Venus Rey Jr: Quattro Elementi, Bachiana Mexicana No. 3, Suite Sonora


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    Quattro Elementi (Four Elements)
    This work, after a text by Italian pianist and poet Greta Cipriani, was written during the Winter 2021-2022. It has four movements: I Acqua (Water), II Aria (Air), III Fuoco (Fire) and IV Terra (Earth). These poems by Cipriani, written and sung in Italian, are about the force of the primogenial elements and the unfathomable mysteries of Nature. The composer’s sound palette has a clear and straightforward language. The tempo indications in the score are an invitation for the musicians to treat each movement as elements. The first one, Acqua, has the indication “Ágil, pero sin prisa” (Agile, but with no rush), and with this the composer tries to emulate the flow of water. The second movement, Aria, the indication is “Fluido, como ráfaga de viento” (Free-flowing, like a wind gust). Fuoco is the briefest of all movements and it is written in a style reminiscent of the Italian operatic art. The Finale, Terra, is the longest movement. It is a song for the Earth, as the giver of life. From the technical point of view, Terra is the most demanding of these Elements for the soprano. The movement ends almost in silence, with the music in the threshold of audition, like if an imaginary voyager was moving away from the Earth, and the planet was disappearing in the distance.

    Bachiana Mexicana No. 3
    “Danzas del Deseo” (Dances of Desire)
    This work was written in 2016 and has five movements. The first one is an Habanera, a Spanish dance which origin can be traced in the XVI century, when the Spanish colonized Cuba and founded La Havana. The syncopated rhythm adds a seductive and tragic touch to the music.
    The second movement is a Sarabande. This form of dance flourished in France during the XVII century and quickly conquered an obligated place in the Suite. Bach took the form to the highest levels of stylization and perfection. This movement is inspired and quotes the famous Sarabande in D minor, by Handel.
    The third movement is an Argentinean Milonga. The milonga is a dance derived from the tango. This Rondó-Milonga intends to be a homage to Ástor Piazzola.
    The fourth movement is named Son del Istmo de Tehuantepec (Song from the Tehuantepec Isthmus) and it is inspired by that region in Southern Mexico. The idea of this movement is surrealistic: the composer imagines Robert Schumann wandering in Tehuantepec. At the end of the central section, there is a musical quotation of Schumann’s Rhenish Symphony.
    The final movement is a Bulería. The composer is a lover of Spanish Flamenco Music, and in this movement the influence of Manuel de Falla can be noticed. It is a bravura movement of hight technical difficulty. The rhythm of any Bulería is 12/8, which the composer alternates with a musical motif in 7/8. Far from diminishing the duende –that is how the Flamenco cantaores (singers), bailaores (dancers) and musicians call the accent of their music), this alternation emphasizes even more the Andalusian character of the movement.

    Suite Sonora
    Written during the Spring 2021, Suite Sonora is a work for orchestra in four movements: I Amanecer (Dawn), II Desierto (Desert), III Danza del Venado (Dance of the Deer) and IV Crepúsculo (Twilight). With this work the composer wants to express in music the majesty and mystery of the Sonora Desert in Northern Mexico. It was commissioned by Héctor Acosta, artistic director of the Sonora Philharmonic.
    The composer imagines in this music a journey through the desert, from dawn till twilight. The first movement, in slow tempo, depicts the sunrise, when the sun rays start to fall over the sand. The second movement evoques the dunes and the magnificent rocky formations and craters, amazing landscape that, for moments, seems to be from another planet. The third movement is an expression of the ancient rite of the deer hunt of the yaqui people, and it is a homage to the native peoples of the region, for whom the desert is their home. The finale solemnly ends this imaginary journey through the desert.


    Greta Cipriani is an Italian pianist graduated from the Alfredo Casella Conservatory in L'Aquila and from the Faculty of Literature, University of L'Aquila. She completed advanced studies at the Hochschule in Cologne, Germany, and at the Accademia Musicale di Firenze, Italy, with Lazar Berman. She obtained the Diploma of High Improvement at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, in Rome. She is also a noted composer of piano works and a renowned poet.

    osé Miramontes Zapata graduated at the Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory in Leningrad (Saint Petersburg), Russia, where he obtained a Master's degree in Music Conduction. He has developed an intense work as a pedagogue, choir conductor and music producer. In 2000, he founded the San Luis Potosí Symphony Orchestra, and since then he has been the artistic director and titular conductor. He is one of the few Mexicans who has conducted at the Großer Saal of the Berlin Philharmonic, in Germany. He has conducted important international orchestras, such as the Saint Petersburg Hermitage Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of the University of the Arts of Kazakhstan, the Bacau Philharmonic Orchestra (Romania), the Lamont Symphony Orchestra of Denver, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Gahia Symphony Orchestra (Porto, Portugal) and the main orchestras of Mexico.

    Orquesta Sinfónica de San Luis Potosí
    Since its foundation in 2000, the Orchestra has maintained an important place in the dissemination of Mexican concert music. Its presence in forums in Europe, China and, especially in the Großer Saal of the Musikverein in Vienna, has given the Orchestra growing prestige. With an intense activity of more than eighty concerts a year, the Orchestra promotes the rescue of works by Mexican composers and supports altruistic institutions and musical development with educational programs. The sound of the Orchestra is distinguished by its warmth, precision, dedication, wide sonority and dynamics, the result of discipline and artistic commitment of each of its members, and the highest demands of musical quality. The Orchestra has a noted discography with the Swedish label Sterling Classics and the British label Toccata Classics.

    Zaira Soria is a soprano who has obtained the most important operatic awards and recognitions in Mexico. She was the first Mexican to be awarded in the International Contest "Città di Bologna", Italy, in which she obtained second place and two special prizes. She made her debut at the Ópera de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, in 2007 and since then she has maintained an intense activity as a soloist and has performed in Mexico, the United States, Canada, Germany and Italy.


    Venustiano Reyes (Mexico) (nom de plume Venus Rey Jr)
    He began composing at eleven, when he was still in elementary school. From 2000 on, he has committed himself to symphonic music. Among his compositions, Mass for Our Lady of Guadalupe, A Jesuit Symphony, Requiem and The Fifth of May Symphony, stand as important works of the contemporary Latin American symphonic and choral repertoire. His music has been performed in the United States, Russia, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Austria, Poland, Ukraine, Argentina, Peru and Mexico.