top of page

Event Program

Canciones De Amor

Ho bisogno

Abismo de sed

Qué lejos ando




A ti

Soñó mi mente loca

Te aguardaba entre mástiles

Cuiden su vida

Manuel M. Ponce (1882-1948)


Carlos Guastavino (1912-2000)


M. M. Ponce


Eduardo Fabini (1882-1950)


M. M. Ponce


M. M. Ponce


Jaime León (1921-2015)


Alfredo Tamayo (1880-1957) arr. M. M. Ponce


Modesta Bor (1926-1998)


M. M. Ponce

Program Notes

“Abismo de Sed” (Abyss of Thirst) – Carlos Guastavino (1912-2000)
A composer and pianist born in Santa Fe, Guastavino can be situated at the end of a long line of nationalist composers in Argentina, as he wrote over 150 art songs. One of the distinguishing features of his music is the use of syncopated rhythms. Like many examples of this type of song, “Abismo de sed” (Abyss of Thirst) uses a one-measure rhythmic motive as the foundation for the piece. The characteristic rhythmic pattern of the Argentinian zamba dance can be found in the piano accompaniment throughout the song.


“Triste” (Sad) – Eduardo Fabini (1882-1950)
A violinist and composer, Fabini was born in a small town in Uruguay —Solis de Mataojo— and studied violin with his brother. After his family moved to Montevideo, he studied at the La Lira Conservatory, and then at the Brussels Conservatory. His works are nationalistic in nature, and he became known internationally as an Uruguayan nationalistic composer. While Fabini wrote symphonic poems, choral music, and violin works, the bulk of his output is for voice and piano. “Triste” was written in 1954 after a poem by Elias Regules, and it is typical of Fabini’s folk-like, lyrical melodies.


“A ti” (To You) is an art song by renowned Colombian composer Jaime León (1921-2015) with poetry written by José Asunción Silva. Jaime Leon combined various elements from Colombian rhythms, jazz, and musical theater. A ti is a passionate and respectful ode to a lover. The speaker is talking directly to his beloved and the opening line (tú no lo sabes) indicates that the speaker is making a confession, perhaps revealing a secret long held.


“Te aguardaba entre mástiles” (I was waiting for you between masts) – Modesta Bor (1926-1998)
Modesta Bor (1926-1998) is a significant figure in Venezuelan music history, and a composer well known to performers and audiences in that country. Modesta Bor exhibited nationalist influences during her youth and following her studies in the Soviet Union, and she incorporated compositional techniques of the twentieth century. The “Te aguardaba entre mástiles” poem was excerpted from the longer work “Hijo” by Guillermina Rodríguez Lezama. Rodríguez’s poem is very dense with rich metaphors. Bor set music to this poem in 1970, as one of her “Three songs for mezzo-soprano and piano.”


Manuel M. Ponce (1882-1948)

Ponce was one of the most prominent Mexican composers of the 20th century. In addition to a three-year exile in Cuba, Ponce studied in Italy, Germany, and France. On his return to Mexico, he exerted a profound influence on the musical life of Mexico as a teacher, conductor, composer, and editor.

In addition to an extensive output for piano and guitar, he wrote over a hundred art songs. Ponce composed more than sixty original vocal works in Spanish, Italian, French, English, and German. All of these art songs were dedicated to his wife Clementina Maurel, including the romanza “Ho Bisogno” (I need) from 1914, in which the composer set music to a poem from the Fatalità collection by the Italian poetess Ada Negri.

Ponce’s vocal output includes stylizations and arrangements of approximately sixty-two canciones Mexicanas, such as “Qué lejos ando” (How far I am). In “Soñó mi mente loca” (My crazy mind dreamed) Ponce stylized a song by the Yucatecan composer Alfredo Tamayo. Ponce’s output of original songs also includes twelve folk-like canciones in which he used his own lyrics, such as Estrellita (Little Star), Espera (Wait), and Cuiden Su Vida (Take care of your life), which was published in the set of Twelve Canciones Mexicanas.


Program notes by Dr. Charbel Yubaile

bottom of page