Un afogado

for violin, cello and piano

The title of this work for piano trio ("A drowned man") comes from a short narration by Galician writer Alfonso Daniel Rodríguez Castelao (1886-1950). This narration, which refers to the tragedy of a man who dies drowned in the sea, has inspired the composition of the piece in many ways. The first of all is the general mood of the music, very dramatic and full of a deep and intense emotion. Strong contrasts of character affect the discourse, dissonant and chaotic moments intercalating with long and sorrowful melodies. The image of waves on the sea is evocated by short, undulated passages and a general feeling of comings and goings especially in the first half of the work. An intimate, almost religious, melodic-contrapuntal section, evocates the funeral march through the village and the forthcoming burial. Finally, an explosion of renovated life and common-day banality is musically pictured through a fast and energetic finale, which includes traditional folkloric rhythms from Galicia (polka and muiñeira) and even a tiny quote from Evocación, first piece of suite Iberia by Isaac Albéniz.The title of this work (A drawned man) for piano trio comes from a short narration by Galician writer Alfonso Rodríguez Castelao (1886-1950). This narration, which refers to the tragedy of a man who dies drowned in the sea, has inspired the composition of the piece in many ways. The first of all is the general mood of the music, very dramatic and full of a deep and intense emotion. Strong contrasts of character affect the dicourse, dissonant and chaotic moments intercalating with long and sorrowful melodies. The image of waves on the sea is evocated by short, undulated passages and a general feeling of comings and goings especially in the first half of the work. An intimate, almost religious, melodic-contrapuntal section, evocates the funeral march through the village and the forthcoming burial. Finally, an explosion of renovated life and common-day banality is musically pictured through a fast and energetic finale, which includes traditional folkloric rhythms from Galicia (polka and muiñeira) and even a tiny quote from Evocación, first piece of suite Iberia by Isaac Albéniz.

There was a drowned man in the sea and the seafaring town had sunk into silence and sadness.

The wind had died down, the sea had become still, the sun had triumphed in the heavens. And the town was not waking up or warming up, as if it were still night, as if the seafaring people were rejecting God’s gifts. Daylight obscured by the anguish of tragedy.

On the calm sea boats  were coming and going in search of Ramón’s body. In the church a woman and a little boy were weeping before the miracle-working Christ.

A week went by in silence and sadness.

And one morning the boat carrying Ramón’s body moored at the quay.

The town wept dreadful tears, and with deep grief they buried the drowned man’s body in the churchyard.

And once Ramón had been left in the company of all the parish dead, the town took a deep breath, it revived in hope, and the people started singing again as they went about their daily work.

The earth does not want to lose the body it lends us and fishermen too obey its laws, because they too are of the earth. If it were no so, what better bed for a seafarer than the bottom of the sea!

 

Alfonso Daniel Rodríguez Castelao, Things.

 

Golden Piano Trio

Teatro Colón, A Coruña (Spain)

18/3/2014