for violin and cello
This piece was composed in Bremen (Germany) between 23 and 25 September 2012. Duration: 5:15. Dedicated 'to Ana Regina Geniso, to her new instrument, and her benefactor, Washington Williman.'
I've been noticing that the music based on one's life or in other people's lives have a quite particular expression and communication strength. They express and communicate in a way that more abstract pieces (esthetically also very legitimate) do not share. This is the case of this composition.
I tell this story with the dedicatee's consent.
Ana Regina is violinist of the Symphonic Orchestra of Mar del Plata, in Argentina. She has also several violin pupils. She earns her living and feeds her two children mainly from her music and her instrument.
One day, when there was nobody at home, her ex-husband destroyed the three instruments of her wife, as revenge of a denunciation for psychological maltreatment and domestic violence, and as an answer to a decree of proximity restriction. As he hadn't the house's keys, he broke a window to get inside.
This story (fur us it is a story; for the protagonist, a tragedy) was published in the whole country by a newspaper (Clarín). A reader in Buenos Aires reacted. This reader, professional violist and violinist, retired from the Symphonic State Orchestra, but still in activity in the world of tango music, decided to give her as gift one of his instruments. 'I have several and you have none. I know you need it, now it's yours ', he wrote. And he send her the violin through a common friend. This benefactor didn't want his name to be named massively, but gave authorisation to be mentioned in this context: Washington Williman.
This is everything that concerns us about the story. Through a well-known social net (Facebook) I contacted Ana and suggested her to compose a piece for her new violin, an instrument that simultaneously symbolizes the generosity of her benefactor and a rebirth of her professional and personal life. She suggested herself that it had a 'tango flair', and not for violin solo but with violoncello.
The title Fénix (Phoenix, in Spanish) alludes of course to that mythological bird that is reborn by arising from its own ashes.
Structurally speaking: after a fast and nervous introduction by both instruments unison, comes a first theme rhythmically in tango style, with abrupt character. A second theme very expressive and slower resumes the melody of the introduction, strongly metamorphosed. At the end, the first theme reappears with some variants. The piece is in a sort of 'expanded e minor' tonality.
That episode has been taken -mainly, but not only, by the Argentine musical community- as an example of two things: on one side, that domestic violence can reach to the extreme of destroying the means that generate incomes of the person that one has once loved; and on the other side, that solidarity, open-handedness, can also arrive to unforeseen extremes of opposite sign.
I doubt that this story can be reconstructed when listening to my piece, which doesn't want to be a direct 'picture' neither of the events nor of their repercussion in anybody's inner world. I also don't know whether knowing the background of the gestation of this composition can lead to perform it better. But it won't hurt either.
Juan María Solare
Bremen, 27-29 September 2012http://www.juanmariasolare.com/