Project Info

Project Description

Gentios são os olhos negros…
(Glosses upon a traditional Azorean theme)
for symphonic band

  • composition date: 2016
  • duration: ca. 11 min.
  • dedication:
    «To the Relva Wind Band, its musicians, directors, and conductor Hélio Soares, in deep friendship and in recognition for the valuable artistic work they have been developing. With joy, I also dedicate this piece to my Azorean family!»
  • detailed orchestration:
    picc./ 2fl./ 2ob./ eng.-horn/ 2fg. (opt.)/ cellos (opt.)/ Eb-cl./ cl.: I, II & III / bass-cl./ sop.-sax./ 2 alto-saxs./ ten.-saxs./ bar.-sax./ 4hr./ 3trpt. (3=flug.)/ 3trbn. (3=bass-trbn.)/ euphs. (or baritones)/ tubas/ str. bass/ timp./ 4perc. [1: (mallets): vibraphone; glockenspiel; xylophone | 2: triangle; slapstick [whip] ; sleigh-bells; glockenspiel (shared with Perc.1) | 3: wood chimes; glass chimes; wind chimes [mark tree]; 3 suspended cymbals (small / medium / large); snare-drum; 3 wood blocks (very high / medium / low); 2 bongos (very high / medium-high); ratchet; cymbals a2 | 4: bass-drum; tambourine]
  • premiere: 30/July/2016 | Teatro Micaelense, Ponta Delgada, S. Miguel, Azores | Banda da Relva/ dir. Luís Carvalho

When I was challenged to write a commemorative work for the 150th anniversary of the Filarmónica N. Srª das Neves (“Relva” Wind Band, at Saint Michael island, in Azores), immediately emerged on my mind the idea of writing some sort of “variations on a traditional Azorean theme”. However, I also intended, from the very beginning, to escape the clichéd “theme and variations” formula, and therefore looked for a more modern and fresh approach, which could at the same time do justice to the richness of the folklore from these misty islands, but also captivate the contemporary listener. In the end I eventually came up with a rhapsodic structure based on the beautiful song originally from Terceira island «Olhos negros» («Dark eyes»), whose simplicity but at the same time vitality of the melody, bewitches right at first hearing. From the original idea for “variations” remains the subtitle «Glosses upon a traditional Azorean theme», which loans from literature the concept of “gloss”, meaning “comment”, since also my piece proposes a series of successive musical “comments” to the mentioned traditional theme. I also reserved a final surprise in the score, as the theme in its fullness is not presented at the beginning of the work, as one would expect in a “theme and variations”, but in total subversion of this concept, I placed it at the end of the piece, thus concluding in a festive an apotheotic manner, as befits a jubilee celebration!

buy sheet music/materials:
[available soon]

see / listen:



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