Federico's Little Songs for Children
Composed by George Crumb
For Piccolo/C Flute/Alto Flute/Bass Flute (one player), Soprano, and Harp
Texts by Federico Garcia Lorca
SCORE ONLY; all performers play from the same score
Performance notes and translations included. Alto flute part is transposed. Oversized score.
1. La Senorita del Abanico (Senorita of the Fan)
2. La Tarde (Afternoon)
3. Cancion cantada (A Song Sung)
4. Caracola (Snail)
5. El lagarto esta llorando! (The Lizard is crying!)
6. Cancioncilla sevillana (A Little Song from Seville)
7. Cancion tonta (Silly Song)
From the Program Notes:
Federico's Little Songs for Children, written for the Jubal Trio, was completed during the summer of 1986. In 1970, after the composition of Ancient Voices of Children (the eighth work of a Lorca cycle initiated in 1963 with Night Music I), I felt that I had exhausted the potential of Lorca's poetry as a catalytic agent for my own music. I therefore turned my attention towards traditional Latin texts (in Lux Aeterna and Star-Child); and then I followed settings of Walt Whitman (in Apparition) and Edgar Allan Poe (in The Sleeper). However, there remained a number of Lorca's poems which I eventually hoped to treat musically, should inspiration return. Among these, the Canciones para Niños (Songs for Children) especially intrigued me, perhaps because the light-hearted and whimsical character of these little poems contrasted so sharply with the more sombre poetry I had chosen for my earlier settings. And thus, after a hiatus of sixteen years, I found myself once again immersed in Lorca's magical imagery.
The seven little poems constituting the Canciones para Niños reflect many different aspects of a child's fantasy world. The mood can be reflective, playful, mock-serious, gently ironic, or simply joyous. At an early stage in the sketching process I decided to include all four instruments of the flute family so that I might associate an appropriate timbre with the innate character of each poem. Of course the varied treatment of voice and harp, together with purely compositional choices, (tempi, thematics, texture, etc.), likewise help delineate the desired mood.