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Un Camino

When Kim Cook approached me to write a cello concerto for her, I felt it was the right moment since I had been wanting to write one for a while. Needless to say I felt very honored and excited to have Ms. Cook, who is a world-class cellist, entrust me with this commission.

At first I was considering a few different directions for this piece, but she had expressed how much she liked it when I include Latin American rhythms in my work, so I kept this in mind when I started to write the concerto. Coincidentally, at the time I had been very concerned with the socio political turmoil that surrounds my country of birth, Venezuela. Its fate and the fight of the people were in the forefront of my thoughts. I saw this piece as a wonderful opportunity to give voice to this historical struggle. "Hay un Camino" ("There is a path" or "There is a Way") was the catchphrase of the opposition in Venezuela to a regime that under the banner of democracy had become totalitarian and lawless. However, I named my piece "Un Camino" ("A Path") hoping that all Venezuelans realize that they, as a nation, need to unite and create their own way, without foreign intervention or ideologies, without losing sight of who they are and what they need to do to heal their country. I realize this is not an isolated case, as we have seen and continue to see power struggles intertwined with rampant corruption all over the world, while our most inner desire is one of peace and justice.

The piece doesn’t follow the typical sonata form, however one hears recurring themes and sections reminiscing an exposition, development and recapitulation. The piece is roughly divided into: A- B - C - B’- C’- A’- cadenza - coda. The A part is a slow introverted passage where the cello’s theme evokes the sound of a human voice, an inner call for action to every individual. The orchestra answers with a tutti using the same material but in a very extroverted manner. The B part is a rhythmical section where the thematic material of part A is transformed and distorted, creating a very dynamic and driven section, which grows when the orchestra joins the cello. This leads to section C, which is a dance. I should mention that in this section I used melodically a small fraction of the Venezuelan national anthem, specifically when it says "¡Abajo cadenas! Gritaba el Señor;" (Down with the chains! Cried out the Lord) but it is set in a completely different harmonic and rhythmical context from the original. This will lead to B’, the quasi Development of the piece, where the material of the part B is expanded leading into the dance material of the next section, C’. The cello winds down and mellows the orchestra into A’ which is similar to A, but in a different key and the phrases have different lengths. In the cadenza I use another part of the melody of the Venezuelan national anthem "bravo pueblo que el yugo lanzó.." (Brave people who shook off the yoke). This time in the same haunting manner as in the opening section A. The cello will evoke the dance material and with the orchestra joining the cello, the piece comes to an end.

Efraín Amaya 2013

Instrumentation: *3/*3/*3/3 - 4/2/0/0 - tmp+3 - cello solo - str

Duration: ca. 17:30



  • Un Camino - 2013 (Cello solo and Orchestra) 17:30 (one movement)

    Parts Music Rental only Full score $45.00
      Un Camino

  • Un Camino - 2013 (Cello solo and piano) 17:30 (one movement)

    Cello solo part & piano score $20.00

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