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Celebraciones medievales

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Carlos Surinach

Carlos Surinach

Subtitle: Spanish Divertissements of the Middle Ages

General Info

Year: 1977
Duration: c. 16:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Associated Music Publishers, through G. Schirmer
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental


1. Estampida – 4:00
2. Danza Baja – 5:00
3. Pastoral de Amor – 3:30
4. Rondel – 3:30


Full Score
C Piccolo I-II
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium I-II
Tuba I-II
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Military Drum
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-tam
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone

SATB Chorus


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The music of Celebraciones medievales has no intellectual implications. It has been written purely to be enjoyed. A few authentic medieval themes are included but most of the melodies have been invented and elaborated by myself. Sharply etched lines and emphasis on the sheer primitive power of rhythm has been sought throughout the work. It should be performed in a direct, pragmatic, non-romantic manner.

The music of Estampida is set to a sonnet supposedly written by Don Belianis of Greece in homage to Don Quixote. But Don Belianis, like Urganda la Desconocida, Orlando Furioso, Amadis de Gaula and others, were all imaginary characters created by Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616) to provide his book Don Quixote with a prologue of homages. The sonnet is a short epico-lyric poem of heroic character, cleverly written in the style of the Middle Ages.

Danza Baja is an anonymous ancient ballad on a historical theme. In 1431, King Juan II of Castile, approached Granada with the Moorish Infante Abenamar whom he had promised to place on the throne there. The city was besieged and the Infante made king. Arabic poets often spoke of the lord of the city as its "spouse"; hence, the allusion of the king to Granada as his desired bride, and her answer that she is possessed by the Moor.

This Pastoral de Amor is an anonymous song of love, gay and rhythmic. These little medieval poems, of picaresque and delicate beauty, have changing rhythms, grace, and simplicity.

Rondel is the well-known Song of Cardenio in Don Quixote (Chapter 27). It is the philosophy of a desperate, deceived lad who finds his bride married to someone else, and helplessly flies the scene.

I am indebted to Joseph Machlis for undertaking the difficult task of providing an English version of the poems that matches the accents and metrical patterns of the music I wrote for the original ones.

- Program Note from score by composer

Text and Translations (Musical English translations by Joseph Machlis)

I. Estampida (text by Miguel de Cervantes)

Rompió, cortó, abolló, y dijo y hizo más que en el orbe caballero andante;
[He fought, he dared, he attacked by word and deed, ever, far more than man or woman could imagine;]
fué diestro, fué valiente, fué arrogante; mil agravios vengó, cien mil deshizo.
[He struggled, he was fearless, and ambitious, to rid this world of evil and injustice.]
Hazañas dió a la Fama ¡Ah! que eternice; fué comedido y regalado amante;
[He dreamed of fame surpassing, Ah!, and eternal; He was a bold and satisfying lover.]
fué enano para el todo gigante… y al duelo en cualquier punto satisfizo!
[He could challenge the smallest and the greatest… There was no man whose sword could dim his courage!]
Tuvo a sus piés postrada la Fortuna,
[How many times within his grasp lay fortune!]
y trajo del copete su cordura a la calva Ocasión al estricote.
[His hand reached out to seize the reckless moment. How his heart thrilled at ev’ry new adventure!]
Mas, aunque sobre el cuerno de la luna siempre se vió encumbrada su ventura, tus proezas envidio,
[Yet, he knew as the moon looked down in silence; although he watched that no deed would end in failure, how he envies your achievement,]
¡oh gran Quijote! ¡Oh gran Quijote! ¡Oh gran Quijote! ¡Oh gran Quijote! ¡Oh gran Quijote!
[Oh, great Quixote! Oh, great Quixote! Oh, great Quixote! Oh, great Quixote! Oh, great Quixote!]

II. Danza Baja (15th-century anonymous ballad)

¡Abenámar! Abenámar, moro de la morería, el dia en que tú naciste grandes señales había!
[Abenamar! Abenamar, wisest Moor in all my kingdom, on the day when you were born, what wondrous signs in heaven!
Estaba la mar en calma, la luna estaba crecida; moro que en tal signo nace no debe decir mentira.
[How strangely calm was the ocean, the moon so round shone in splendor… When a Moor can boast such honor, he will never tell a falsehood!]
No te la dirá señor, no te mentirá señor, Yo te lo agradezco, Abenámar, aquesa tu cortesía.
[He shall not deceive, my lord, he will tell the truth, my lord! I am very grateful, Abenamar, you move me with your devotion.]
¿Qué castillos son aquellos? ¡Altos son y relucian! ¿Qué castillos son aquellos? ¡Abenámar!
[Can you name those distant castles? Tell me truly, Abenamar, can you name those distant towers, Abenamar?]
El Alhambra era, señor, y la otra la mezquita; los otros los Alixares, labrados a maravilla.
[The Alhambra rises there, near it stands a mosque of Allah, and beyond the Alixares. How lovely their Moorish towers!]
El moro que los labraba cien doblas ganaba al día, y el dia que no los labra otras tantas se perdía.
[The artist who planned the terrace earned double for ev’ry fountain… And he was severely punished if he left his task unfinished.]
El otro es Torres Bermejas, castillo de gran valía; el otro Generalife, huerta que par no tenía.
[See the tower of Bermejas, an ancient castle of worth… And yonder Generalife. Who can match its fragrant beauty?]
Allí hablara el rey don Juan, bien oiréis lo que decía:
[Then King John thought awhile; let me tell you what he said:]
“Si a si quisiera, Granada, con ella se casaría:
[If you are willing, Granada, I’ll wed you, oh lovely city.]
dará la en arras y dote a Córdoba y a Sevilla.
[And I shall bring you as dowry, fair Cordoba and Sevilla.]
Casada soy, rey don Juan, casada soy, que no viuda;
[“I cannot marry, good King John, for I’m a wife, not a widow.]
el moro que a mi tiene muy grande bien me quería.
[The Moor loves me truly, and he must forever own me!]
Casada soy, que no viuda, casada soy.
[I cannot marry, good King John. I cannot marry!”]

III. Pastoral de Amor (Traditional Love Song)

Dice el serafín: tañe con primor, que el amor lo endulza el cornetin.
[Hear the angel speak: Careful when you play. When the cornet speaks, my love is sweet.]
Dice, dice, dice: Dice el serafín.
[He speaks he speaks, he speaks: Careful when you play.]
Dice mi galán: hay que aprovechar, que los besos vienen y se van.
[Now my lover speaks: You must not delay! Kisses come and go and disappear!]
Los que aman dicen todos que el querer, hace suspirar, hace sofocar, hace sollozar y enloquecer.
[Lovers know too well the cruel game of love, when it makes you sigh, when it makes you cry, when it makes you sob and lose your mind!]
El galán ladrón goza sin amar, que el gozar no es cosa de razón, no es cosa de razón. ¡Ah!
[One who steals your love throws your love away, he has no regret and no remorse! An no, and no remorse! Ah!]
¿Por qué me besó Perico? ¿Por qué me besó el traidor?
[Oh why did Perico kiss me? Why did he betray my love?]
Dijo que en Francia se usaba y por eso me besaba, y también porque sanaba con el beso su dolor.
[Maybe in France it’s the custom. This is why the traitor kissed me. Maybe with a kiss he hoped to heal the sorrow in his heart!]
¿Por qué me besó Perico? ¿Por qué me besó el traidor? ¡Ah!
[Oh why did Perico kiss me? Why did he betray my love? Ah!]

IV. Rondel (Text by Miguel de Cervantes)

¿Quién menoscaba mis bienes? Desdenes, desdenes, desdenes….
[What is the cause of my sorrow? Indifference, indifference, indifference…]
Y ¿quién aumenta mis duelos? Los celos, los celos, los celos.
[What is the source of my anguish? I’m jealous, I’m jealous, I’m jealous.]
Y ¿quién prueba mi paciencia? Ausencia, la ausencia, la ausencia!
[Tell me truly what destroys me? Her absence, her absence, her absence!]
De ese modo en mi dolencia ningún remedio se alcanza,
[How can I be free of torment? Who can cure my deep affliction?]
pues me matan la esperanza, Desdenes, celos y ausencia.
[If these three can cause such sadness: jealousy, absence, indifference…]
¿Quién me causa este dolor? Amor, amor, amor, amor, amor.
[Where’s the cause of all my pain? I love, I love, I love, I love, I love!]
Y ¿quién mi gloria repuna? Fortuna, fortuna, fortuna…
[What can I blame for my sorrow? Misfortune, misfortune, misfortune…]
Y ¿quién consiente en mi duelo? El cielo, el cielo, el cielo, cielo, cielo.
[Where has my fate been decided? In heaven, in heaven, in heaven, heaven, heaven!]
De ese modo, yo recelo morir deste mal extraño pues se aúnan en mi daño
[How then shall I hope for comfort? Where then shall I look for comfort if these three unite to crush me:]
Amor fortuna y el cielo.
[Love and misfortune and heaven!]
¿Quién mejorará mi suerte? La muerte, la muerte, la muerte.
[Who can end the pain that stabs me? My death, my death, my death!]
Y el bien de amor, ¿quién le alcanza? Mudanza, mudanza, mudanza….
[What ends the sorrow of passion? Forgetting, forgetting, forgetting....]
Y sus males, ¿quién los cura? Locura, locura, locura!
[And life’s evil? What will cure it? My madness, my madness, my madness!]
De ese modo, no es cordura querer curar la pasión.
[How can I escape my sorrow if indeed I can escape,]
cuando los remedios son: Muerte, mudanza, y locura!
[when the only cure can be: Death, forgetting, and madness!]


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Perusal Score
  • Surinach, C.; Machlis, J. [1977]. Celebraciones medievales; Spanish divertissements of the Middle Ages; for concert band with four-part chorus of mixed voices. [English translations by Joseph Machlis]. [score]. Associated Music Publishers: New York.