Commissioned by and dedicated to Music from Angel Fire with support of the Bruce E. Howden, Jr. American Composers Project

  • Soprano, 2vn, va, vc
  • 10 min

Programme Note

Composer note:
Iberian Songs, for soprano and string quartet, finds its voice in several existing publications of the poetry of Spanish "deep song," a primary source of lyrics for modern-day flamenco. Largely anonymous, these short, almost haiku-like, poems are intensely emotional with an affinity for certain recurring themes such as romantic attraction, the seeking of vengeance for the death of a loved one, and persecution from the authorities. I was struck by how often several poems could be edited and stitched together beautifully into a larger poem; and I used my edited texts (and my own translations) as the basis of Iberian Songs. In the first song, "Olives," a woman describes, with frustration and lyricism both, how her passion for a would-be-paramour is unfulfilled. The second song, "Children," describes a mother's particularly grim situation that arises between her son and daughter.

— Gabriela Lena Frank