Lorenzo Pagliei (1972)
Tanka (1998 -1999)
for soprano and five instruments
- General information
Composition date :
1998 - 1999
- Duration : 26 mn
- Editor : Inédit
- Dedication : à Claudia Negrete Luna
- Composition date : 1998 - 1999
- Vocal music and instrument(s) [Solo voice and ensemble of up to 9 instruments]
29 March 1999
Conservatoire National de Boulogne-Billancourt (création partielle : Quarderno I)
Claudia Negrete Luna : soprano ; création intégrale le premier juin 2000 : Quaderno I et II : Mexico, XXII Foro Internacional de Música Nueva Manuel Enríquez Auditorium Blas Galindo, par Claudia Negrete Luna.
Tanka is a homage to Jorge Luis Borges’ poetry. The Tanka is a short Japanese poetry form with a strict verse structure consisting of five verses. In his long life, Borges wrote 6 Tanka in the collection of poems El oro de los tigres (1972), moreover in his last collection, La Cifra, he composed 17 Haiku, a poem based on a shorter Japanese poetry form: the Haiku.
My initial idea was to use the 6 Tanka but reading over and over again the two poems I discovered so many points of contact that it was almost inevitable for me to use both of them in my piece. My idea was to make grow, on the Tanka’s meadow like flowers, some inserts containing the different Haiku depending on their main themes. To make that I had to write a highly articulated “libretto” sometimes with two or three poetic layers.
The soprano, according to “libretto”, has to sing a very particular vocal counterpoint in which she has to manage correctly three musical layers, each owning a different character and sense. Generally there are various poetic layers: the first with the Tanka, the second and the third with some Haiku. The result is a very complex and difficult vocal part in which all the poetic themes are interrelated and developed.
I divided the 6 Tanka in three groups of two with instrumental duets (the “Notturni”) in between. Each of these groups forming a Quaderno that can be performed separately.