Canciónes de desamor (2016) - cover

Canciónes de desamor

for medium-high voice and piano (or orchestra) (2016)


Product Description

Duration: 12 min.

Cecilia M. Castillo

May 3rd, 2016
Jessen Auditorium at the University of Texas at Austin
Daniel Castillo, tenor & Hsin-Hsuan Lin, piano

November 6th, 2016
Bates Hall at the University of Texas at Austin
Daniel Castillo, tenor & the UT Lab Orchestra with Nicholas Perry Clark, conductor

1. Por un instante
2. Que queden sin rocío las flores bellas
3. Prefiero mil veces

Program Note:
This set of songs came about one winter when tenor Daniel Castillo, a friend and colleague at the University of Texas at Austin’s Butler School of Music, brought me three poems to consider setting for an upcoming recital. These poems were written by his mother decades ago, while living in her native Mexico, and are heart-broken snapshots from Cecilia Castillo’s young adulthood, before Danny’s father was even in her life.

I was immediately taken by them. They spoke very directly to a recent heart-break of my own. Cecilia’s lines, like the opening of the second song “Let the beautiful flowers remain without dew,/I’ve been left without your smile anyway” or “Sometimes I remember with great pain/That you are not mine” from the third song, felt like they were coming straight from my own life. Those winter holidays brought up old feelings and regrets and renewed feelings of loss and loneliness. I found comfort however in working with Cecilia’s own expressions of loss. It might sound cliché, but these poems reminded me that the weight of loneliness and loss was not something I carry alone. It is shared and suffered by all people. As true as the phrase “Love is Love” so also is “Loss is Loss”.

Canciónes de desamor marked a return to solo vocal music for me, my last work of its kind being my short one-act opera Thyrsis & Amaranth.

1. Por un instante

For a moment you search for my mouth,
With a longing that surprises me,
In a moment of mad anguish,
In a movement you do not rebuke.

And I remain as always
And the kiss is half kept,
Until, after you’re gone,
My handkerchief removes it.

Sad fate of your kiss
That from my lips disappears,
And although it is quite true
That I do not love you,
I feel my soul becomes saddened.

2. Que queden sin rocío las flores bellas
Let the beautiful flowers remain without dew,
I’ve been left without your smile anyway,
Do not let the stars come to the night,
Do not let soft breeze move on the sea.

A fight remains in the heart,
The soul is no longer obligated,
no longer submitted,
Turn off the most beautiful of lights,
Taking the sound of your laughter with you.

You turn away from my life and leave a dent,
In a body that without you is scandalized,
In the fervent eyes of your footprint.

You take the flame of my love,
Your kisses become ash,
And my lips are sealed by weeping.

3. Prefiero mil veces
I prefer a thousand times
To see you from afar
Knowing your eyes look at me no longer.

I prefer not to talk to you
And continue to suffer
Knowing you are free from thinking of me,
My feelings affect you no more.

For disenchantment
Has tarnished the desire
Of kissing you tenderly.

The days pass,
Sleepless hours,
Sometimes I remember with great pain
That you’re not mine,
That I do not belong to you,
But there was love between us…


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