Encantamiento: The Music of Daniel Catán
27th October 2017
Encantamiento is originally for two recorders played simultaneously by a single musician. Catán later re-scored the work for two flutes and later for flute and harp, the version on this recording. It was premiered in Los Angeles in 2003.
In the early 1990s, Catán and poet Francisco Segovia worked on what they hoped would become a large-scale, English-language musical about the life of Mexican literary and revolutionary figure Antonieta Rivas Mercado, of the Antonieta Songs. She was the daughter of the famed architect Antonio Rivas, who created El Ángel, the golden angel statue that graces the Paseo de Reforma in Mexico City.
Catán composed Mariposa de Obsidiana (Obsidian Butterfly) on a prose-poem by the renowned Mexican poet and diplomat, Octavio Paz. The text is a small chapter in his book Águila o Sol (Eagle or Sun). The voice is that of Itzpapálotl, the Aztec warrior-goddess who rules over the Paradise where human souls reside before they are born, and where dead infants return. She is depicted as a skeleton with butterfly wings that are tipped in obsidian blades.
Escúchame is from Florencia en el Amazonas, the most widely performed of Catán's operas. Marcela Fuentes-Barain wrote its libretto. Florencia follows a group of travelers on a riverboat down the Amazon to an opera house in Manaus, Brazil, where they will hear the famed diva, Florencia Grimaldi, perform. Escúchame is Florencia's final aria.