La Tirana (2016)
For Viola Solo & Orchestra (1Alto+1Picc.1.2.2 / 18.104.22.168 / Timp. + 2perc / Pno / Hp / Gtr(opt.) / Strings)
In Andean history, there was an Incan warrior princess named Huillac Humu. During the Spanish discovery of Chile during the 1500s, this princess and her tribe were forced from their area in what is now Northern Chile. She managed to escape her captures with a group of her people and disappear into the wilderness where she began a campaign of guerrilla warfare against the Spanish conquistadors and their attempt to spread their culture and Christian beliefs, earning her the name La Tirana. After a while though, she fell in love with one her prisoners, Almeyda, a Spanish soldier. It was a forbidden love that they kept secret for a time. Eventually though, her tribe discovered her affair with Almeyda and sentenced them both to death. While waiting to be executed next to her lover though, Huillac committed herself to Christianity so that her soul could find Almeyda’s in the afterlife.
La Tirana follows this story in its four movements. The first movement reflects her time as a captive in the desert with the cadenza that follows, acting as her escape. The second movement conveys her war rampage against the Spanish. The third movement elicits similarities to traditional Andean folk music and instruments as a love song is shared between the alto flute, the guitar, and the viola. Finally, the fourth movement paints the picture of the tribe’s rage against their leader’s betrayal, and the execution of Huillac and Almeyda. At the end of the piece, the violist slowly leaves, while playing ascending pairs of notes, representing the souls of the two lovers, never parting one another as they leave this life for the next.
Premiered by students of Manhattan School of Music, Daniel Lamas - Viola Derek Cooper - Conductor; Ades Performance Space, Manhattan School of Music, New York, NY
April 7th, 2016
Ades Performance Space
Manhattan School of Music
New York, NY
Students of Manhattan School of Music
Daniel Lamas - Viola
Derek Cooper - Conductor