Year of composition
Composed by commission of Europalia 1985, to be premiered in Brussels in November of the same year by 14 choirs who came from across Spain, under the baton of Oriol Martorell, through whom the commission came, and who also suggested the text of Seneca.
The descriptive Latin text of Seneca speaks of the simple life and it is dedicated to rural people doing a day’s work. There are very varied scenes of mountains and of fishing, with a message of hope in the work and the crops.
The cantata is a little symphonic poem of about 13 minutes without interruption. The stories of the choir and the tenor soloist are connected by instrumental interludes where the brass and the percussion participate actively to colour the atmosphere of each situation.
The work begins at night when “the stars begin to fade with the light of the day” (contemplative music with xylophone simulating little stars). The day begins, and the workers start their work (Allegro decisive). The musical intensity increases, culminating in the sunrise (Lento maestoso). The tenor soloist welcomes the day with a relaxed story. A section follows where the choir is particularly important in a pastoral scene which is a little more cheerful and relaxed under the twittering of birds. The music broadens with a new appearance of the tenor soloist with a new seafaring story. The final part is an emotional song of hope for people who have a humble and family life, and who have put their hopes in their harvests.