• Martin Dalby
  • Cantigas Del Cancionero (1972)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

By the Baccholian singers with funds from the Arts Council

  • 2 tenors, 2 baritones, 1 bass
  • 15 min

Programme Note

Martin Dalby: Cantigas del Cancionero

Cantigas del Cancionero was commissioned by the Baccholian Singers with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain. The work is basically a recital of some of the thirteenth-century monophonic Spanish cantigas and canciones hidden in Cancionero para una Mariposa, an instrumental sequence that I wrote early in 1971. In Cantigas del Cancionero there are arrangements of four songs spanned by two sections of original composition. These spans bear a close resemblance to the instrumental piece, both in intention and effect, and some of the music is a reworking of instrumental material; the songs here are but shadows, their characteristics forming my own musical ideas, both works’ rhythms, melodies, textures and harmonies.

The four arrangements:

Alza la voz, pregonero

Raise your voice, town-crier; the reason for his death will comfort whoever grieves for him. Tell him of his glory, let everyone follow his adventure.

Cantiga de Santa Maria

A troubador sings to the Virgin Mary, asking for her prayers and guidance.

Enemiga le soy, madre

I am his enemy, mother, a bad enemy. He worships me, he considers me his lady, but I consider him my enemy.

Desciende al valle, nina

Come down to the valley, little fair-haired girl, it’s no longer day. Come down to the lambs that are straying in the rye fields.

© Martin Dalby

Optional fifth cancion, when the arrangements are performed separately.

Tiempo es, ell escudero
It’s time to go from here, Sir. They have discovered the secret, I cannot conceal it.