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THE EMPTY HOURS Opera/Monodrama for Soprano/Actress, Piano, Chorus, and String Orchestra
Text and Music: Ricardo Llorca
“A Musical Homage to Miró/ SCORES for SALE:
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‘THE EMPTY HOURS”
(spanish with monologues in english)

Conductor’s score

Opera “Las Horas Vacias”/” Empty Hours”/ “Vertane Zeit”, premiered at the “XII Setmana de Musica Sacra de Benidorm”, and later performed at the Berlin Cathedral on September 7th 2007; at the Dag Hammarskjold Theater at the United Nations in New York City on November 17th 2008; at Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Center, New York City) on November 19th 2010; at the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Hall on October 3rd 2012. A CD recording of “Las Horas Vacias/The Empty Hours” has been released by Columna Música on September 2011. 

“THE EMPTY HOURS”

Program notes by Ricardo Llorca

The Empty Hours”  - an opera/monodrama for soprano, actress, chorus, piano and strings orchestra-  is a work about a lonely woman, addicted to the internet, who lives in her own fantasy world.  ‘”The Empty Hours”  is an attempt to explore a psychological process, so common in our contemporary world: the loneliness and the increasing feeling of emptiness of the developed Western societies. 

The compositional techniques in the score have already ample abstractions symbolizing the fragmentation of society, the isolation, the loss of identity that accompanies technology and the dark side of modernity.

"The Empty Hours" arose from Ricardo Llorca’s growing interest in juxtaposing and combining traditional techniques with elements of contemporary music.  Italian and Spanish Renaissance music and 17th Century operatic recitatives blended with a more contemporary language have served as the principal source of thematic and structural inspiration for this work. Building upon these ideas Llorca has created recognizable melodic cells and poly rhythmic combinations within a stable structure and bitonal harmonies over a traditional foundation. 

The score is complex, as one would expect in a contemporary opera, but not indecipherable.  Similarly, the timbre possibilities of the soprano have been thoroughly exploited, in some cases supported by the orchestration and in others opposed by it, but always within the limits of conventional writing for each instrument. ‘”The Empty Hours”  thus acquires a dual character, at once traditional and contemporary, maintaining a coherent narrative which is elaborated over a harmonic and melodic foundation that may be called non-atonal.

According to Llorca:

In order to shed light on the ideas behind this opera and my motivations for composing it, it may help to mention certain factors and subjective phenomena which I believe define the work.  In my opinion, there is a great deal of confusion today about the objectives of contemporary music and the elements it has at its disposal.  In the absence of a single unifying tendency or a specific defining style, young composers have been forced to choose between continuing along the path of experimentation or returning to a classical framework.  

Some of us have felt unable to continue conforming to the aesthetic models that have dominated classical music in recent decades.  Looking back is perhaps the only viable alternative:  reexamining the past, working with classical (horizontal and vertical) structures and concepts, and rehabilitating traditional views of musical expressiveness.  

When I began writing this opera, I wanted to create a dual work in the sense that it would be a both a product of instinct and a result of formal reflections on structure and development.  I have chosen to give the opera a classical formal character, with defined structure and development, as well as cadenzas. I have also made use of traditional techniques such as counterpoint, fugues, and functional-harmonic development.  Above all, I have taken care to avoid the impression of randomness, ensuring that the sounds conform to a plan and follow an organization that reflects their inherent relationships and correspondences.  Without this previous organization, the music would lack all expressive power and would amount to little more than haphazard forms in space.  In short, I have attempted to create a solid musical structure that governs the piece from beginning to end”.  

LAS HORAS VACIAS Opera/Monodrama para actriz/soprano, piano, coro y orquesta de cuerdas
Texto y música: Ricardo Llorca
“A Musical Homage to Miró/ SCORES for SALE:
Amazon
‘LAS HORAS VACÍAS”

Opera “Las Horas Vacias”/ “Empty Hours”/”Vertane Zeit”, estrenada durante la “XII Setmana de Musica Sacra de Benidorm” y representada posteriormente en la Catedral de Berlin el 7 de septiembre de 2007; en el Dag Hammarskjold Theater de las Naciones Unidas (Nueva York) el 17 de noviembre de 2008; en el Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Center, Nueva York) el 19 de noviembre de 2010; en la Sala Filarmónica de San Petersburgo el 3 de Octubre de 2012. Una grabación en CD de "Las Horas Vacias / The Empty Hours" ha sido editada por el sello Columna Música en Septiembre de 2011. 

LAS HORAS VACIAS (Opera/Monodrama para actriz/soprano, piano, coro y orquesta de cuerdas) 
Texto y música: Ricardo Llorca.

“Las Horas Vacías”, una ópera para soprano, coro, piano y orquesta de cámara, es un ensayo sobre una mujer solitaria, adicta al Internet y que vive encerrada en su propio mundo de fantasía. “Las Horas Vacías” es un intento de explorar uno de los procesos psicologicos mas comunes y mas dolorosos que el ser humano puede experimentar: la soledad; la confusion entre el mundo real y el imaginario y la creciente sensacion de vacio en la que se ve inmersa la opulenta sociedad actual. “Las Horas Vacías” es el resultado de mi interés en yuxtaponer y combinar técnicas tradicionales con elementos de música contemporánea. Las fuentes de inspiracion tematica y estructural para este trabajo han sido ciertos motivos de la música del Renacimiento y ciertos elementos de la polifonia tradicional Española, combinados con un lenguaje mas contemporáneo. A partir de estas ideas, he creado células melódicas y combinaciones polirítmicas dentro de una estructura estable y con armonías de caracter bitonal sobre una base neo-tradicional. La partitura es compleja como cabe esperar en una ópera contemporánea, pero no indescifrable.

Similarmente, las posibilidades tímbricas de la soprano son aprovechadas al máximo, apoyándose en algunos casos en la orquestación, y oponiéndose a ella en otros, pero siempre dentro de los límites de la escritura convencional para cada instrumento. “Las Horas Vacías” adquiere de esta manera un carácter dual, tradicional y contemporáneo a la misma vez, y manteniendo una narrativa coherente elaborada sobre una base armónica y melódica que podríamos calificar de no-atonal. 

Para la realización de la obra ( en su version de concierto ) se requiere: Soprano ( ligera/ coloratura ) Actriz ( opcional y sustituyendo a la soprano en las partes habladas ) Coro ( SATB. Coro de Camara o Sinfonico ) Piano solista Orquesta de Cuerdas ( Orquesta de Camara o Sinfonica. Violines I; Violines II; Violas; Celli y Contrabajos ) VERSION DE ESCENA : Para la realización de la obra (en su version de escena ) se requiere: Soprano ( ligera/ coloratura. En vivo, en el escenario) Actriz ( Opcional. En vivo, en el escenario y sustituyendo a la soprano en las partes habladas ) Coro ( offstage/ fuera o detras del escenario ) Piano solista Orquesta de Cuerdas ( Orquesta de Camara o Sinfonica. Violines I; Violines II; Violas; Celli y Contrabajos ) Escenografia y Decorados Coreografia ( opcional )

BORDELINE For chamber orchestra and batucada ensemble.
Music: Ricardo Llorca
“A Musical Homage to Miró/ SCORES for SALE:
Amazon
BORDERLINE
(for chamber orchestra and batucada ensemble)

Scored for:

FLUTE 1, OBOE 1, CLARINET 1 in Bb, CLARINET 2 in Bb, BASSOON 1, FRENCH HORN IN F, TRUMPET IN C, TROMBONE, SOLO HARP, SOLO PIANO, SOLO VIOLIN 1, SOLO VIOLIN 2 ,SOLO VIOLA, SOLO VIOLONCELLO, SOLO DOUBLE BASS

PERCUSSION (7 players)

Percussion I: Plays Tamborim 1; 2 Percussion Blocks
Percussion II: Plays Tamborim 2; Repique; Cajón Peruano
Percussion III: Plays Tamborim 3; Caja; Agogó; Repique
Percussion IV: Plays Tamborim 4; Chócalo; 2 Double Shakers; Guiro
Percussion V: Plays Surdo 3 & Three Timpani (tuned in D, A and A )
Percussion VI: Plays Surdo 2
Percussion VII: Plays Surdo 1 

Duration: 15 Minutes

Work commisioned by CDNM (Centro para la Documentacion Nacional de la Música) premiered on June 4, 2012 at the National Museum Reina Sofia in Madrid, and later performed at the ENSEMS (Festival of Contemporary Music of Valencia) on May 29th, 2013.

"The CNDM has commissioned for this concert a work by composer Ricardo Llorca, whose language, influences and conviction, does not depart from the classical constructive rigor of J. S. Bach, but retains the melodic expression and communication of  Aarvo Part and the sensuality of Bjork "

Video demonstration: http://www.ricardollorca.com/video-borderline.htm

“BORDERLINE” by Ricardo Llorca

Last year I visited several times the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd camped at the gates of my building in New York City, and I witnessed the first signs of a somewhat utopian rebellion that reminds us that in today's world you need a good dose of unreality to survive.

I also saw protesters camping in Puerta del Sol on a short trip I took to Madrid. Today, after almost a year, half of the world’s youth is demonstrating. What caught my attention, both in New York and the rest of the world, is that these public displays always start with a “batucada” group of boys and girls setting the frenetic pace of Brazilian music with their percussion instruments. When, in June 2011, the Spanish Ministry of Culture commissioned a new work from me I decided to take my inspiration from everything I had seen during those spring months in New York and in Madrid. So, when summer came, I moved to Barcelona and had the opportunity to work closely with a group of young enthusiasts that I had connected over the internet: "La Republik de L’Avern". After an initial meeting, organized through Facebook on a basketball court and attended by over forty boys with their drums and percussion instruments, I spent most of that summer parading with them and learning their style hitherto unknown to me: the “Bateria de Samba”, music omnipresent in all demonstrations of outrage throughout the world. 

Back in New York City I tried to capture in score everything I had learned over the summer. In strictly musical terms, the basic structure of the “batucada” is divided into call-response between the “repique” and the “surdos”, then the recovery phrase with the tambourines ending with a final coda. Throughout the rhythm-based interlayer there are also different "breaks" or cuts. In "Borderline" there are also elements of contemporary music, especially in its orchestral writing, although I tried to combine it with a standard structure of traditional “batucada”. I also added two elements strange to the “batucada” but, in my point of view, also very attractive: the Peruvian Cajón and a Solo Harp.

THE DARK SIDE Monodrama for mezzosoprano (or baritone) and piano
with text and music of Ricardo Llorca.
“A Musical Homage to Miró/ SCORES for SALE:
Amazon
THE DARK SIDE:
(Monodrama for mezzosoprano (or baritone) and piano with text and music of Ricardo Llorca).

Program notes:

The Dark Side”, monodrama for mezzosoprano or baritone and piano is an early work of Llorca. It was premiered by Nancy Fabiola Herrera and the composer at the piano on October 4th, 1995 at Lincoln Center in New York City. In “The Dark Side” Llorca experiences for the first time with the voice, which alternates systematically between spoken and sung, a resource that will be a constant in his later opera “Las Horas Vacías/The Empty Hours”. “The Dark Side”, with a duration of twelve minutes, is divided into six parts: Recitative, Prayer, Recitative, Monologue, Recitative, and  “Thread”. The text , written by the composer himself, is an argument against fanaticism with certain touches of humor most pronounced in the recited parts.

Other performances:
Concierto: Paul Recital Hall 
(The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center, Nueva York) 
Mezzosoprano: Cheryl Marshall. 
Piano: Ricardo Llorca. 
(4 de octubre, 1995)

Concierto: "Contemporary Chamber Music
(The Miller Theater at Columbia University) 
Mezzosoprano: Cheryl Marshall. 
Piano: Ricardo Llorca. 
(10 de Mayo 1996) 

Concierto: "A Journey into the Spanish Music
(The Spanish Institute, Nueva York)
Mezzosoprano: Nancy Herrera. 
Piano: Mac McClure.
(23 de abril, 2001)

Concierto: "Ricardo Llorca y la musica de Cataluña
(The Florence Gould Hall-Alliance Francaise, NY)
Mezzosoprano: Cindy Sanner. 
Piano: Mac McClure.
(29 de octubre, 2004)

Concierto: "Españoles en los Estados Unidos
Auditorio Nacional de Música / Centro para la Difusión de la Musica Contemporánea
Solistas de la ORCAM ( Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid )
(Madrid. Lunes, 2 de febrero de 2009)

Concierto: "Sounds of Spain: Music for Guitar and Song
Cycles by Ricardo Llorca at Reina Sofia NYC

Queen Sofia Spanish Institute de Nueva York
16 de Octubre de 2009  6 PM 

Concierto: “Lucero Nuestro: concierto homenaje a Victoria de los Angeles
Mezzosoprano: Nancy Fabiola Herrera
Piano: Mac Maclure
Auditorio de Sant Cugat (Domingo 20 de Noviembre de 2011)
Teatro Perez Galdós de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Teatro de la Zarzuela de Madrid Palau de la Musica de Valencia 

Concierto: XIII Festival Internacional de Música Contemporánea
Año 2013
Sábado, 5 de octubre, 19:00 h - Auditorio  
MARTA KNÖRR (Mezzosoprano)
AURELIO VIRIBAY (Piano)

Concierto: Sounds of Spain
Music for Guitar and Song Cycles by Ricardo Llorca at the Chicago Cultural Center Salon Series. 
Location: Chicago Cultural Center
Sunday, October 18, 2009 
Baritone: Gustavo Ahualli
Piano: Alan Darling

El Combat del Somni 3 songs for Soprano and Piano
with text and music of Ricardo Llorca.
“A Musical Homage to Miró/ SCORES for SALE:
Amazon
El Combat del Somni:
(3 songs for Soprano and Piano with text and music of Ricardo Llorca).

1) “ Mai Mes”
2) “ La Llum”
3) “En Dute’m”
Representative performances:

November 12th 2010 
"Sounds of Spain: Music for Guitar and Song Cycles by Ricardo Llorca at the Winter Garden (NYC)

Saturday April 21st 2012 8 PM.
The Kreeger Museum Washington DC
“Sounds of Catalonia: music of Borrás, Llorca, Mompou and Monstalvatge”

Sunday, October 18, 2009
Sounds of Spain
Music for Guitar and Song Cycles by Ricardo Llorca 
at the Chicago Cultural Center Salon Series. 
location:
At Chicago Cultural Center
Sunday, October 18, 2009 
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

July 1st 2012 6PM.
Washington DC 
National Gallery of Art 
"Chamber Music of Ricardo Llorca"
The New York Opera Society & The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC announce a chamber music concert including the music of Spanish-American composer Ricardo Llorca on July 1st 2012 to celebrate the upcoming exhibit of spanish master Joan Mirò at The National Gallery featuring the beautiful, contemporary cycles of El Combat del Somni and La Memoria de les Canelles from its composer-in-residence, Ricardo Llorca. The music will be interpreted by baritone Gustavo Ahualli, guitarist Giuliano Belotti, soprano Rosa Betancourt and pianist Rosa Torres-Pardo.

“Handeliana” & “La Memoria de los caños" Two pieces for guitar. “A Musical Homage to Miró/ SCORES for SALE:
Amazon
1) “Handeliana” (variations on a theme by G.F. Handel)  Theme: "Va Godendo" ( from the Italian opera "Xerxes" by George Frideric Handel )

2) “La Memoria de los Caños”

by Ricardo Llorca

Handeliana” is new guitar piece composed by Ricardo Llorca and commissioned by american guitar player Adam Levin. "Handeliana" was premiered at the Boston Guitar Festival 2012, and subsequently represented the Fundacion Juan March (Madrid), Le Poisson Rouge (New York City), Instituto Cervantes (New York City), International Guitar Competition in Seville, Carnegie Hall (New York City ), The College Music Society in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A CD recording has been edited by the Naxos label in July 2013. 

"La Memoria de los Caños"  ( “Memories of Caños“ ) is a piece for solo guitar composed by Llorca in 2003 in the coastal town of “Los Caños de Meca“ (“The Waters of Mecca”) in southern Spain. This piece is the result of Llorca’s increasing interest in combining techniques of both Baroque and Spanish traditional music with elements of contemporary music. According to Llorca: “Nowadays there is great confusion about the purpose of contemporary music. Young composers have the dilemma of either continuing the path of experimentation or revert to the conventional wisdom. Some composers are unable to proceed under the same aesthetic auspices that have dominated the music during the last decades.  Looking back is perhaps the only way out. Reviewing the past working on the classical concepts (horizontal and vertical) of the music, taking up the notion of expressiveness based on traditional models " 

 
 
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