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Composers Datebook®

with host John Birge

Friday, November 13

Román and the Danza

Synopsis

While for Puerto Ricans, the Bomba and the Plena are more familiar representatives of their proud dance tradition, the musical form known as Danza holds a special place in their hearts.

Danza originated in southern Puerto Rico in the early 19th century, originally similar to the waltz, but over time it absorbed Afro-Cuban influences. Manuel Gregorio Tavárez, a 19th century Puerto Rican composer raised the danza to a cultivated artform, and accordingly Tavárez was dubbed “The Chopin of America.”

A 21st century Puerto Rican composer named Dan Román paid tribute to Tavárez and other earlier Danza masters in a piece for cello and piano that he called “Retrospectos” or “Retrospectives.” This new work premiered on today’s date in 2007 at the University of Colorado at Boulder, played by the Montserrat Duo, who had commissioned the piece.

“Each movement of my piece uses a different aspect of the Danza,” says Román. “Each movement also explores a particular composer from among the most significant authors of the genre. However, the source material is always treated as series of analytical objects that become manipulated to nearly the point of abstraction.”

Music Played in Today's Program

Dan Román (b. 1974) Retrospectos Beth Ringel, vcl; Alex Maynegre, p. Innova 904

Additional Information

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