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Canto del pregoneroThree Poems by Rafael Alberti | Steven Sérpa

Canto del pregonero
Three Poems by Rafael Alberti

for soprano and percussion (2020)



Duration: 6 min.

Rafael Alberti

2020 Recording, Stephanie Lamprea

1. Si mi voz muriera
2. La paloma
3. Pregón

Program Note:
This set of art songs was written during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. National and local stay-at-home orders and the cancellation of concert hall performances resulted in a surge of artists performing on social media and focusing on web-content as an outlet for their talent and creativity. I was disappointed with the cancellation of numerous performances and was looking for my own musical outlets when I stumbled on a call for “tiny works” for unaccompanied voice on Twitter from soprano Stephanie Lamprea. I reached out and proposed some poems by Rafael Alberti, and Canto del pregonero evolved slowly through April and May 2020.

English Translations:

1. Si mi voz muriera
If my voice dies on land
Carry it down to the sea
And leave it there on the shore.

Carry it down to the sea
And name it captain
Of a white man-of-war.

Oh my voice, decorated
With signs of a sailor:

Over my heart an anchor
And over the anchor a star
And over the star the wind
And over the wind a sail!

2. La paloma
The dove was wrong.
She was mistaken.

To travel north, she flew south,
Thinking the wheat was water.
She was mistaken.

Thinking the sea was sky;
That the night, the morrow.
She was mistaken.

That the stars, dew;
That the heat, snowfall.
She was mistaken.

That your skirt was your blouse;
That your heart, your home.
She was mistaken.

(She fell asleep on the shore,
You, at the tip of a branch.)

3. Pregón
I sell clouds of color,
Ellipses, reddened
To temper the heat!

I sell purple cirrus,
And pink, the dawns,
The golden sunsets!

The yellow star
Caught in the green branches
Of the celestial peach tree!

I sell the snow, the flame,
And the song of the crier!


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Three Poems by Rafael Alberti”

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