for Mezzo-soprano and string quintet (violin I, violin II, viola, cello, contrabass)

Cantares ('Singings') is based on sixteen traditional Spanish songs, mostly from Castile. Encompassing religious songs, love songs, social songs, and a lullaby, much of the material would originally have been sung a cappella, with only rhythmic accompaniment. Evangelista sought a way of presenting them in new ways without imposing a harmonic language. His arrangements use as little artifice as possible, in order to preserve the integrity of the original melodies, which are neither harmonized nor embellished with counterpoint; nor are they formally developed. Ornamentation is provided by the accompanying instruments, which may also play drones and, on occasion, ostinati. “Most of the songs are probably fairly old,” says Evangelista, “and present modal features that may be difficult to reconcile with tonal language. Some songs use microtonal tunings. My arrangements are monodic, and I often use heterophonic techniques inspired by traditional music of world cultures.” 

Performed by:
Wallis Guinta, mezzo-soprano
String Quintet
Joaquin Valdepenas-conductor