Year of composition
The two tributes have in common the figure of the soprano Victoria de los Ángeles, considered the most complete singer of all time. The two songs can be interpreted independently, although the ideal is to consider them as an entire work.
The soprano had the collaboration of various pianists, and among those who had greater continuity and a special friendship, mention should be made of the Catalans Albert Guinovart and Manuel García Morante.
The text of the first tribute, “El arullo de Victoria“, is based on a succession of laudatory opinions from several colleagues, friends, and enthusiastic admirers of Victoria de los Ángeles’ voice, such as Jaume Aragall, Teresa Berganza, Montserrat Caballé, Renée Fleming, Birgit Nilsson, and Antonio Gala. The song is punctuated on three occasions by the theme of the «Canción de cuna para dormir a un negrito» (“Lullaby to put a little black boy to sleep“) by the composer Xavier Montsalvatge, one of the songs that the Catalan soprano performed the most throughout the world and with which she lulled lying on the floor to his son Juan Enrique. Precisely, Albert Guinovart uses this melody as an introduction to his song entitled «Die», so it also constitutes my small tribute to my colleague and namesake, a courtesy that I reiterate by ending my song with the last notes of his.
In the second tribute, “Manuel, amigo Manuel“, I use a small text of my own that refers to the great friendship that Victoria de los Ángeles and Manuel García Morante professed, as well as the great musical complicity that existed between them and that commented on the soprano herself. In the second section of the piece, I quote the cheerful popular Catalan song “La Margarideta“, as they used to perform it as the final touch of their concerts.
«Manuel, amigo Manuel» is, in short, the representation of a performance by both musicians, and for this reason I have introduced gestural samples of their great affection.
Albert Nieto (2020)