
son de mis soledades.
abierta al viento,
mi cuerpo todo
de olvidadas aves marineras.
en ferviente espera
como el hambre de un niño,
como el campo que aguarda a la primavera.
-brisa, sol, quimera-
prende mis alas,
aligera mi canto,
rompe la cadena
y el pesado manto
de mi enlutada palabra prisionera.
iii. Rosas en diciembre [ 8 pages, circa 7' 20"
Las pocas rosas que aún quedan en el jardín
con sus colores suaves, casi desvaídos,
me guiñan débilmente sus cuerpos perfumados.
Veo como el viento las azota
con su látigo de sombras.
Las rosas del jardín están ateridas
Aunque sigan diciendo de arreboles
y recuerdos pletóricos de estíos.
Los pájaros, esos brillantes cantores de la brisa,
no quieren ya posarse en sus pétalos
tal vez porque la miel
ahora es sólo hiel y vacío.
Las rosas del jardín aún ondean
sus débiles colores por los aires,
aún, audaces, se yerguen en la penumbra
del eterno diciembre de los ánimos
y pugnan sus pobres pétalos dormidos
hacia otro despertar
de luces y fulgores,
de animoso paso,
de caminos que lleven en sus bordes
alguna retama en flor,
el amarillo arrullo de las mimosas,
el imposible olvido.
Las rosas del jardín
están aún hermosas
a pesar de los vientos,
y los agudos granizos del invierno.
Enhiestas sostienen sus colores
contra las sombras del recuerdo
y vivas esperan a marzo con sus brotes.
Las rosas de diciembre no se rinden.
Sources: Malvas en la pradera (Materia en olvido, 2008), A la poesía
(Isla adentro, 1969) and Rosas en diciembre (Trasterrado marzo,
Copyright © 1969, 1999, 2008 by Ana María
Fagundo and used by permission
[ 16 pages with cover, circa 12' 55" ]
Ana María Fagundo
Ana Maria Fagundo was born on March 13, 1938 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on
the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands (Spain). After an idyllic
childhood and adolescence in Tenerife, where she trained for a career in
business, Fagundo decisively altered the course of her life, accepting a
scholarship to the University of Redlands in California. She received a B.A.
in English and Spanish literatures in 1963 from the University of Redlands,
and earned her M.A. in Spanish literature (1964) and her Ph.D. in
comparative literature (1967) from the University of Washington in Seattle.
Since 1967 she has been teaching Spanish literature and creative writing at
the University of California, Riverside. In addition she publishes the
journal Alaluz, devoted to the promotion of Spanish and Latin
American poetry, narrative and essay. Alaluz has included the work of
internationally known authors such as Vicente Aleixandre, Jorge Guillén, and
Ernesto Cardenal, as well as poems by lesser known Spanish and Latin
American poets. Of special interest is Fagundo's longstanding interest in
women writers, who have appeared abundantly in the pages of Alaluz
since its inauguration in 1969. She retired in 2001 and lives in Madrid.
Fagundo has given poetry readings at numerous universities both here and
abroad, and her poems have been published in journals throughout the United
States, Latin America and Spain. Her poetry has been translated to English.
French. Portuguese, Italian, German, Lithuanian, Polish and Chinese. She has
graciously allowed these texts to be set to music and to be reproduced on
this site, for which I am most grateful.
Conceived for tenor originally and with the kind assistance of tenor,
Douglas Duno, I began setting these lovely "flowers" of Ana María Fagundo,
coming to see the apt for either tenor or soprano, and perhaps mezzo soprano
The first text is of juxtaposed colors as interpreted through the non-visual
medium of poetic words. Adding a layer of sweetly intense harmonic colors to
underscore these images was the musical parallel for me, as the opening
"Klang" of lilac contrasts against the brighter major seven chords with
added tones which follow, the setting ending with the brighter colors
following the more complex as "spring affirms its hopeful and fleeting
The second song speaks too of "fervent hope" which would "break the chains"
of darker moods and times, like unto the contrast of spring with a preceding
winter ("...como el campo que aguarda a la primavera"). The setting
therefore begins with triplets in polytonal array, to speak musically of
this hope. The vocal line begins on its highest note as the "butterfly"
soars in "gentle air" stimulating these brighter "rumors of God." For this
within the tonic domain of F major, D major contrasts with B flat major to
support the melodic invention of the vocal line. At the coda this song form
flies farther afield into a temporary A major, with its complimentary D
major against G flat major, before giving way to the original F major.
The last of these settings is the longest, over seven minutes duration. As
with the previous two, the emotional theme is one of hope for rebirth as one
sees in the coming of each spring after a winter. The image which carries
this similar theme now becomes "roses in December," which could be buffeted
by winds and rain. These are roses in December "which recall moments of
crimson and happy memories of summertime." For this a more somber harmonic
gesture opens the setting, and each subsequent section, giving way to a
simple, falling theme and an incomplete cadence awaiting resolution in the
tonic, F major. A four-part, chorale-like underscores the mentions of roses,
in distinction to the other images in the poem.
The winds of winter which "lash" these roses in December are musically
pictured with the triplets and repetitive gesture which repeats twice in the
setting. After this moment of "wind," the opening gesture returns again with
mention of these roses -- survivors of the winds.
Looking forward in time from winter to spring the mention of birds which
stand away from "roses in December" are still underscored by a joyous
chirping in the tonic. As the poem is in unequal sections, each beginning
with the image of the roses, just so each digression to other images follows
a new musical picture, each time to return to the opening gesture and a more
somber F major which yet also hints of spring and of hope.
The score for Tres Canciones de Ana María Fagundo 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.
Tres Canciones de Ana María Fagundo - A4 edition
Tres Canciones de Ana María Fagundo - 8½11 US edition