Knutson Master Series: Francesca Anderegg and Reinaldo Moya
Date: February 18, 2021
Times: 3 p.m.
Join the Augustana School of Music as Reinaldo Moya and Francesca Anderegg give a presentation about Moya's concerto Vestida de mar (A Violin Concerto) and talk about the ideas and influences of the piece. The title of the talk: Constructing a Pan-American Identity: Literature, Geography, and Imagination in the music of Reinaldo Moya. The pair will also discuss the importance of inclusion and equity in classical music.
The virtual event takes place on Thursday, February 18, at 3 p.m. For a Zoom link, please click here.
About the Program (Written by Reinaldo Moya)
When I started working on this concerto, I was planning a workshop performance in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, near the Pacific Ocean. I wanted to take inspiration from the natural beauty of the surroundings, and I wanted the piece to relate to the Pacific Ocean in some way. As usual, I took inspiration from Latin American literature. In this case, I found it in Pablo Neruda’s Canto General: a compendium of poems that describes the flora, fauna, culture, geography and history of the Americas. I was intrigued by the three poems Neruda wrote about Rapa Nui (Easter Island), and its relationship to the ocean. I wanted each movement of the concerto to relate to one of the oceans that surround the American continent: the oceans here are a loose metaphor for aspects of the American experience.
I. As I Ebb’d With the Ocean of Life (Duration: 8 minutes)
The title is derived from the opening line of Walt Whitman’s poem. This movement is a
representation of the Atlantic Ocean and its significance in the culture and thinking of the North
American continent. The violin begins alone with some uneven arpeggios, only to be joined by
other solos. The texture shifts and a quicksilver melody emerges, but before one can grab hold
of it, it sinks back down to the depth only for other fragments to rise to the surface. After an
intense climax, the violin plays a frantic cadenza before disappearing once more into the dark,
II. Rapa Nui (Duration: 7 minutes)
The next movement follows the previous one without a pause. As though through a wormhole,
we travel from the Atlantic coast to the middle of the Pacific ocean in its primordial ooze.
Neruda’s poem describes the imposing moai statues and the wondrous sights found in the
remote island. The music depicts this landscape and the ancients statues found in it. The violin
spins a melody that feels like it could have been sung centuries ago. The orchestra provides
commentary and atmosphere to create a haunting, yet intimate musical picture.
III. El Mar Danzante (The Sea Dances) (Duration: 5 minutes)
For this finale, we travel to the Caribbean Sea. This movement embodies the hybridity so
characteristic of this region. The music begins with a chorale that sounds like it could have been written in Europe in the 17th century (in fact, the harmony owes a debt to the Rosary Sonatas
of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber). When we get to the cadence, the rug is pulled from under us,
and a (somewhat modified) Cuban montuno interrupts the proceedings. The two musics take
turns interrupting each other. A Cuban danzón emerges in the middle section before it is itself
interrupted by a European waltz. The movement is a cheeky perpetual motion, where we
experience the bewildering essence of what it means to be from the Caribbean: a vibrant and
sometimes uneasy mixture of Europe, the Americas, and Africa. The music continues to
alternate between streams and styles before reaching a rousing finale.
About the Artists:
Hailed by The New York Times for her “rich tone” and “virtuosic panache,” violinist Francesca Anderegg delivers insightful accounts of contemporary and classical music. Through her inventive programming, active composer collaborations, and precise yet impassioned interpretations, Anderegg has earned renown as a musical explorer of the first order. Highlights of her 2019-20 season included an all-Bach recital at Chicago’s Morton Arboretum, a program of Latin American music and literature at the Kerr Cultural Center at Arizona State University, as well as solo engagements performing the Mendelssohn and Sibelius violin concerti.
Reinaldo Moya is a graduate of Venezuela’s El Sistema music education system. Through El Sistema, he had access to musical training from an early age and was a founding member of the Simón Bolívar Orchestra touring throughout Europe, North and South America. He graduated from The Juilliard School with both masters and doctorate degrees, under the tutelage of Samuel Adler and Robert Beaser. He received his Bachelors in Music degree from West Virginia University, where his principal teacher was John Beall.