Elegia a la memoria de Nacho for Flute and Piano by Mario Lavista
Dedication: To Asako Arai
Duration: c. 10:00
Piano score and flute part (flute part is not “bound”; pages on both parts are 12-1/2″ w x 8-1/2″ l)
Extended techniques used: non-traditional fingerings, as noted; violent note “attacks” with excessive air, to imitate the sound of a Shakuhashi flute.
In the Elegía (a la memoria de Nacho) (‘Elegy on the memory of Nacho’) by Mario Lavista (b. 1943), the piano functions initially as a generator, not only of harmonic fields, but also of melodic motifs. The flute, in turn, is given various modes of sound production and a discourse based, among other things, on insistent gestures and patterns. Throughout the work, the composer uses some of the extended techniques with which he is quite familiar, having previously written several flute pieces.
Alternative fingerings are devised to impart different colors to the same notes, and the sounds of air without a definite pitch are also an important component of Lavista’s language. This is an elegy in which contemplation alternates with uneasiness and agitation.
The composer has provided these comments on the work : There is a Japanese legend saying that the only
sound the dead can hear is the sound of the flute. I hold this belief to be true, and that is why I chose the flute to write a work in remembrance of my friend, the writer Luis Ignacio Helguera, who died at 40 years of age. For Nacho, music was the most important and significant of the arts, both in his life and his work. For fifteen years and sixty issues, Nacho and I worked together in the music magazine Pauta. His deep knowledge and love for this art squarely place him in an honorable lineage of writers-music lovers, by which I mean writers who consider music as the indisputable center of knowledge and reflection on art and man. In writing this Elegy I wanted to pay homage to the full-time writer and music lover, but more than that, to “speak” by a means other than words, of the deep affection I always had for my dear and loyal friend whose absence I will never cease to mourn. In this work, flute and piano are in a constant dialogue and exchange of textures, colors, rhythmic motifs and melodic figures. I also use, in the flute, micro-intervals produced by non-traditional fingerings, as well as a very high “blown sound” intended as an imitation of the Shakuhachi, the traditional Japanese flute. From the harmonic standpoint, the piece is based on a wide chord formed by major and minor thirds, constantly expanding and contracting, which imparts the work a certain “tonal color”.