• Martin Dalby
  • El Remanso del Pitido (1974)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

London Sinfonietta for the London Sinfonietta Chorus, with funds from the Arts Council

  • 12 solo voices (SATB) + amplification
  • 15 min

Programme Note

Martin Dalby: El remanso del pitido

El remanso del pitido has been commissioned by the London Sinfonietta for the London Sinfonietta Chorus who give the first performance this evening.

It is a work of nostalgia, a lament for the decline of steam engines - the stillness of the whistle. The text is drawn from a variety of sources, but is based mainly on a poem by the contemporary Spanish writer, Gregorio Corral. Though the text is predominantly in Spanish, there are some accounts in English from both Victorian and modern railway journals.

The setting is for twelve voices, eight of them singing through close microphones. The work is fourth in a series of pieces derived from 13th Century homophonic Spanish cantigas and canciones. The final series of works will form a sort of song-book, the composer's own accounts of early Spanish music. The idea of a song-book is contained in the title of the first work of the series, Cancionero para una mariposa.

© Martin Dalby

The treatment of the voices is deliberately instrumental, and thus the words are used for their sound properties rather than for poetic value. For this reason we have not reprinted the text.