Year of composition
When Jaume Creus showed me his cycle of poems Cromos d’història natural (Natural History Colour Prints), I immediately thought about the possibility of writing a cycle of songs. The content was varied and attractive and I liked the vivacity of the words as well as the laconic style. All the poems I had set to music before were quite extensive and I was motivated by the possibility of writing eight brief and direct songs.
I first wrote the piece for voice and piano, and later orchestrated it for extended cobla.
I chose the prints for their expressive possibilities, and also for their contrasts.
L’oreneta (the swallow) is fast and fleeting. The rhythm of sixteenth notes in the piano dominate from the beginning to the end.
La garota (the sea-urchin), of mysterious aspect but delicious taste, acquires a more dramatic dimension.
In El cucut (the cuckoo), the voice sings calmly beneath the long, sustained harmonies of the piano where a gentle cuckoo can be heard in the high register.
In La libèl·lula (the dragonfly), its jumps give a more grotesque and humorous air.
Els calamars (the squids) appear relaxed with beautiful reflecting colours with a lugubrious touch.
Les abelles (the bees), with a scherzo character, plays with the buzzing of their flight in the voice accompanied by a dynamic rhythm in 32nd notes in the piano.
L’aranya (the spider) surprises with sudden aggressive movements contrasting with its stillness.
Els grills i llagosts (the crickets and locusts), with their raucous trills, brings the piece to a brilliant end.