García Abril

Choral Works

In 1977 Anton García Abril composed his “Cántico de La Pietà” as a commission for the 16th “Semana de Música Religiosa” in Cuenca, and it was premiered the same year with María Orán (soprano) who became closely associated with this work, Pedro Corostola (cello), Luis Elizalde (organ), the chamber group of the Spanish National Choir (conducted by Sabas Calvillo) and the string section of the Madrid Philharmonic Orchestra, all under the baton of Isidora García Polo. In this canticle, set to a text by García Abril’s friend Antonio Gala, the composer expresses himself in a very intimate and personal way.

It’s a beautiful work, vibrant and overwhelming, inspired by the sculpture of Michelangelo, which the composer had seen many times in Rome in his youth. He said “Love, tenderness and pain are the spiritual elements that have aroused my sensitivity”. For the work, García Abril carefully chose his timbres: strings, with the cello representing the son, voices, with the soprano expressing the feeling of the mother, and organ. The work begins with a dialogue between cello and organ, which leads to the first entry of the orchestra, the choir and the solo soprano. Four linking passages (for cello and orchestra) and a central cadence for the three soloists separate the choral episodes, in which the composer explores interesting compositional techniques such as chromatic clusters.