Homenaje a Federico García Lorca
On 19 August 1936, the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca was murdered by fascist militia forces. Outraged, along with many other intellectuals and artists, in October Revueltas composed Homenaje a Federico García Lorca, one of his most important works, which was premiered on 14 November 1936 conducted by the composer (Hernández 2009, 18–19; Slonimsky 1945, 250). It was given its first Spanish performance at the Salón de Actos de la Asociación de Amigos de Mexico in Madrid on 17 September 1937 (Hess 1997, 285–86, 291n24) during a Fascist bombing of the city.
The work is scored for a chamber orchestra of piccolo, E♭ clarinet, two trumpets, trombone, tuba, tamtam, xylophone, piano, two violins, and double bass. The absence of low woodwinds, violas, and cellos produces a sound meant to evoke a Mexican village band, or the sound of Indian music (Dean 1992, 83).
The composition is in three movements:
- Baile (Dance): Lento (quasi recitativo)–Allegro ( = 200)–Lento (quasi recitativo)
- Duelo (Affliction): = 96
- Son: = 104–112
The main, Allegro, section of the first movement is typical of Revueltas's orchestration. An almost constant rhythmic substructure in 4/16 time is produced by the staccato of the piano, repeated plaintive fourths in the violins, and an obstinately repeated G in semiquavers in the contrabasses. Over this texture, wind instruments present the thematic material, "at once sad and gay, in a light contrapuntal passage of the greatest transparency" (Mayer-Serra 1941, 141–42).
The second movement, Duelo, is written in a style close to the Andalusian martinetes sung by miners and prisoners awaiting sentence. In imitation of the characteristic hammer-and-anvil accompaniment, Revueltas wrote a major-second ostinato for xylophone and pizzicato double bass, over which the trumpet plays a mournful melody in C♯ minor (Sanchez-Gutierrez 1996, 102–103).
The final movement superimposes several ostinatos, a device Revueltas uses extensively throughout his oeuvre (Dean 1992, 76–77).
- Dean, Jack Lee. 1992. "Silvestre Revueltas: A Discussion of the Background and Influences Affecting His Compositional Style". Ph.D thesis. University of Texas at Austin.
- Hernández, Juan de Dios. 2009. "Nationalism and Musical Architecture in the Symphonic Music of Silvestre Revueltas". DMA diss. Tucson: The University of Arizona.
- Hess, Carol A. 1997. "Silvestre Revueltas in Republican Spain: Music as Political Utterance". Latin American Music Review / Revista de Música Latinoamericana 18, no. 2 (Autumn–Winter): 278–96.
- Mayer-Serra, Otto. 1941. "Silvestre Revueltas and Musical Nationalism in Mexico". The Musical Quarterly 27, no. 2 (April): 123–45.
- Revueltas, Silvestre. 1958. Homenaje a Federico García Lorca (Homage to Federico García Lorca (score). New York: Southern Music Publishing Company, Inc.
- Sanchez-Gutierrez, Carlos Daniel. 1996. ¨The Cooked and the Raw: Syncretism in the Music of Silvestre Revueltas". Ph.D. thesis. Princeton: Princeton University.
- Slonimsky, Nicolas. 1945. Music in Latin America. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell.
- Hoag, Charles. 2002. "Algunos aspectos de las melodías de Revueltas", translated by Ricardo Miranda Pérez. In Diálogo de resplandores: Carlos Chávez y Silvestre Revueltas, edited by Ricardo Miranda Pérez and Yael Bitrán, 109–17. Ríos y raíces: Teoría y práctica del arte. México, D.F.: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (CONACULTA) (Dirección General de Publicaciones). ISBN 970-18-8409-4.
- Madrid, Alejandro L. 2000. "¿Influencias o elementos de retórica? Aspectos de centricidad en la obra de Silvestre Revueltas". Heterofonía: Revista de investigación musical, no. 122 (January–June): 19–38.
- Vogt, Harry. 1986. "Hommages und Elegien in memoriam Federico García Lorca". Dissonanz, no. 9 (August): 15–17.