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Florida International University

School of Music

Roberto Rodrguez, Guitar

a Senior Recital

from the Studio of

Mesut zgen

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree

Bachelor of Music

8:00 p.m. January 11, 2017

Recital Hall
Florida International University School of Music
Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center
10910 SW 17th St., Miami, FL 33199

-All music by Leo Brouwer (1939)-

Estudios Sencillos VI-X

Danza Caracterstica

Un Da de Noviembre

Estudios Sencillos XI-XV



Estudios Sencillos I-V

Cancin de Cuna (Based on a theme by Grenet)

Estudios Sencillos XVI-XX

Elogio de la Danza
Program Notes
Born Juan Leovigildo Brouwer Mesquida on March 1, 1939 in Havana, Cuba,
Leo Brouwer is widely regarded as the best modern composer for the guitar.
I consider him the best composer for the guitar.
From October 1959 to July 1960, Leo Brouwer received a grant from the
Cuban government that allowed him to attend the Hartt College of Music of
the University of Hartford and the Juilliard School, where he studied under
Vincent Persichetti and took composition classes with Stefan Wolpe. During his
time in New York he was forced to give private guitar lessons to make ends
meet, because the government stipend was not enough. His very first study for
guitar, later published as Estudio No.XII in the third series, was written for and
dedicated to Sharon Pryor, one of his students. This was the birth of the
Estudios Sencillos (Simple Studies). The Estudios Sencillos have their place in the
history of the guitar repertory alongside those of Fernando Sor, Mauro Giuliani,
Matteo Carcassi, Emilio Pujol, Heitor Villa-Lobos, etc. Like Bla Bartk with
his Mikrokosmos, Brouwer seeks to initiate young guitarists into a more
contemporary language than that found in classical treatises. The Estudios
Sencillos are, in my opinion, the best way to prepare as a guitarist for Brouwers
guitar oeuvre because they reveal, in a more or less veiled manner, his musical
approach as instrumentalist, and they expose the guitarist to his compositional
idioms. The following are only two examples of distinctly Brouwerian elements
that are found in his Estudios Sencillos. First, already in Estudio No. I the guitarist
encounters one of Brouwers axioms: never play repeated sections the same :
Brouwer expressly writes on the score different dynamic levels for each
repeated phrase in the study. This dynamic way of performing is implied in all
of his music, whether he indicates it on the score or not. Secondly, as a
composer, Brouwer is deeply influenced by elements of Afro-Cuban music: The
cinquillo found in Estudio No.V, the rhythmic drive of Estudio No IX, the
descending two-note figure in Estudio No. XVI, which mimics the cadence of
Yoruba speech, all evidence this influence. The first (Estudios Sencillos I-V) and
second (Estudios Sencillos VI-X) series were written from 1959 to 1961. The
mould is popular in inspiration and Brouwer draws extensively on the rhythmic
elements specific to Latin-American roots. The studies, deliberately easy, are
graded and seek to deal with the different technical problems in an isolated
manner: right hand thumb, dynamics, chord balance, preparation for the
tremolo, rhythm (Estudio No. V is a convincing example of the use of the
cinquillo). The third (Estudios Sencillos X-XV) and fourth (Estudios Sencillos XVI-
XX) series were written in 1981, around the date of the Decameron Negro, which
heralded a new stylistic trend as well as Brouwers return to his instrument (he
had written nothing for solo guitar since Tarantos (1974). The Afro-Cuban roots
are once more used as the generating element and tonal or modal harmonies
reappear, to constitute what the composer himself likes to define as a new
simplicity. Stylistic synthesis is again in operation, but contamination comes
more from the musical worlds of Pat Metheny or Keith Jarrett than those of
Bla Bartk or Igor Stravinsky. The graded progression is respected and follows
on from the first ten studies. The difficulties increase and, unlike the preceding
series that deal with tackling the basics, the last two aim especially at the
perfecting of a technique already partially acquired. The specific aims of each
study are now stated, as for Sors advanced studies, indicating at the start of
each: ties, double ties, ornaments, etc. Links exist between the different
pieces: for example, the thematic material in Estudio No. XVIII is subsequently
used in the Concierto Elegaco (1986). Similary, the central section of Estudio No.
XX was originally conceived as a variation on the theme (Movido) in Estudio
No. XIX. This explains why Estudio No. XX also starts in the same manner.
Ever since its premiere in 1957 by Isaac Nicola, Leo Brouwers guitar teacher, in
a gesture of approval of his young pupil, Danza Caracterstica (1956) has
remained a favorite among guitarists. In three-part form, this piece borrows
extensively from elements of Cuban popular music, like Conga -Brouwer
employs the refrain from Qutate de la acera-, call-and-response, and the use of
the cinquillo. Certain techniques of flamenco guitar can also be found in Danza
Caracterstica, such as rasgueado and tambora.
Un Da de Noviembre is a 1972 movie directed by Humberto Sols in which a
young man is diagnosed with a terminal illness and is thus forced to quickly find
a way to best live life in the remaining short months. Should he continue with
his job, responsibilities, and social duties as if nothing happened or should he
drop everything and pursue the attainment of pleasure or happiness in the time
left? Should he commit suicide and get it over with or should he fight and hold
on to hope? Despite the many possible answers, the movie opts for an ending
in which the love of life and man is reaffirmed. This feeling is the one conveyed
by the movies main theme. Originally scored for guitar, flute, bass, bells and
triangle, Un Da de Noviembres arrangement for solo guitar has become a staple
in the repertory of guitarists everywhere.
Cancin de Cuna is an arrangement of the famous lullaby Drume Negrita by Eliseo
Grenet (1893-1950). Brouwer does not confine himself to a mere
harmonization of the original melody: the intimate character and intrinsic
personality of the work are both laid bare. The intuitive and sensorial approach
that Brouwer brings to his musical creativity receives remarkable illumination in
this arrangement.
Canticum, written in 1968 at the request of Carlos Molina, and to whom Leo
Brouwer dedicated the piece for his graduation recital, revolutionized
composing for the guitar. According to Brouwer himself, with Canticum he set
out to write a didactic piece of music for guitar that summarized a series of
compositional clichs of the avant-garde. With Canticum Brouwer also
systematized his way of composing with the use of cells: the entirety of the
piece is derived from the introductory three-note chromatic cell.
Elogio de la Danza (1964) is easily one of Leo Brouwers most performed and
beloved compositions. It was written in a single afternoon and was
commissioned by choreographer Luis Trpaga. At its premiere on July 31, 1964
Brouwer was accompanied by Sonia Calero, a dancer. Elogio de la Danza is
written in two movements because the choreographer wanted to pay tribute to
Grand Adagio from the classical ballet as well as to the Ballets Russes, which is
why, according to Brouwer, the second movement has some of the Stravinsky
flavor. Elogio de la Danza is fragmentary in design, comprised of several small
sections, and lacks what can be typically described as themes; however, there are
recurring ideas that help to provide unity. The first movement, Lento, can be
described as having an overall form of AB, with a short codetta that recalls
material from the opening moments of the A section. The second movement,
Obstinato, also in binary form, is to be performed attacca (with no pause between
movements). From the introductory motive the whole piece is developed.
Brouwer employs elements from Afro-Cuban music such as the cinquillo and
tresillo, and he is meticulous and fastidious with his score markings: the whole
thing is full of lasciare vibrares (let vibrate), rubatos, rallentandos, molto
sonoros, sul tastos and sul ponticellos, etc. Nothing is left to chance, and the
unity of the music depends on the interpreter faithfully adhering to all of these
To Margarita Ruiz and Roberto Rodrguez, my parents
To Carlos Molina, Mesut zgen, Rafael Padrn, and Julio
Perera, my teachers
To Martn Pedreira, for his counsel
To Monika Miodragovic, my companion and muse
To Carlos Serrano, for encouraging me to become a guitarist

The School of Music at Florida International University

has been fully and continuously accredited by the
National Association of Schools of Music since 1996.

The use of recording equipment during recitals is permitted if arranged with the
recitalist, and there is no disruption of the recital or distraction to the audience.
Still photography is not permitted during the performance.
Your cooperation is appreciated.