Hyperion Records

Tres poemas, Op 81
composer
1933
author of text
the poem Tu pupila es azul is based on Byron's I saw thee weep

Recordings
'Canciones españolas' (CDA67954)
Canciones españolas
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Details
No 1: Olas gigantes
No 2: Tu pupila es azul
No 3: Besa el aura

Tres poemas, Op 81
Joaquín Turina, like Manuel de Falla, was a native of Seville, and also spent time in Paris, where he was influenced by French musical style. Although he studied with d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum and was greatly attracted by the music of Debussy, his compositions remained essentially Spanish. Albéniz encouraged him to seek inspiration from the rich heritage of Spanish folk music, and much of his guitar and vocal music is characterized by Spanish colour and rhythms. The Tres poemas date from 1933 and set three poems by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, whose Rima Turina had set a decade earlier. Bécquer lived for a time in Madrid, eking out an existence in journalism and translation work and churning out a number of zarzuela libretti long since forgotten. In 1858 he fell in love with Julia Espín, the muse of a number of his Rimas—unrequitedly, as the texts of songs by Albéniz, de Falla, Mompou and Turina tell us. His poems have often been described as ‘suspiritos germánicos’—a reference to Heine’s Buch der Lieder poems, which Bécquer knew partially through Gérard de Nerval’s translation of Lyrisches Intermezzo. Bécquer’s poems, however, lack Heine’s cynicism, as we see especially in Besa el aura, and also Olas gigantes, set both by de Falla and by Federico Mompou in his Bécquerianas (1971). Tu pupila es azul, the second of the Tres poemas, was originally entitled ‘Imitación de Byron’, inspired as it was by Byron’s ‘I saw thee weep’. Turina varies the vocal line of each stanza, and the accompaniment, which starts with a staccato motif based on simple chords, develops more virtuoso characteristics at the end of the third verse, when we hear romantic arpeggios and guitar-like music to accompany the vocal cadenza with which the song ends.

from notes by Richard Stokes © 2013

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