Subtitle: Four Preludes for Symphonic Wind Ensemble
1. Allegro giusto – 3:25
2. Animato – 3:35
3. Cadenza a piacere; molto sentito - Lento evocativo – 7:55
4. Tempo de Bulería – 3:25
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
- Hand Claps
- Suspended Cymbal
- Tumba (Low Conga)
None discovered thus far.
The duende...Where is the duende?
Through the empty archway a wind of the spirit enters,
Blowing insistently over the heads of the dead,
in search of new landscapes and unknown accents:
a wind with the odour of a child's saliva, crushed grass,
and medusa's veil, announcing the endless baptism
of freshly created things.
- Federico Garcia Lorca, Theory and Play of the Duende, 1933
Duende is a riveting suite of dance movements for wind symphony, distinguished by their impetuous flamenco style and incandescent orchestrational flair. The composer, in writing the work, was particularly inspired by the vernacular dancing tradition of his homeland, drawing in the spirit of the dancer in nonpareil splendor:
The term duende is used in flamenco to refer to a state of inspiration and supreme perceptiveness, almost magic, which is only reached by performers on rare occasions. The term is also used, by extension, to describe a person who has a special grace (something difficult to explain) that makes them different from the rest of us. The use of the word as the title of this collection of preludes, independently of its poetic significance, is mainly based on the fact that I found my principal inspiration for this composition in Spanish music. Listening to the piece, one can hear the symphonic energy of de Falla's scores, the intimacy of Iberia by Albeniz, the magic of the guitar when played by Paco de Lucia, the festive happiness of a Granadian flamenco neighborhood, but especially the obvious presence of jazz and Latin music. Through this stylistic fusion, I wanted to symbolically reflect where our Spanish society stands now. We are a society with many old traditions, living in a cosmopolitan and modern community.
Alarcón’s Duende, in addition to reflecting the compositional flair of his native forefathers like de Falla, Albéniz, and Turina, also contains flashes of the spirit of Spanish-inspired works by some of the greatest orchestrators in the classical tradition, like Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol and Ravel’s own arrangement of his “Alborada del gracioso” from Miroirs.
Each movement has a distinct character, but they are drawn together with a similar vitality. Besides the beautifully longing third movement, all feature the distinctive sizzling rattle of the cajón, a Peruvian box drum incorporated by Paco de Lucía into his “nuevo flamenco.” The insistent flittering of woodwinds and trumpets in the first movement, interrupted by sweeping and flamboyant melodies, recedes naturally into the virtuosic opening of the second movement, introducing a pervasive syncopation based on groupings of three sixteenth notes. The third movement -- the most expansive of the suite -- begins with a lengthy and somber piano cadenza that metamorphoses into a gentle and reflective cascade of melodic fragments from woodwinds. The finale is in the style of a bulería, the most aggressive and virtuosic of the flamenco dances, which drives the piece home with the electric fervor of hand clapping and fiery exclamations from the brass.
- Program Note from Baylor University Wind Ensemble concert program, 27 April 2019
Commissioned by The University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minn.) Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Dr. Matthew J. George, conductor.
- Duende has been recommended as interesting, serious and distinctive music by members of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE).
- Audio: Reference recording. Ensemble and conductor unknown
- Audio CD: Grand Symphonic Winds (Matthew George, conductor) – 2010
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- University of Oregon (Eugene) Wind Ensemble (Dennis Llanás, conductor) - 5 March 2022
- Boston (Mass.) Conservatory Wind Ensemble (Matthew Marset, conductor) - 10 December 2021
- James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) Wind Symphony (Stephen Bolstad, conductor) - 4 November 2021
- Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra (Limerick) (Timothy Reynish, conductor) – 3 November 2019
- University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Symphony Band (Michael Haithcock, conductor) – 23 October 2019
- State University of New York, Fredonia, Wind Ensemble (Paula Holcomb, conductor) – 19 October 2019
- University of Kentucky (Lexington) Chamber Winds (John Cody Birdwell, conductor) – 16 October 2019
- Toronto (Ont., Can.) Youth Wind Orchestra (Colin Clarke, conductor) – 10 July 2019 - WASBE Conference (Buñol, Spain)
- Baylor University (Waco, Texas) Wind Ensemble (Eric Wilson, conductor) – 27 April 2019
- State University of New York, Potsdam, Crane Wind Ensemble (Brian K. Doyle, conductor) – 19 November 2018
- The Hartt Wind Ensemble (West Hartford, Conn.) (James Jackson, conductor) – 28 September 2018
- University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Symphony Band (Phillip A. Ostrander, conductor) – 10 March 2018
- Rutgers University (New Brunswick, N.J.) Wind Ensemble (William Berz, conductor) – 24 February 2018
- Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Thomas Caneva, conductor) – 29 September 2017
- University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Symphony (Stephen G. Peterson, conductor) – 24 September 2017
- Cleveland (Ohio) State University Winds Ensemble (Timothy Reynish, conductor) – 14 November 2016
- University of Southern California Thornton Wind Ensemble (H. Robert Reynolds, conductor) – 11 October 2015
- University of Michigan Symphony Band (Michael Haithcock, conductor) – 24 October 2014
- Baylor University (Waco, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (J. Eric Wilson, conductor) – 21 March 2013 (CBDNA 2013 National Conference, Greensboro, N.C.)
- Grand Symphonic Winds (Saint Paul, Minn.) (Matthew George, conductor) – 15 December 2010 (2010 Midwest Clinic)
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Angelita (2012/2014)
- Bestiarium Suite
- Cello Concerto (2021)
- Charlie, the Chameleon. See: Bestiarium Suite
- Concertango (2004)
- De Tiempo y Quimera (2005)
- Duende (2010)
- El Torico de la Cuerda (2002/2006)
- Enric Cullell (2014)
- Invocación (2017)
- La Dama Centinela (2009)
- La Lira de Pozuelo (2010)
- Marco Polo Trilogy
- Memorias de un Hombre de Ciudad (2003)
- Pas de Quatre (2019
- Pequeña Suite para Banda (2008)
- Preludio y Danza del Alba
- Second Symphony (2017)
- Spanish Dances (2021)
- Symphony for Wind Orchestra (2012)
- Three Sketches for Wind Ensemble (2014)
- TIM: A British Paso Doble
- Tramonto (2007)
- Alarcón, L. (2009). Duende: Four Preludes for Symphonic Wind Ensemble [score]. PILES: Valencia, Spain.
- George, Matthew. "Duende." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 9, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 680-687. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2013.