Chamber

This category lists all my works for small and medium ensembles, as well as pieces for solo instruments. Pieces with vocal parts are also included. However, I have excluded works for the theater (incidental music), as I consider it more appropriate to include them in a separate category. Follow this link to open the catalog in spreadsheet format, where you can filter works by instrumentation.

Drifting (2022)

Single-movement work for string trio

I've been practicing meditation for several years and if I had to choose a particular word to describe what I experience, that word would be "drifting". After relaxing, my mind begins to wander. Everything is blurry, but every now and then an image takes shape; sometimes I hear a voice that speaks to me; I've even listened to music, like tuning in to a radio station for a few seconds. Drifting is organized in three sections, with no break between them: relaxing, flowing and being.

Duration: c.a. 7' 40''

Symphony for Piano Quintet (2022)

Five-movement work for piano quintet

One day, I asked myself the following question: can I write a symphony for a set of instruments other than an orchestra? Is it a requirement that a symphony be performed by an orchestra? What is a symphony? How is it defined in modern times? I know some people will find the title of my piece inappropriate and argue that I could simply have called it a piano quintet and dispensed with the word symphony in its name. However, I think that the work conveys a certain symphonic character and, therefore, it is, in my opinion, a symphony, a symphony for piano quintet.

Duration: c.a. 24'

Eulogy (2020)

Three-movement work for soprano, clarinet and piano

Eulogy is dedicated to the memory of my dear friend Rafael Salazar, who played my music in many other occasions. He was always available, always ready to lend a hand, and I have lost count of all the times he offered me his help, without expecting anything in return. In November 2019, at age 39, he was diagnosed with cancer. Despite all our hopes and his great will to live, he passed away on April 18, 2020. He now visits me in my dreams and sometimes, when I realize that I'm dreaming, I give him a big hug.

Duration: c.a. 12'

Pregón (2020)

Single-movement work for flute, clarinet, 2 violins and cello

“Pregón” is a Spanish word that refers to the cries of the street vendors, known as “pregoneros”, to announce their arrival. They toured the streets of Lima until the first half of the 20th century. One of the most remembered pregones is the one that advertised a type of sweet roll known as "hot revolution", made of sugar, cloves and cinnamon. This piece is based on this tune, mixed with some Peruvian rhythms, like the Marinera and the Peruvian Waltz.

Duration: c.a. 1'

The Spirits of Cahuachi (2020)

Single-movement work for 10 musicians

This piece is inspired by the reading of the book "Behind the Silence: Music in the Nasca Culture," which describes the discovery, in 1994, of several antaras (Andean pan flutes) in a temple in the city of Cahuachi, the political and cultural center of the Nasca culture. The book includes tables with the exact tones that each tube is capable of producing and the piece makes use of them. However, there's no intention to produce something that resembles the music of the ancient Nasca inhabitants. None of it has survived with the exception of these tones, these "spirits" contained in the pipes of the antaras discovered in Cahuachi.

Duration: c.a. 6'

Northern Landscapes (2020)

Single-movement work for string quartet

Northern Landscapes is a piece inspired by a trip I made in December 2019 to Mancora, a city in the Piura region, in northwestern Peru. There are no direct flights to Mancora and the trip by land from the nearest airport takes about an hour, crossing a desert landscape of beautiful yellow, orange and brown shades, which extend through endless valleys and majestic canyons. Northern Landscapes is simply a piece that captures the essence of that sensation of going at great speed through a colorful scenery.

Duration: c.a. 4' 20''

Poetic Melodies (2018)

Three-movement solo piece for unaccompanied oboe and optional reciter

Commissioned by American oboist William Wilegus and dedicated to him, "Poetic Melodies" draws loose inspiration from four poems by José María Eguren, a renowned Peruvian poet, journalist, painter, and photographer of the 20th century.

Duration: c.a. 7' 30''

Pandora's Box (2017)

Four-movement duet for clarinet and viola

As a child, I cherished Nathaniel Hawthorne's story of Pandora's Box, and when Dr. Katrin Meidell and Dr. Elizabeth Crawford commissioned me to compose for their duet "Violet," the idea of using the story as inspiration was one of the first to come to mind. It features two characters, Pandora and Epimetheus, and the viola, like a box, can produce an array of sounds, including some with an eerie quality.

Duration: c.a. 11'

Fantasy XX, painting by Ernesto Bavastrello

Pictorial Miniatures (2016)

Nine-movement piece for double reed sextet (2ob.ca.2bsn.c-bsn)

This composition is a collection of short pieces inspired by the artworks of Ernesto Bavastrello, my great-granduncle, and a prolific Peruvian painter. Initially, his works featured themes from both the coastal and highland regions of Peru. Later in life, as he battled vision problems, his art evolved toward the abstract, featuring vivid colors, ghostly figures, suggestive images, floral chromatic whims, and exotic fantasies.

Duration: c.a. 14'

Il Giardino della Casa (2016)

Three-movement duet for flute and guitar with optional projection

Commissioned by Peruvian flutist Daniel Cueto and Romanian guitarist Mircea Gogoncea, "Il giardino della casa" is a composition inspired by photographs taken by my father in our home garden. The piece is designed for performance with a projection of the accompanying photographs. Its premiere took place on July 12, 2016, at the Auditorium of "Colegio Santa Úrsula."

Duration: c.a. 9' 30''

Kindred Hearts (2015)

Four songs for male voice and piano

In 2011, deeply impressed by the work of Bryan Borland, I asked him if he would agree to write a few poems that I could set to music. From the beginning, I decided I wanted a very intimate sound and thought that the technique of popular singing was the best way to properly convey my concept of the piece. This decision influenced the style of the music, which lies somewhere in between classical and popular, and even jazz.

Duration: c.a. 22' 30''

Images of the Peruvian Coast (2015)

3-movement work for trumpet, guitar, percussion and piano

Commissioned in 2015 by Peruvian trumpet player Franco Carranza, Images of the Peruvian Coast is a piece based on three airs of Peruvian music: the "Vals," the “Triste y Tondero” and the “Marinera." As all these are coastal airs, I decided to write a triptych in which each movement would be dedicated to a place in the coast of Peru that had some significance in my life:  i) Villapampa, an estate once owned by my paternal grandfather between the 50’s and 80’; ii) Talara, a city where my brother and I spent a few weeks in the summer of 1984; and iii) Totoritas, a beach to south of Lima, where my parents had a house in the 90s.

Duration: c.a. 21' 38''

Alchimia (2014)

Five-movement work for female voices and ensemble (3s.3ms.2a) & (fl.ob.clarinet/perc/pno/vla.vc.db)

Alchimia is a work related to the subject of the five elements of antiquity (air, fire, water, earth and quintessence). It’s divided into five hymns with texts I assembled from different sources, cultures, and languages ​​(Latin, Ancient Greek, Ancient Egyptian, Sanskrit, Sumerian, Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, Navajo, Cherokee, Nahuatl, Quechua, Spanish, German, English). It was commissioned by my dear friend Paloma Báscones, who premiered it on April 1, 2019, in a concert of the 9th Josep Soler Festival that took place in Barcelona, Spain.

Duration: c.a. 19''

The Wolf-Leader (2012)

Single-movement septet (cl/tpt.tbn/e-guit/vc.db/pno)

The Wolf-Leader is an English translation by Alfred Allinson of Le Meneur de Loups, by Alexandre Dumas. The book tells the story of Thibault, a shoemaker corroded by feelings of revenge, who encounters a huge wolf that offers him what he wants: he can wish harm on anyone in exchange for one of his own hairs. I wrote this piece when I was still director of the UPC School of Music and had little time to compose. My idea was that it would one day become the prelude to an opera, but I never found a way to make it happen. However, I still have the desire to do it. Maybe one day I will have the opportunity.

Duration: c.a. 1' 45''

The Garden of the Shadows (2011)

4-movement work for solo piano

This piece is a piano reduction of my woodwind octet of the same name, which draws inspiration from H.G. Wells' science fiction novel, "The Time Machine." The title of the composition, as well as the names of its four movements, allude to the novel's storyline in which a 19th-century scientist travels to the distant future, discovering two distinct species: the beautiful and peaceful Eloy and the grotesque, subterranean Morlocks who fear the light.

Duration: c.a. 9'

Fantastic Episodes (2008)

Single-movement work for chamber orchestra

"Fantastic Episodes" is a composition that captures my childhood fascination with space travel and the iconic 1960s TV show "Lost in Space." The title reflects the work's structure, which is designed as a sequence of parts or "episodes," each offering a short musical "fantasy." This structure is reminiscent of the TV show's format.

Duration: c.a. 13'

Argo Navis (2008)

Solo for unaccompanied flute

"Argo Navis" is a three-movement composition dedicated to Peruvian flutist Daniel Cueto. The piece draws inspiration from the southern constellation Argo Navis, which once represented the ship used by Jason and the Argonauts. This constellation has since fragmented into Carina (the keel), Puppis (the stern), and Vela (the sail).

Duration: c.a. 3'

Five Good Fellows (2005)

Five-movement solo piece for unaccompanied clarinet

Composed in April 2005 for Spanish clarinetist Joan Père Gil, "Five Good Fellows" premiered at the Ateneu Barcelonès in June of the same year. This composition consists of five movements, each inspired by characters from J. R. R. Tolkien's novel, "The Lord of the Rings."

Duration: c.a. 9'

Cæsarum (2004)

I wrote Cæsarum in my student years. Its original title was Praedictio (Prophecy), and was based on the Latin translation of the prophecy given by the Sibyl at Cumae, at the beginning of the novel I, Claudius, by Robert Graves. However, due to copyright issues, I decided to change the text with excerpts from the book De Vita Caesarum, written by Suetonius in 121 AD and renamed the piece simply Cæsarum (Caesars). It is divided in six sections (one for each Caesar) and requires four percussion players, a reciter and a choir that only speaks rhythmically (the percussion players also recite a few phrases).

Duration: c.a. 6'

Portrait (2004)

Single-movement work for piano quintet

Portrait is a piece I wrote in August 2004 as a gift to Adolf Sobrevilla, to whom it is dedicated. As the title suggests, it is a portrait, an attempt to describe a person—not physically, but emotionally—through music. The original version called for a string orchestra and piano, but I was never completely satisfied with that solution, so later I decided to reduce it to a piano quintet.

Duration: c.a. 5' 15''

Grotesque Quartet (2003)

String quartet (four movements)

This piece was initiated in August 2002, shortly before the staging of a theatrical adaptation of "The Picture of Dorian Gray," for which I had composed incidental music. This connection influenced both the title and the names of the four movements: Tenebrous, Ludicrous, Mysterious, and Anxious. The piece is also influenced by the music of Bernard Herrmann, which I discovered around that time.

Duration: c.a. 13' 30''

The Garden of the Shadows (2001)

Four-movement wind octet for two flutes, two oboes (2nd also c.a.), two clarinets and two bassoons

Composed in 2001, "The Garden of the Shadows" draws inspiration from H.G. Wells' science fiction novel, "The Time Machine." The title of the composition, as well as the names of its four movements, allude to the novel's storyline in which a 19th-century scientist travels to the distant future, discovering two distinct species: the beautiful and peaceful Eloy and the grotesque, subterranean Morlocks who fear the light.

Duration: c.a. 9'

El Sereno (2001)

Single-movement work for baritone and piano

In 1999, after my grandfather passed away, I was told by my mother that he used to write poems and that there was a notebook where my grandmother had saved some. Then, in 2001, when I was asked to write a song for my composition class at the conservatory, I thought of my grandfather's poems, got a copy of the notebook and chose the poem "El Sereno", which makes reference to the people who once lit the lamps and guarded the streets at night in Madrid.

Duration: c.a. 3' 30''

Paleodrama (2001)

Single-movement work for solo piano

I composed this piece in December 2000 and January 2001 as part of my application to the National University of Music of Peru (formerly the National Conservatory of Music).  The title suggests the depiction of prehistoric creatures' actions. The composition consists of three distinct moments: a thunderous opening, followed by a tense calm, and a return to the initial agitation, concluding abruptly.

Duration: c.a. 3' 30''