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Gonzalo Saavedra
1965 -
G. Saavedra
Gonzalo Saavedra (1965), a Chilean composer, born in Santiago.
"I was born in the capital of Chile, and as far as I can remember, music has been an essential part of myself. I gained my musical education from some private lessons by composer and pianist Enrique Rivera, but I'm mostly a self-taught musician. I have a degree in Journalism (Universidad Católica de Chile) and a Master and Ph.D. in Communications (Universitat Autňnoma de Barcelona). I teach Nonfiction Writing at Universidad Católica de Chile’s Faculty of Communications, where some of my music has been used for both fiction and journalistic videos. I'm also executive editor of Revista Universitaria, an essays on current affairs magazine."
Period:21st century
Composed in:2002
Musical form:fragment
Text/libretto:Latin mass
In memory of:/ dedicated to: Carmen Vergara de Saavedra
This requiem is for SATB choir and orchestra. Not a very traditional Requiem, I know, it's rather more a desperate prayer to achieve the eternal rest.
"It is constructed after a thirteen notes row: Bb - Eb- E - C# - A - Ab - C - B - F - G - F# - C# - D, but the work is mostly tonal. Other important elements are the "Requiem tune": D - C - Bb - Ab, and the counter-melody that is first presented by the muted trumpet and, to the end, by the first violins. It's a very eclectic work, with a lot of contrasts and not always calm as a requiem should be... At least it's very sincere music from an amateur. This is a slightly new version which bears in mind very helpful comments by composer Hans Riphagen.
Dramatic and deeply moving. Twelve-tone choral pieces on religious subjects are, I would venture, relatively rare. Mr Saavedra, however, has composed a work that triumphantly demonstrates how expressive and imaginative this combination can be. Indeed, I quickly lost all sight of the serial basis for this work (which, of course, is exactly as it should be!) and found myself relishing the taut harmonies, varied counterpoint and powerfully compressed momentum of this Requiem as well as its clear echoes of the rich liturgical tradition of which it forms part. This is a work that speaks on many levels and reminds us unerringly of the pain of loss and the questions that each of us must confront - our mortality and our shared humanity. The composer's programme notes say it is "very sincere music from an amateur". Of the first part of the phrase, there can be no doubt but there must be many amateurs who would gladly lay claim to have written music of such quality.
Author:Cedric Peachey