• piano
  • mezzo soprano
  • 14 min
  • coll. and trans. by José María Arguedas
  • Spanish

Programme Note

These songs reflect the inspiration of José María Arguedas, a Peruvian folklorist, poet, and Quechua advocate who reminds one in many ways of Bartók. In an attempt to validate the native culture of the Andes, Arguedas collected the tunes, poetry, and folklore of the Quechua Indians, the descendants of the ancient Incas. Of the pro-indigenista writers, he was one of the first to write poetry in Quechua as well as Spanish, and was also a proponent of "mestizaje," a vision of a world that can encompass many cultures without oppression. Like Bartók, he spoke of a brotherhood of people, and he proclaimed himself a modern Quechua man in spite of his fair skin and Western education. The text for Cuatro canciones andinas draws on Indian poetry collected and translated by Arguedas from Quechua into Spanish shortly before his suicide in the sixties. The English translation was done by Ruth Walgreen Stephan.

— Gabriela Lena Frank