Toccata Newén

for piano

The “Toccata Newén” is dedicated to Horacio Lavandera, who premiered it on November 22nd, 2005 at the Manuel de Falla Concert Hall located in the headquarters of the General Society of Authors and Editors, Madrid. It was played within a cycle of concerts preceding the prize ceremony of the Tomás Luis de Victoria Latin American Music Prize. The works starts with a sort of mechanical allusion, which suggests energy (which is the direct translation from Mapuche of the word «Newén»). The Mapuches are the indigenous people of Patagonia, who inhabit the southern parts of Argentina and Chile.

The composer does not pretend to make musicological research in this work, but rather take the roots, rhythms and mythology as a source of inspiration to develop his own language; a sort of imaginary folklore. The work is built upon rhythmic, melodic and harmonic elements that suggest this concept.

Formally, it is an ABA -in other words a ternary form- that starts off with a kind of fast, wild dance, and a great display of virtuosity. The central section is slow and contemplative, and it has an introduction with reminiscences of vidala (a type of folk song from the north of Argentina), which then leads to a baguala (a type of folk song from northwestern Argentina) that resonates in the extreme registers of the piano. After this slow-paced interlude, the ferocious rhythm from the beginning makes a comes back and continues all the way till the end.

In this work the composer utilizes minimalist, atonal, pentatonic procedures as well as elements from Argentinean folk music.

Esteban Benzecry © 2010