This category includes all pieces that have vocal parts, whether soloists, ensembles or choir, with or without instrumental accompaniment (including a symphony orchestra). However, I have excluded operas because I consider it more appropriate to include them in a separate category. The only exception in this case is my mini-opera Dear Diary, since it can also be performed as a concert piece, without any staging.
Dear Diary (2022)
Mini-opera for soprano, tenor and piano
I've wanted to write a piece based on Twain's Diaries of Adam and Eve ever since I read it. I used only a few sentences from Twain's book and arranged them in such a way as to produce a workable libretto. For the most part, I've kept everything intact, except for a few words that I've taken the liberty of contract. Also, in Eve's last entry, I changed "every wife" to "everyone", as I want her words to refer to all human beings and not just women.
Duration: c.a. 15'
Operatic scene for work for soprano, clarinet and piano
I remember when we all found out what had happened in Chernobyl. I was in my freshman year of high school and the news surprised us all. However, we were completely unaware of the magnitude of the tragedy. It took us a few years to discover the horror and the tragedy. So when Maritza told me that she had a poem dedicated to them that she wanted me to put to music, I didn't hesitate to accept her offer. Hologramas (Holograms) takes the apparent form of a children's tale, while at the same time revealing the shocking facts about what happens when the most vulnerable suffer the consequences of man's neglect.
Duration: c.a. 12'
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'
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''
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''
KOCMOC (Cosmos) (2013)
Single-movement work for full orchestra with optional choir
In 1997, I took master classes with Russian composer Vladislav Uspensky, a former student of Shostakovich. Under his guidance, I wrote a piece named "Kocmoc" (cosmos), inspired by a fantastic starry sky I witnessed at a local beach, south of Lima. After Professor Uspensky's passing, I reused the materials from that piece to create a new one in his memory. As the original had a choir, I included one as well, using an excerpt of the poem Urania, by Fyodor Tyutchev. Kocmoc premiered in 2013, by the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru and the National Choir of Peru, under the direction of Fernando Valcárcel.
Duration: c.a. 12'
Single-movement work for vocal soloists, choir and orchestra
"Shir" is a cantata that I wrote in my student years, and which I initially called "A man and his god." However, I later changed the title to "Shir", which is the Sumerian word for song. The work is based on a very long Sumerian text known by the first title of the piece, from which I took specific parts that I adapted into a sequence of arias, choruses and instrumental interludes. A narrator intervenes three times to explain the plot and present a translation of the text, which is then sung in a transliteration of the cuneiform version.
Duration: c.a. 30'
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'
Single-movement work for a cappella choir
I composed A-nir for my composition class at the National Conservatory of Music. The title means "lamentation" in the Sumerian language and the text corresponds to the first twenty-one lines of "The Lament for Sumer and Urim", written between 2600 and 1700 BC. In 2004, A-nir won the Vanguard Premieres Choral Composition Contest, sponsored by the Michigan-based choir Vanguard Voices, in the category of emerging composers, and premiered on June 5, 2005 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, Dearborn, Michigan.
Duration: c.a. 6 min
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''