Los Ángeles y el duende! featuring Benjamin Dwyer work

Sat 22 Apr 2017 - 17:00

Borris House

Sylvia O’Brien soprano

Benjamin Dwyer guitar

Programme includes:

Fernando Sor Siete Canciones Españolas 
Heitor Villa-Lobos Prelude No. 1 (solo guitar)
Heitor Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 
Federico García Lorca Siete Canciones Españolas Antiguas 
Benjamin Dwyer Sobre los Ángeles (world premiere) 
Benjamin Dwyer on writing Sobre los Ángeles:

My friend Barra Ó Séaghdha first brought to my attention the poetry collection, Sobre los Ángeles, by the Spanish poet Rafael Alberti (1902-1999). I had been accepted at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris for a month-long residency in June 2016 and was looking for a text to set. Ever since I had heard the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and soprano Anu Komsi perform Kurtag's Kafka Fragments at the Royal Festival Hall in February of that year I was enthused by the possibilities of a song cycle for voice and guitar. Despite my relatively broad knowledge of Spanish literature, I had not come across Alberti’s 1929 classic before. What struck me immediately was the tone of the work, its embracement of a private, modernist idiolect that did not have a hint of a clichéd Spanish (in this regard, it reminded me of Lorca’s Poeta en Nueva York written only a year later). The dark atmosphere of loss and resentment in the poetry was visceral for me; it was as if Alberti’s belief systems had collapsed; something must have happened to him (I thought) for so many angels (good, but mostly angry, some sinister) to be unleashed in this extended outpouring of grief and resentment. I subsequently read that this work was composed during a particularly difficult time in Alberti’s life. While some commentators believe that they were composed at a time when he had lost faith in the church or that they pre-empt the troubles that were about to plague Europe all over again; another tells us that Sobre los Ángeles represents both the loss of childhood innocence and stories that tell of deep betrayal. Alberti’s own words describing his state of mind at the time of writing Sobre los Ángeles are very telling: ‘I can’t sleep…I’ve been pushed off a precipice, like a brittle ray of light, into this deep cavern! An impossible love, beaten and betrayed at the very hour of my giving and trust…’


Borris House

Co. Carlow

Venue Contact Info

+353 (0) 59 9771884