Citation
The life and music of Ernesto Lecuona

Material Information

Title:
The life and music of Ernesto Lecuona
Creator:
Jacobson, Gloria Castiel, 1951-
Lawrence, Gordon D. ( Thesis advisor )
Kushner, David Z. ( Reviewer )
Knisely, S. Phillip ( Reviewer )
Hass, C. Glen ( Reviewer )
Hale, James P. ( Reviewer )
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publisher:
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
1982
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xi, 190 leaves : ill., music ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Art music ( jstor )
Bolero dance ( jstor )
Composers ( jstor )
Congas ( jstor )
Music composition ( jstor )
Musical performance ( jstor )
Musical rhythm ( jstor )
Pianos ( jstor )
Theater ( jstor )
Zarzuelas ( jstor )
Composers -- Biography -- Cuba ( lcsh )
Curriculum and Instruction thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Curriculum and Instruction -- UF
City of Miami ( local )
Genre:
Biography ( lcsh )
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
individual biography ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
Cuba

Notes

Abstract:
Ernesto Lecuona (1895-1963), Cuban composer-pianist, achieved worldwide recognition during his lifetime. There is, however, very little information available on him. Nothing of consequence has been written either in Spanish or in English on the influential composer; sheet music is difficult to locate, and very few recordings are available for study. This paper examines both the personal and professional life of Ernesto Lecuona as well as representative works chosen from his vast output. These have been primarily selected from the composer's songs, piano music and zarzuelas. Data for the study have been gathered from a variety of sources, including interviews with significant persons in Lecuona' s life and career, music publishers and foreign and domestic libraries. Findings show that Lecuona was a prolific composer of music in a great variety of media. His works appealed to everyone, from the sophisticated musician to the layman. Many of his works became international hits, such as "Malaguefia," "Andalucla," "Always in My Heart," and "Siboney." As pianist and performer of his own works, he appeared in almost every major theater both in Cuba and abroad, including Central and South America, the United States, and Europe. The one factor, above all others, which won his music such wide acceptance was the composer's use of Spanish and Afro-Cuban forms and rhythms in almost every one of his works. Lecuona' s influence was not confined to music. He made statements, through his zarzuelas , on the lifestyle and socio-political conditions of Cuba; he was also influential in bringing recognition to a multitude of artists. Most importantly, Lecuona inspired young composers by demonstrating how fertile the field of Afro-Cubanism was, both in Cuba and abroad. Lecuona, in summary, was a musician in his own right. He was also influential on Cuban society, music, and musicians. His music needs to be performed, recorded, and analyzed, and his contributions to Cuban and Latin American music included in all major music history texts.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1982.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographic references (leaves 186-189).
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Gloria Castiel Jacobson.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
028821196 ( AlephBibNum )
09482770 ( OCLC )
ABW4339 ( NOTIS )

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THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF
ERNESTO LECUONA




BY

GLORIA CASTIEL JACOBSON


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

































Copyright 1982

by

Gloria Castiel Jacobson




































A MIS QUERIDOS PADRES

BELINA Y ALBERTO

CON TODO MI AMOR

















ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


This work has become reality only through the cooperation of a

group of people sincerely dedicated to the goal of preserving the

memory and music of Ernesto Lecuona.

I should like to extend my warmest thanks to Roberto Rodriguez,

Lecuona's impresario, for providing me with photographs, newspaper

articles, mementos, and vital information on the composer; Miguel de

Grandy, Octavio Alvarez, Ernesto Garcia, Rolando Lluis, Josefina

LeCerff, and Ernesto Grenet, all of whom knew or worked with Lecuona,

for the time they dedicated to my interviews and for their contagious

enthusiasm; Aurelio and Graciela Fox for lending me much of Lecuona's

music from their private record collection; John Sperry for his time and

for providing me with Lecuona's will and biographical notes; and Edward

B. Marks Music Corporation for their continuous help in locating and

providing me with numerous pieces of sheet music and for extending

copyright privileges.

To Dr. David Z. Kushner, professor and friend, I offer my heartfelt

appreciation for his interest, encouragement, advice, and inspiration

throughout this entire project. To Dr. Gordon Lawrence and Dr. Phillip

Kniseley I am grateful for their valuable contributions to the success of

this study.

And an especially warm thank you goes to the person who encouraged,

advised, and helped me with every aspect of this paper, my editor,

typist, and counselor: my wonderful husband, Ed.










The following compositions are the copyright of Edward B. Marks

Music Corporation. The measures or text cited are used by permission:

Songs

Por eso te quiero, 4-20
Noche azul, 3-18
Lamento africano, 6-22
Aquella tarde, 1-20

Piano Music

La comparsa, 1-19, 52-61
Danza Lucumi, 91-102
Danza de los Safigos, 77-100, 41-55
Y la negra bailaba, 55-69
Danza negra, 55-68, 1-10
Conga de medianoche, 37-45, 1-5, 98-110
&Por qu6 te vas?, 5-11
En tres por cuatro, 1-9, 21-26
Ahi viene el chino, 1-10, 27-38, 88-90
A la antigua, 1-8
Ante el Escorial, 1-8, 33, 34-41
San Francisco el grande, 1-10, 37-56
Malaguefa, 1-9, 28-35, 59-70, 87-90, 125-141
Andalucia, 1-11, 105-112
Gitanerias, 1-8, 72-88
Alhambra, 32-55, 85-99
Rapsodia negra, 161, 162-168, 270-283
Vals romantic, 33-49
La habanera, 1-8

Zarzuelas

Niia Rita: Damisela encantadora, 39-54
El cafetal: Lamento africano, 7-20, 81-95
El cafetal: Lamento africano, entire text
Maria la 0, 1-11, 21-37


















CONTENTS


PAGE

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . . . . . . . .. . . . iv

LIST OF FIGURES. . . . . . . . . ... . . . .viii

ABSTRACT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . x

CHAPTER I--INTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . 1

Purpose of the Study 1
Organization of the Study 1
Tasks of the Study 2
The Need for the Study 2
Background of Art Music in Cuba 5
The Research Procedure 7
Limitations of the Study 9

CHAPTER II--REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE . . . . .. 10

CHAPTER III--THE LIFE AND CAREER OF ERNESTO LECUONA. . . .. .15

Introduction 15-
Family Background 151
Early Years: Musical Studies and Achievements 16V/
Early Works for the Theater and International Successes 181
Trip to Paris: Friendship with Lortat, Orloff, and Ravel 19
Tours of Central America and a Hollywood Experience 20
1933: Formation of "Lecuona's Cuban Boys" 21
and Threats to Lecuona's Health
The Years 1935-1942 22
Lecuona as Cultural Attach6 to the Cuban Embassy 22"
Concerts in the Pan American Union and Carnegie Hall 23
Carnival in Costa Rica 23
The Last Ten Years -- 1953-1963 24
Physical Appearance and Personality 24
Lifestyle 26'
Friends and Friendships 27-
Always a Cuban 27-
Lecuona the Musician 28"
Fans, Friends, and Honors 29L/












CHAPTER IV--SONGS.. . . . . . . . . . . .

Introduction
Characteristics of Songs
Types of Songs
Summary

CHAPTER V--PIANO MUSIC . . . . . . . . . . .

Introduction
Danzas
Religious Works
Andalucia -- Suite Espagnole
Estampas Infantiles ("Diary of a Child")
Miscellaneous Works
Conclusion

CHAPTER VI--ZARZUELAS . . . . . . . . . .

Introduction
The Zarzuelas of Ernesto Lecuona
Conclusions

CHAPTER VII--CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS . . . . .

Conclusions
Recommendations

GLOSSARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

APPENDIX A--LIST OF MUSICAL WORKS OF ERNESTO LECUONA . . .

APPENDIX B--MEMORABILIA . . . . . . . . . .

BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . .

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . . . . . . . . .


FAGE

. 32

32
33
47
61

. 62

62
68
90
99
113
117
123

. 125

125
130
146

. 149

149
151

. 152

. 156

. 172

. 186

. 190
















LIST OF FIGURES


PAGE

Figure 1 Lecuona, "Por eso te quiero," Measures 4-20 37
Figure 2 Lecuona, "Aguinaldos blancos," Measures 1-16 38
Figure 3 Lecuona, "Aguinaldos blancos," Measures 45-48 39
Figure 4 Lecuona, "Aguinaldos blancos," Measures 81-87 40
Figure 5 Lecuona, "Noche azul," Measures 3-18 41

Figure 6 Lecuona, "Lamento africano," Measures 6-21 42
Figure 7 Lecuona, "En noches de luna," Measures 1-10 43
Figure 8 Lecuona, "Canci6n del amor triste," Measures 60-70 44
Figure 9 Lecuona, "Canci6n del amor triste," Measures 84-90 45
Figure 10 Lecuona, "Balada de amor," Measures 16-31 46

Figure 11 Lecuona, "Aguinaldos blancos," Measures 1-17 48
Figure 12 Lecuona, "Por un beso de tu boca," Measures 1-21 50
Figure 13 Lecuona, "Se fu6," Measures 1-17 51
Figure 14 Lecuona, "Como arruyo de palmas," Measures 20-37 52
Figure 15 Lecuona, "Bajo el claro de la luna," Measures 7-19 54

Figure 16 Lecuona, "Aquella tarde," Measures 1-20 55
Figure 17 Lecuona, "El frutero," Measures 17-32 59
Figure 18 Lecuona, "El frutero," Measures 4-16 60
Figure 19 Lecuona, "La comparsa," Measures 1-19 70
Figure 20 Lecuona, "La comparsa," Measures 52-61 71

Figure 21 Lecuona, "Danza Lucumi." Measures 91-102 73
Figure 22 Lecuona, "Danza de los Naiigos," Measures 77-100 74
Figure 23 Lecuona, "Danza de los Naiigos," Measures 41-55 75
Figure 24 Lecuona, "Y la negra bailaba," Measures 55-69 76
Figure 25 Lecuona, "Danza negra," Measures 55-68 78

Figure 26 Lecuona, "Danza negra," Measures 1-10 79
Figure 27 Lecuona, "Conga de medianoche," Measures 37-45 81
Figure 28 Lecuona, "Conga de medianoche," Measures 1-6 82
Figure 29 Lecuona, "Conga de medianoche," Measures 98-110 83
Figure 30 Lecuona, "jPor que te vas?" Measures 5-11 85

Figure 31 Lecuona, "En tres por cuatro," Measures 1-9 86
Figure 32 Lecuona, "En tres por cuatro," Measures 21-26 87
Figure 33 Lecuona, "Ahi viene el chino," Measures 1-10 88
Figure 34 Lecuona, "Ahi viene el chino," Measures 27-38 89
Figure 35 Lecuona, "Ahi viene el chino," Measures 88-90 91


viii










PAGE

Figure 36 Lecuona, "A la antigua," Measures 1-8 92
Figure 37 Lecuona, "Ante el Escorial," Measures 1-8 93
Figure 38 Lecuona, "Ante el Escorial," Measure 33 95
Figure 39 Lecuona, "Ante el Escorial," Measures 34-41 96
Figure 40 Lecuona, "San Francisco el grande," Measures 1-10 97

Figure 41 Lecuona, "San Francisco el grande," Measures 37-56 98
Figure 42 Lecuona "Malaguefa," Measures 1-9 101
Figure 43 Lecuona "Malaguefa," Measures 28-35 102
Figure 44 Lecuona "Malaguefa," Measures 58-70 104
Figure 45 Lecuona "Malaguefa," Measures 87-90 105

Figure 46 Lecuona "Malagueia," Measures 125-141 106
Figure 47 Lecuona "Andalucia," Measures 1-11 108
Figure 48 Lecuona "Andalucia," Measures 105-112 109
Figure 49 Lecuona "Gitanerias," Measures 1-8 110
Figure 50 Lecuona "Gitanerias," Measures 72-88 111

Figure 51 Lecuona "Alhambra," Measures 32-55 112
Figure 52 Lecuona "Alhambra," Measures 85-99 114
Figure 53 Lecuona, "El baile de la muneca, "Measures 1-8 115
Figure 54 Lecuona, "Carousel,"Measures 1-8 116
Figure 55 Lecuona, "Rapsodia negra," Measures 161 118

Figure 56 Lecuona, "Rapsodia negra," Measures 162-168 120
Figure 57 Lecuona, "Rapsodia Negra," Measures 270-283 121
Figure 58 Lecuona, "Vals romantico," Measures 33-49 122
Figure 59 Lecuona, "La habanera" Measures 1-8 124
Figure 60 Lecuona, "Damisela encantadora," Measures 39-56 133

Figure 61 Lecuona, "Lamento africano," Measures 6-20 135
Figure 62 Lecuona, "Lamento africano," Measures 81-95 137
Figure 63 Lecuona, "Maria la O," Measures 1-11 142
Figure 64 Lecuona, "Maria la O," Measures 21-37 143
Figure 65 Lecuona, "Lola Cruz," Measures 18-34 147

Figure 66. Last Will and Testament of Ernesto Lecuona 173
Figure 67. Lecuona at the Piano 178
Figure 68. Lecuona and Impresario Roberto Rodriguez 179
Figure 69. Lecuona on the podium 180
Figure 70. Members of the Orquesta Sinf6nica de Lima, Directed by 181
Ernesto Lecuona

Figure 71. Lecuona's First Concert at the Teatro Municipal 182
de Lima, Peru; December 4, 1934.
Director: Ernesto Lecuona,
Pianist: Ernestina Lecuona, Soloist: Esther Borja
Figure 72. Lecuona Conducting 183
Figure 73. Lecuona the Pianist 184
Figure 74. Autographed Portrait of Ernesto Lecuona 185
to Roberto Rodriguez
















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy




THE LIFE AND MUSIC
OF ERNESTO LECUONA

By

Gloria Castiel Jacobson


August, 1982


Chairman: Dr. Gordon Lawrence

Major Department: Music/Curriculum and Instruction




Ernesto Lecuona (1895-1963), Cuban composer-pianist, achieved

worldwide recognition during his lifetime. There is, however, very

little information available on him. Nothing of consequence has been

written either in Spanish or in English on the influential composer;

sheet music is difficult to locate, and very few recordings are

available for study.

This paper examines both the personal and professional life of

Ernesto Lecuona as well as representative works chosen from his vast

output. These have been primarily selected from the composer's songs,

piano music and zarzuelas.

Data for the study have been gathered from a variety of sources,

including interviews with significant persons in Lecuona's life and

career, music publishers and foreign and domestic libraries.


x











Findings show that Lecuona was a prolific composer of music in a

great variety of media. His works appealed to everyone, from the

sophisticated musician to the layman. Many of his works became

international hits, such as "Malagueia," "Andalucia," "Always in My

Heart," and "Siboney." As pianist and performer of his own works, he

appeared in almost every major theater both in Cuba and abroad,

including Central and South America, the United States, and Europe.

The one factor, above all others, which won his music such wide

acceptance was the composer's use of Spanish and Afro-Cuban forms and

rhythms in almost every one of his works.

Lecuona's influence was not confined to music. He made statements,

through his zarzuelas, on the lifestyle and socio-political conditions

of Cuba; he was also influential in bringing recognition to a multitude

of artists. Most importantly, Lecuona inspired young composers by

demonstrating how fertile the field of Afro-Cubanism was, both in Cuba

and abroad.

Lecuona, in summary, was a musician in his own right. He was also

influential on Cuban society, music, and musicians. His music needs to

be performed, recorded, and analyzed, and his contributions to Cuban and

Latin American music included in all major music history texts.

















CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION


Purpose of the Study

It is the purpose of this study to examine the life and music of

the Cuban-born composer-pianist Ernesto Lecuona (1895-1963), and to

provide a list, as complete as possible, of the composer's works.

The report traces Lecuona's life from birth, covering his early musical

training, family life, education, musical career, travels, and life-

style, as well as his personal and professional relationships.

The composer's output in the different musical genres is analyzed

in light of representative works selected for study. The report

investigates Lecuona's musical style, the influences upon it, and his

contribution to the music of Cuba. The list of his works identifies the

majority of Lecuona's output. Some of the works are published and

available; others are available but out of print; the rest are not

available, never having been published.


Organization of the Study

The study is documented in seven chapters, a glossary, and two

appendices. Chapter I contains introductory material: the purpose of

the study, tasks of the study, need for the study, historical back-

ground, research procedure, and limitations. Chapter II is a review of

the related literature. Chapter III deals with the life and musical

career of Ernesto Lecuona. Chapters IV and V are devoted to an analysis

of the composer's songs and piano music, respectively. The zarzuelas










are discussed in Chapter VI. The conclusions and recommendations are

found in the final chapter, VII. Appendix A contains the relatively

complete listing of Lecuona's works. Spanish terms used in the research

are explained in the Glossary. Appendix B contains memorabilia of

Lecuona, including photographs and his will.




Tasks of the Study

1. To determine the musical influences which played a role in the
formation of Lecuona's musical style through study of repre-
sentative works.

2. To study the composer's life and to identify the personal,
social, and political influences upon his work.

3. To locate, acquire, and list as much of Lecuona's musical
output as possible.

4. To assess the contribution of Ernesto Lecuona to the music of
Cuba.

5. To identify the importance of the study of Lecuona's music
outside Latin American countries.

6. To evaluate the need for the performance of Lecuona's music by
music students and professional musicians.




The Need for the Study

Ernesto Lecuona is credited with writing no fewer than 3,500 compo-

sitions (Sperry, 1981). He was a pianist and composer known worldwide,

who indefatigably toured Latin America, Europe, and the United States.

Many of his pieces became best-sellers outside the island of Cuba. His

works were arranged for most combinations of instruments and performed

by major pianists and orchestras all over the world, particularly in the

United States and Latin America.









But that was during the height of his career. It was a time when

Cuba, free and independent, prided itself on its national talents,

encouraged the import and export of musicians, and was eager to be

recognized abroad. With the advent of the new political regime in 1959,

music experienced a regression.

Today, among the Spanish-speaking community in the United States,

the name and memory of Ernesto Lecuona is clear and vivid. But time has

also taken its toll. With Lecuona and many of his contemporaries now

dead, the music of "Cuba's No. 1 Composer" (Sargeant, 1947) seems to be

suffering the same fate.

The unfortunate situation may be attributed to several factors. Of

greatest importance is the obvious difficulty in locating much of the

composer's music. Although some of it is published and readily

available, a major portion has remained in Cuba and its libraries.

Attempts of this author to establish communication with the National

Library in Havana, where many of his works are suspected to be, have

been unsuccessful. It appears that the Cuban government is not as yet

ready to cooperate. Some music remains in the hands of zealous exiled

colleagues who refuse to give it up or permit it to be reproduced for

study. Still other works, unpublished, are in the possession of rela-

tives.

Of almost equal importance is the fact that no one, in exile, has

had or taken the time to write on Lecuona. In the most recent book on

Cuban music, written by Crist6bal Diaz Ayala, the author makes the sad

statement that "...of Lecuona there is no biography, not even a cata-

loguing of his output" (Ayala, 1981, p. 305). This is the case even

though Lecuona's name is a household word among Spanish-speaking









musicians and laymen. Memory is failing among Lecuona's closest

surviving friends, and details of his life and works are

becoming less and less distinct. If not documented soon, Lecuona's

life and music will remain a secret to future generations.

Outside Spanish-speaking circles, there is a much greater lack

of knowledge concerning Lecuona. Reference sources give the composer a

few lines, compared to their otherwise lengthy entries. This is indeed

unfortunate, considering the impact Lecuona had on the music of

Cuba. Textbooks on music history and, more importantly, Latin American

music, have virtually nothing on Lecuona or his works, for example, the

most recent book on Latin American music, entitled Music in Latin

America, by Gerard Behague (1979).

Important to the telling of Lecuona's story are a few exiled compa-

triots now residing in Miami, Florida. They include several remaining

members of his family, close friends, and a considerable number of

musicians and colleagues. Some of these people are well advanced in

years, and their stories need to be heard.

Cuba has not had an abundance of composers to represent it inter-

nationally. Lecuona was one of those musicians who did, and a study of

his life and music has been needed to improve our otherwise minimal

knowledge of the rich musical heritage of the Island.

To summarize, this study serves the following purposes:

1. It is a comprehensive source of information on the music of
Cuba and its character.

2. It sheds light on the music of the once internationally-
acclaimed pianist and composer.

3. It helps to close the gap now evident in textbooks dealing
with Latin American music.









4. It puts onto paper Lecuona's life story, which up to now has
been plagued by inaccuracies and confusion.

5. It identifies new music for both American and Latin American
musicologists to study and explore.

6. It provides pianists new literature for their repertoires.

7. When translated into Spanish, it will be a valuable source of
information to Spanish-speaking musicians and laymen.


Background of Art Music in Cuba

Art music in Cuba may be traced back to the eighteenth century.

This is a rather late start, as compared to the vast amount of art music

already found in Europe at the time. Nonetheless, researchers have been

unable to provide documentation for any previous significant musical

activity in the Island.

It is with Esteban Salas (1725-1803), notable composer of religious

and secular music, that we begin tracing the line of composers of

serious music in Cuba. Antonio Raffelin (1796-1882) and Juan Paris

(1759-1845), the classical-style composers, succeeded Salas. Manuel

Saumell (1817-1870) and his contradanzas for piano represented musical

nationalism, and began an important tradition in Cuban art music -- the

stylization of folk music. The trend was continued and perfected by

Ignacio Cervantes (1847-1905), undoubtedly one of the finest musicians

of his time. Ernesto Lecuona (1895-1963), the subject of this study,

provided the link between them and the twentieth-century nationalistic

composers, Amadeo Roldin (1900-1939) and Alejandro Garcia Caturla

(1906-1940), who cultivated Afro-Cubanism in art music. Jos6 Ardevol

(1911-) became a leader of modern music in Cuba, as well as an out-

standing teacher. Best known outside the Island are Julian Orb6n










(1925-) and Aurelio de la Vega (1925-). Juin Blanco (1920-) and Leo

Brower (1939-) have worked in the realm of electronic and serial music.

None of the composers, however, attained the popularity and

international renown of Ernesto Lecuona or had more impact upon Cuban

music. Affectionately referred to as "el maestro," Lecuona's popu-

larity rests, principally, on the wide appeal of his works. Often

called the Victor Herbert of Cuba, he engaged the love and respect of

the sophisticated musician and of the simple layman. He was a serious

composer of popular music and a popular composer of serious music; he

catered to all with his fertile imagination. Absorbing the influences

of both Spanish and Cuban folk music, Lecuona's output carries a stamp

uniquely his own.

Lecuona's works are well known in Latin American countries and are

occasionally performed in the United States. But it is within the Cuban

community that el maestro's music and memory are daily honored. He

is, among the exiled Cuban population, more than a well-known composer.

He is a household name, an admired musician, a loved human being. His

works are performed in almost every musical event, and his compositions

are a standard component of pianists' repertoire. Every year on the

anniversary of his death, a recital is staged in his memory, when

musicians and singers from the old times get together to remember their

friend and colleague by performing his music. The admiration for

Lecuona in Miami's Little Havana has culminated in the construction of

an impressive monument in his honor, bearing a sculpture of the maestro

at the piano, Cuba's national seal, and the inscription, "Ernesto

Lecuona--Cuba's world-renowned composer and pianist. Died in Exile.

1895-1963."









The maestro is loved not only for what he was, but for what he

represents: the Cuba of old, sugar cane and palm trees, song and sea.

The Afro-Cuban rhythms and folk-like melodies in his music are a

constant reminder to the exiled Cuban of his cherished homeland and what

it once was.


The Research Procedure

The necessary materials for this research were gathered from three

principal sources: significant persons in Lecuona's life and career,

music publishers, and both foreign and domestic libraries.

Actors and singers who worked with or for Lecuona, musicians, and

friends of the maestro, as well as remaining family members provided a

variety of documentation pertaining to Lecuona's life and career. The

material included photographs, programs of old concerts, articles that

appeared in Cuban newspapers during the height of Lecuona's career,

pamphlets and sheet music which had been saved throughout the years, and

many other pieces of memorabilia. Most important, however, was their

eagerness to relate information they were able to recall about the

composer, filled with their personal outlooks, anecdotes, and that love

and admiration which runs through all of them as an underground current.

Those interviewed are named in the following list:

o Roberto Rodriguez, impresario for the Teatro Marti in Miami
and Lecuona's agent in Cuba

o Miguel de Grandy, producer of Lecuona's zarzuelas in Miami and
formerly a tenor, actor, and director

o Rolando Lluis, violinist who played under Lecuona

o Octavio Alvarez, actor

o Pedro Roman, creator of the park and monument in Lecuona's
memory









o Ernesto Garcia, former actor and singer

o Ernesto Grenet, drummer and trombonist

o Josefina LeCerff, Lecuona's sister-in-law

Correspondence was established with John Sperry, lawyer and trustee of

Lecuona's estate. Edward B. Marks, music publisher and holder of the

rights to most of Lecuona's music, provided a great deal of the piano

literature studied throughout the work.

Domestic university libraries were used to locate some of Lecuona's

music -- both recordings and sheet -- as well as relevant articles in

periodicals and materials on Cuban and Latin American music. The

National Library in Madrid had in its collection the most significant

document discovered. The available music of Lecuona has been collected

and analyzed. Chapters IV, V, and VI represent the synthesis of their

study by this researcher.

The historical approach has been used to examine the data. Glen

Haydon, in Introduction to Musicology (1941), addresses the problems and

methods of historical research in music. In observations concerning

methodology, the author states that the researcher must be able to meet

three general requirements:

1. To be conscious of the existing problem

2. To define the problem, in such a way as to render it
susceptible of solution.

3. To seek the integration of his particular problem with more
general problems; to weave the findings into the general
history of music.

Haydon also addresses the systematic orientation to musical

research, which makes use of the various auxiliary sciences which

contribute to the understanding of music, such as acoustics, physiology,

and psychology in relation to music, aesthetics, theory, pedagogy, and










comparative musicology. He concludes that

the systematic and historical approaches constitute the two
axes in the frame of references in relation to which musical
intelligence is oriented. The two approaches are, of course,
complementary. The one cannot be maintained without reference
to the other. (Haydon, 1941, p. 10)

Information has been placed in perspective as it related to the

musical history of Cuba, taking into account the forces which shaped it

and those it helped shape.


Limitations of the Study

The limitations of the study derive primarily from the paucity of

extant sheet music and recordings of Lecuona's works. As stated

previously, much of the composer's music is now out of print or in the

hands of private individuals. Other compositions, probably housed in

Cuban libraries, are practically impossible to locate at the present

time.

Particular difficulty was encountered in the process of studying

Lecuona's zarzuelas. None of the scores are available in the United

States, even though a few of the musical numbers have been preserved and

are relatively easy to find. Fortunately, recordings have been made of

three of Lecuona's zarzuelas: Maria la O, Rosa la china, and El cafetal,

permitting their study in considerably greater detail. It must be noted

that the music in these recordings has been reproduced from memory by

artists who had staged the works in Cuba and who, in exile, felt the

need to preserve them.

In summary, this research makes the most of the material available.

Items selected for study should suffice to illustrate those ideas

central to an understanding of the music of Ernesto Lecuona.

















CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE


Literature related to the subject under study was virtually non-

existent. Even the most basic information on Ernesto Lecuona was absent

from standard music history texts and reference materials. Con-

scientious searches through domestic college and university libraries

were, for the most part, fruitless.

The most important item on Lecuona thus far located was found in

the collection of the Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid Spain. The

document, an unfinished and unpublished manuscript by Arturo Ramirez

(n.d), is an interesting report on the artistic trajectory of Ernesto

Lecuona. Ramirez, a respected newspaper reporter, basically outlines

the composer's numerous tours throughout the world. Entitled Lecuona,

the manuscript is filled with a considerable number of reviews and

critiques of Lecuona's appearances. The author collected the material

from newspapers of many cities in several countries. The value of the

work lies in the amount of information on Lecuona's personal life and

the partial listing of the composer's works in an Appendix.

Regardless of its importance, the work has several serious draw-

backs. First, and most important, Ramirez devotes no time to the music

itself. A reader not familiar with Lecuona's output would be able to

gather no clue as to the characteristics of the composer's music. This

is understandable, since Ramirez was not a musicologist.


I









A more serious problem, given the stature of Ramirez, is the almost

total omission of essential bibliographic information on the items

quoted. Authors, dates, and names of the newspapers are more often than

not omitted. Although Ramirez was a respected reporter, and there is

probably no reason to doubt the authenticity of his quotations, it would

have been helpful to obtain those newspapers. It is beyond the scope of

this work to attempt such a task.

Finally, the work is not up to date. Completed before the death of

the composer, Lecuona leaves many important questions unanswered about

the maestro's last years.

It should also be noted that the manuscript is written in Spanish

and that the author overlooked several of Lecuona's works, both major

and minor, in his list.

One article each in Newsweek ("Jorge Gershwin Lecuona," 1943) and

Life (Sargeant, 1947) magazines, appearing in the bibliography, are the

only other sources that have dealt more or less directly with Ernesto

Lecuona; however, they are brief, outdated, and general, and they

provide no real insight into the composer's music.

The musical journal, Etude, has dealt in two brief articles with

Lecuona's "Malagueia," mainly its key and form (Gehrkens, 1953, 1954).

That is the only material which directly addresses itself to Lecuona's

music.

There are other works which, although not dealing directly with

Lecuona, prove to be fine background reading for the musical history of

Cuba. The most recent and up-to-date is Crist6bal D. Ayala's MGsica

cubana: del areyto a la Nueva Trova (1981). In a readable style, Ayala

traces Cuban music from the displaced Indians to the present composers.









The book is well organized. It is divided into ten major parts:

I From discovery until the end of the eighteenth century --
1492-1799

II The nineteenth century

III The first twenty years of the Republic

IV The decade of the nineteen-twenties

V The decade of the thirties

VI The decade of the forties

VII The decade of the fifties

VIII Revolutionary Cuba until Communism

IX Cuban music in the United States

X Cuba in exile

Included in each major part are sub-sections which deal not only with

the major musical figures of each period (both popular and serious), but

with the musical trends, instruments used, and socio-political

atmosphere of each period.

Within the comprehensive scope of the 500-page book, Ayala manages

to treat each composer with due respect, pointing out his contributions,

however small, to the musical scene. Five pages are devoted to Lecuona,

in which the author briefly outlines the composer's life, career, and

major works. But Ayala states in the Prologue that, not being a

musician, he is unable to go into any analysis of representative works

of periods and composers. This is, of course, the major drawback of the

book.

Other valuable works are La mGsica en Cuba by Alejo Carpentier

(1946) and Popular Cuban Music by Emilio Grenet (1939). The latter is

an essay on the evolution of Cuban music, including eighty revised and

corrected compositions. All popular Cuban musical forms are described










in detail, and most are notated. Grenet briefly mentions Lecuona when

discussing the musical genres bordering on the African. The book is a

fine resource for the popular music of Cuba. Carpentier's work concen-

trates primarily on the origins and historical development of Cuban

music. Chapters are devoted to the major figures such as Salas,

Saumell, Espadero, Cervantes, Roldin, and Caturla. Its coverage of

Afro-Cubanism is excellent and a requirement for the understanding of

Lecuona's music. The book is in Spanish, however, with no translation

available.

Three additional and very fine related studies are Gilbert Chase's

definitive The Music of Spain (1941), Nicolas Slonimsky's Music of Latin

America (1945), and Gerard BShague's Music in Latin America: An Intro-

duction (1979). The study of these books was helpful in gaining a

better understanding of the Cuban musical scene. Neither here nor

elsewhere does any text or reference source contains substantive infor-

mation on the composer.

The Music of Spain is an excellent account of Iberian music from

the Middle Ages to the present day. One of the chapters most relevant

to this study is the one on the "Rise of the Popular Zarzuela," which

gives a fine overview of the form that was to influence so greatly the

music of Cuba and Ernesto Lecuona.

Slonimsky's book, although now somewhat outdated, was one of the

few books of its kind for many years. It is an encompassing account of

the music and musicians of "the twenty republics" of Latin America. The

book is divided into three parts: Panorama of Latin American Music,

Music in the Twenty Republics, and Dictionary of Latin American

Musicians, Songs and Dances, and Musical Instruments. In the middle









part, Slonimsky addresses the characteristic forms, dances, and rhythm

patterns of each of the countries discussed. He then proceeds to give a

short summary of each country's major musicians and their works.

Lecuona is included in the section on Cuba. In approximately fifteen

lines, Slonimsky provides a general outline of Lecuona's life, and

mentions five of his works. It is certainly a meager coverage, if one

realizes that Lecuona was at the height of his career during the decades

of the thirties and forties.

Music in Latin America is divided into three parts: the Colonial

Period, the Rise of Nationalism, and Counter-Currents in the Twentieth

Century. In each of the three parts, Behague looks at the representa-

tive music and musicians of the Latin American countries. He quotes

numerous musical examples, ranging from the sacred music of the Colonial

period to the electronic works of the twentieth-century composers.

Although Behague states in the Preface that the book provides "a closer

examination of some of the main works by the most representative compo-

sers of the various periods, trends, and countries," the name of Ernesto

Lecuona is never mentioned. This serious omission certainly invalidates

his statement.

The review of related literature suggests that research on the life

and music of Ernesto Lecuona is seriously lacking and that the composer

has regretably been omitted from standard music sources. Considering

the achievements of Lecuona as a pianist and composer, the impact he had

upon the Cuban musical scene, and the contribution he made to it, the

neglect is incomprehensible. It makes this and future studies in this

area absolutely necessary.

















CHAPTER III
THE LIFE AND CAREER OF ERNESTO LECUONA


Introduction

The majority of information found in this chapter on Lecuona's life

is from Lecuona, by Arturo Ramirez, and direct quotations have been

translated by Gloria Jacobson. When other references have been used,

the source is indicated in a citation. Unattributed information may be

assumed to have been gathered from Ramirez's work.



Family Background

It was August 6, 1895 (Rodriguez, 1979)*. For the preceding

months the small island of Cuba had been struggling for independence

from Spain. The populace was in turmoil. In Cereria Street (today

Estrada Palma), in the village of Guanabacoa, Ernesto Lecuona-Ramos and

his wife Elisa awaited the birth of their child. He was to be Ernesto

Lecuona y Casado, later to be known to the world simply as Lecuona

(Basque for "good place").

Lecuona's father was a Spaniard. Born in Islas Canarias (the

Canary Islands), Lecuona-Ramos settled in Cuba while still in his youth



* There is serious disagreement as to Lecuona's birth date. It has
been variously given as August 7, 1895 (Sperry, 1973), August 7,
1896 (Ramirez), and the one given here. Rodriguez asserts that
although the composer liked to celebrate his birthday on August 7,
his real birthday was August 6.









and soon was assimilated into the new land (LeCerff). He chose as his

wife Matanzas-born Elisa Casado Bernal, by whom he had 14 children.

Only seven survived to adulthood: Luis, Ernestina, Jos&, Fernando,

Teodoro, Elisa, and Ernesto, the newcomer (LeCerff, 1979). Although not

wealthy, Lecuona-Ramos was a hard-working, successful newspaper man,

eventually becoming the editor of El Comercio.

Elisa was a devoted wife and mother as well as a patriotic Cuban.

She supported the revolution taking place, and she never concealed from

her husband her dedication and commitment to the rebels' cause.

Together with the children, she would invariably wave the Cuban flag in

front of the house whenever any of her husband's Spanish friends

visited. Elisa would also secretly contribute, with her scarce

financial means, to the revolution.

It was to this family and amid political tensions that Lecuona came

into the world.


Early Years: Musical Studies and Achievements

Lecuona's musical genius was discovered at the age of three and a

half. His sister Ernestina was now a piano teacher, and at home kept

the instrument under lock and key to protect it from her brothers and

sisters. Little Ernesto was not to be feared, though, since he was too

small to reach the keyboard. One day, while mother Elisa was in the

kitchen, she was surprised to hear music being played on the piano. She

knew that Ernestina and Elisita, who was now learning piano, were not at

home. To her surprise she found young Ernesto at the keyboard. He was

playing the bolero "Alli en las lomas" (There on the Hills), continuing

with a waltz titled "Isabelita." Both of these works were often played









by Ernestina, and Ernesto had duplicated them exactly. To reach the

piano, he had climbed on a box nearby.

It was then that Ernestina decided to guide her brother's talent.

The musical relationship that was cemented between Ernestina and Ernesto

during these early years would last a lifetime.

By the age of five, Ernesto had a diverse repertoire of five

pieces, among which were "Las campanadas" (The Tolling), "La

Marsellesa" (The Marseillaise), and the Cuban national anthem. It was

at this tender age that Ernesto Lecuona staged his first recital,

standing up at the piano, at Havana's Hispanic Club. The reviews were

all extremely favorable, mentioning the child's sure and sensitive

playing and big tone. He was labeled a child prodigy.

The composer's early general education was received at the school

Hoyos y Junco (Martin). While Lecuona was still in school and not yet

seven, two important events took place: the establishment of the Repub-

lic of Cuba on May 20, 1902, and in that same month, a few days earlier,

the death of his father, of a heart attack, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

(His mother was later to marry Pedro Montells Gil.)

Two years later, at the age of nine, Ernesto enrolled in the Con-

servatorio Peyrellade. Here he stayed three years furthering his musi-

cal education. He continued to study with Antonio Saavedra (pupil of

Ignacio Cervantes) and Joaquin Nin (1883-1950), great Cuban-Spanish

musicologist and composer. From this period came a few unpretentious

piano pieces. By eleven he had written "Cuba y America," a two-step

which later entered the repertoire of Cuban military bands (Sperry,

1973). Trying to earn some money for his efforts, the young composer

went from door to door selling copies of his first work. He was also,









at this time, performing at the theaters Moulin Rouge and Alhambra. A

little later he would write music to the buffo libretti of Arquimedes

Pous and appear in several theaters accompanying singers who interpreted

excerpts from Spanish zarzuelas.

At the age of fourteen Lecuona was taken by Nin to the accomplished

Dutch-Cuban pianist Hubert de Blanck (1856-1932), who eagerly accepted

the promising young player as his student in the Conservatorio Nacional,

which he himself founded in 1885 (Parker). Lecuona graduated on April

4, 1913, at the age of 17. He earned a gold medal, the highest award

for piano, for his graduation performance of Schumann's A Minor Piano

Concerto ("Ernesto Lecuona, Composer of 'Siboney' Is Dead," 1963).


Early Works for the Theater and International Successes

During the next three years the young pianist displayed himself in

the theaters around the capital. Later, in 1916, the American public

had the opportunity to hear Lecuona during his first visit to New York's

Aeolian Hall (Sperry, 1973). It was then that he was contracted by RCA

Victor for recordings of his works, as well as by Ampico Piano Co. and

Duo-Art for piano rolls. His fame spread throughout the United States;

Lecuona's compositions were rich in inspiration and had his unmistakable

signature. His mastery of the keyboard and his very expressive style

impressed the severest critics.

In 1913 Lecuona came into the theater as composer of musica de

revistas, or musical reviews. Between 1919-1923, he set ten works to

music, including zarzuelas, reviews and operettas. Some of the best

known works from this period are Domingo de pinata (Sunday of Pifata;

1919), La Liga de las Naciones (The League of Nations; 1919), and

Diabluras y fantasias (Mischief and Fantasies; 1922).









The year 1922 brought Lecuona his first international success, when

he toured America, appearing for eight consecutive weeks at the Capitol

Theater in New York. It was there that he introduced "Malaguefa" and

"Andalucia" (Sargeant, 1947). During the same year Lecuona busied

himself with the formation of the Sociedad de Conciertos de la Habana,

an organization whose purpose was to further the dissemination of

symphonic music in the Island. The group eventually founded the Havana

Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Gonzalo Roig.

He took the first of what were to be many trips to Spain in 1924.

It was a four-month tour as accompanist to violinist Martha de la

Torres. In Madrid at the end of his tour, he was contracted to set

several libretti to music; the Spanish public loved him.


Trip to Paris: Friendship with Lortat, Orloff, and Ravel

Lecuona's first trip to Paris took place in 1928. He performed his

works for piano and voice at the theaters Pleyel and Gaveau. It was at

this time that he became friends with the pianists Lortat and Orloff,

and expressed a wish to study under the former (Sperry, 1973). Sperry

relates: "Lortat asked Lecuona to play a prelude by Debussy, Jeux d'eau

by Ravel, and some of his own danzas. Whereupon Lortat said that he had

nothing to give or contribute to this gifted pianist. In fact, for many

years he thought that this incident was a prank planned by their mutual

friends" (Sperry, 1973). Orloff was equally impressed.

It was also during this visit to Paris that Lecuona became friends

with Ravel. He had been invited to spend a few days at the villa of

Joaquin Nin in San Juan de Luz. Ravel was invited at the same time. So

much was the French composer interested in the Cuban's "La comparsa" and

"Danza negra" that he took notes with the purpose of "doing something"










orchestral with them (Sperry, 1973). Sperry also writes: "Ravel and

Lecuona became warm friends and the former once said of Lecuona that he

was so struck by the sheer romance and enchantment of his music that he

felt that 'Malaguena' was more melodic and beautiful than his own

'Bolero'" (Sperry, 1973, p. 2).


Tours of Central America and a Hollywood Experience

The successful Paris tour was followed, in 1929, by a tour of

Central America, to Panama and Costa Rica. Back in Havana in 1929

Lecuona premiered a series of reviews and zarzuelas which kept him

occupied until the end of 1930. They included Nina Rita (1929), La liga

de las senoras (the League of Ladies; 1929), and three of his best-known

zarzuelas: El cafetal (The Coffee Plantation; 1929), El batey (The Sugar

Mill; 1929), and Maria la 0 (1930), to be discussed later in more

detail.

The year 1931 brought Lecuona the death of his mother but also

great success on his first trip to Mexico, where he presented a series

of concerts in the Teatro Fibregas. He was immediately invited back for

another series of concerts in 1933. It was during this second trip to

Mexico that he was asked to present his zarzuelas there. Bringing a

company from Cuba was no easy task, for anyone but Lecuona, that is. By

1934 he had his company set up and premiered El cafetal, Rosa la china

(Rosa the Chinese Woman), and Canci6n de flor (Flower Song), among

several others, in the Iris Theater.

In between his trips to Mexico, Lecuona had his first experience

with Hollywood. In 1930 he was contracted by Metro Goldwyn Mayer as

musical director for the motion picture Under Cuban Skies, with Lupe










Velez and Lawrence Tibbett ("Ernesto Lecuona, Composer of 'Siboney' Is

Dead," 1963). Although it was a brilliant social and artistic adven-

ture, the purely cinematographic aspect of it was a disaster, according

to Lecuona. "Tibbett was no Cuban, even in jest. Vl6ez was good as a

Mexican, not as a Cuban, and there was not a single Cuban landscape in

the entire movie" (Ramirez, n.d., p.94).

Immediately after the completion of the music, Lecuona was invited

to present a program at Los Angeles' Paramount Theater. It lasted

several weeks and was very successful. Under Cuban Skies was the first

of several movies with scores or musical numbers by Lecuona. Others

included Carnival in Costa Rica, Always in My Heart, bearing the title

of the theme song, One More Tomorrow, and Pearl Harbor.


1933: Formation of "Lecuona's Cuban Boys"
and Threats to Lecuona's Health

The formation of the world-renowned Lecuona's Cuban Boys was the

result of a serious double pneumonia contracted by Lecuona during his

1933 visit to Madrid. The seriousness of the illness was such that

Cubans and fans all over the world were awaiting the news of his death.

The composer's delicate condition made headlines in newspapers through-

out the world. During his illness, his orchestra "boys" were touring

Spain. When he had recuperated and decided to go back to Cuba for the

warm climate, he learned that his boys had received an offer from an

European impresario to continue touring. Lecuona advised them to accept

it and authorized the use of his name.

The year 1933 was not to be one of Lecuona's most fortunate. While

back in Cuba recuperating from the double pneumonia, he seriously in-

jured his left hand, threatening the end of his pianistic career.










Miraculously, the operation on the broken tendon in his thumb healed

properly, and a few months later Lecuona was back at the keyboard.

The Years 1935-1942

This seven-year period was primarily one of travel. But first

Lecuona devoted 1935 to organizing La Orquesta de la Habana, the first

of its kind in the capital, and one which would have a long and healthy

future (Ramirez, n.d.). From 1936 to 1940 he was on tour through Buenos

Aires, giving recitals and playing radio engagements. He also traveled

to Chile and Peru. During that time he conducted concerts with symphony

orchestras and choruses and led the Lecuona Cuban Boys on tours of

Europe, Latin America, and North Africa ("Ernesto Lecuona, Composer of

'Siboney' Is Dead," 1963).

During the next couple of years he premiered more zarzuelas and

reviews. One of them was the popular La plaza de la cathedral (The Plaza

of the Cathedral). The composer suffered another career threat when he

broke his right arm in a car accident. He recuperated satisfactorily.


Lecuona as Cultural Attach& to the Cuban Embassy

The year 1943 brought Lecuona his first recognition in the politi-

cal arena. On March 24, Cuban President Fulgencio Batista appointed

Lecuona honorary cultural attach& to the Cuban embassy in Washington

("Ernesto Lecuona, Composer of 'Siboney' Is Dead," 1963). Although the

composer was certainly not a political figure, he was not above recog-

nizing the concerns of the Cuban people.

Always apolitical, he nevertheless would frequently discuss
with Fulgencio Batista the need to give some serious thought
to reforms to alleviate the plight of those poor, in his
native Cuba, that needed help. (Sperry, 1973, p. 3)









Concerts in the Pan American Union and Carnegie Hall

It was on March 31, 1943, in the middle of World War II, that

Lecuona presented a concert at Washington's Pan American Union. The

audience consisted of diplomatic representatives accredited in

Washington. In that same year, on October 10, Lecuona presented a

memorable concert in Carnegie Hall, celebrating Cuba's independence day

(Sperry, 1973, p.3). At that concert he premiered Rapsodia negra and

"Arag6n". The program consisted primarily of his own compositions with

some by his sister, Ernestina, who also appeared as pianist. The New

York Times observed the following morning,

The new works, along the same lines as Lecuona's earlier
output, proved like his conducting and pianism, clean-cut and
brilliant. . A large audience received the whole program
with fervent enthusiasm. ("Ernesto Lecuona Offers Cuban
Program to Celebrate Country's Independence Day," 1943)

And Sperry wrote:

It might be said, without fear of contradiction, that the capacity
of that hall has never been so taxed before, nor since, his
memorable appearance on that occasion. (Sperry, 1973, p. 2)

Carnival in Costa Rica

Two years later, in 1945, Lecuona had renewed his exclusive con-

tract with the Edward B. Marks Corporation when Twentieth Century Fox

offered him a contract for musical directorship of the film Carnival in

Costa Rica. Since his 1931 experience in Hollywood life had not been a

pleasant one, the composer decided not to move to that city while

working on the score. Instead, he bought a house on 86th Street in

Jackson Heights, New York, and worked from there.

The years 1948 to 1950 Lecuona again spent traveling. In 1948 he

performed in Washington and New York, where he once more appeared in

Carnegie Hall. He toured Florida during some of 1949 and 1950, and went

to Madrid towards the end of 1950.









The Last Ten Years -- 1953-1963

Madrid was the site of Lecuona's theatrical campaign in 1953. From

Cuba he imported many of his collaborators, among them tenor, actor, and

director Miguel de Grandy, Ernesto Garcia, Esther Borja, and Mimi Cal.

He completed his cast with a few Spaniards, and launched an extremely

successful season, opening with El cafetal at the Alvarez Quintero

Theater.

Lecuona's saddest year was probably 1960, when he was forced, given

the political circumstances, to flee his native land. The hopes he had

nurtured for his country had all but vanished.

At first, he hoped that Fidel Castro might soon succeed where
others failed. But these hopes were soon dispelled. Lecuona
sought voluntary exile from his beloved land in 1960. At that
time he vowed never to play again until his country was free
from tyranny of the right or left. (Sperry, 1973, p. 3)

After leaving the Island, Lecuona went to Tenerife, Spain, and directed

various ensembles, which he took to the Broadway, San Martin, and Ateneo

theaters.

He established residence in Tampa, Florida, and lived there until

his untimely death, at the age of 68, of a heart attack. He had been

visiting Tenerife at the time. The date was November 29, 1963. He was

buried in The Gate of Heaven Cemetery in New York (LeCerff, 1979).

Lecuona wrote in his will that his remains be kept there until Cuba is

once again free and sovereign. His remains are then to be taken back to

the land he loved and forever interred there (Sperry, 1973).


Physical Appearance and Personality

Ernesto Lecuona has been described as a melancholic version of the

late comedian Zero Mostel (Newsweek, 1943). Indeed, Jay Nelson Tuck

said that Lecuona's press agent once, finding no extra photographs of










the maestro, sent a copy of Mostel's snapshot with Lecuona's name on it

to the newspapers. The photo was printed, and the exchange went un-

noticed (Sargeant, 1947).

Six feet tall and large framed, the composer carried his stature

with dignity and natural grace. His hair, jet black, was always immacu-

lately kept. But by far the most attractive feature of Lecuona was his

large dark eyes. With a melancholy stare they always appeared to tran-

scend the immediate object in front of him and focus on some distant

place that no one else could see. His wonderful smile would brighten

his face which, as described by his friends, always carried an ex-

pression that seemed to ask, "What smells here?"

And then there were always those traces of childhood, the zest for

living, and the innocence that were so refreshing to those who knew him.

Rarely could one find a soul more affiliated to childhood than
that of Lecuona. The precocious artist that he has been
matured in the arts, but has conserved, in life, that faith
and creative enthusiasm which never gets old prematurely.


At home he is talkative, communicative, anecdotal, and main-
tains that childlike incongruity, that goes from one subject
to another, without maintaining the attention or serious order
of a narration. (Rosello, 1935, pp. 3-4, trans. Gloria Jacobson)

But he did have his moments of Cuban temperament, as the writer of

"Jorge Gershwin Lecuona" humorously remarked:

Brewing Cuban coffee, for instance, becomes a nerve-wracking
Schubert production with him. ("Jorge Gershwin Lecuona," 1943,
pp. 97-98)

Affable, sincere, and unpretentious, Lecuona was never eager to talk

about his successes. He was indifferent to money, even though he was

quite a wealthy man. Much of his fortune went to assist maraca players

and aspiring cabaret singers, both in Cuba and abroad (Sargeant, 1947).











The artist, for the sake of being, does not have that
utilitarian ferocity that translates a theatrical attraction
into money. The gold that the world paid to listen to
Lecuona, he confided to his innocence, and it dispersed it to
all the winds. (Rosello, 1935, p. 3, trans. Gloria Jacobson)



Lifestyle

Lecuona led an unconventional life. During his stays in Cuba he

lived exclusively on farms or ranches in the rural surroundings of

Havana. On some of his ranches the composer raised pigs, deer, poultry,

birds (he is said to have had a parrot that would sing his song "Noche

azul"), fish, and turtles, among many other creatures. He would get up

every morning, before any of his servants, and wearing a yarey hat and

work clothes, would feed his small zoo, and water, check, and care for

his plants and flowers.

He was a collector of antiques, ranging from furniture to music

boxes, of which he had an extensive collection. He also collected good

books, and his personal library contained volumes on world history,

music history, biography, theater, poetry, music critiques, and Cuban

literature. His favorite poets were Marti, Dario, Juan RamBn Jimenez,

and Garcia Lorca, among others. He was even an avid reader of Agatha

Christie.

Baseball was one of his favorite hobbies, and the composer would

watch or listen to all the national championships, from October to

February, and to the Major Leagues and World Series from April to

October. He also enjoyed poker, dominoes, cooking, and entertaining

(LeCerff, 1979).










Friends and Friendships

The composer had more than a few friends. When he moved to his

most famous ranch, La Comparsa, the first thing he did was to build a

cobertizo, a kind of shelter, which he called "La Cobija." This was

done to accommodate the hundreds of people he called friends and who

would follow him wherever he went. La Cobija was going to be the

meeting place of present and future artists, known and unknown, who came

to look for advice or for an opportunity to work with the maestro and to

be introduced to the public. The gatherings of friends in La Cobija

would start at mid-morning and last until midnight, although Lecuona

himself would often have gone to sleep by that time (de Grandy).

He always had company eating at his table. He would usually cook

the meals, which invariably included black beans and rice. And, if his

friends were not there, Lecuona was known to sit down with his servants

for his meals. Everyone enjoyed his warm personality and interesting

conversation (Alvarez, 1979).

Notwithstanding his many friends, Lecuona never found a woman to

share his life. But he once humorously remarked, "I'd like to collect

American women. They are the most beautiful in the world" ("Ernesto

Lecuona, Composer of 'Siboney' Is Dead," 1963).


Always a Cuban

Due to the extensive traveling, Lecuona was a cosmopolitan man, but

only to the extent of adapting himself to surroundings and customs, and

for the appreciation of cultural interchanges. In his heart Lecuona was

as criollo and tropical as any could claim to be (de Grandy, 1979). In

between tours he always eagerly returned to his homeland. Sometimes he









would get homesick in the middle of a tour and come back to the sun and

palm trees that had become such a part of him.

His music was for Cuba and about Cuba, and on more than one occa-

sion he spoke of his love and devotion to the tropical island. He was

a Cuban, in his music and in his deeds, to his last day.


Lecuona the Musician

If the personal side of Lecuona's life showed traces of

eccentricity, so did the musical. Although an electrifying pianist who

would hypnotize audiences, Lecuona rarely practiced.

For about 42 years now, his sister and teacher, Ernestina, has
been trying to get him to practice. But he is strictly a man
of moods and won't go near the instrument unless his muse is
upon him. ("Jorge Gershwin Lecuona," 1943, p. 97)

But his performances were, nevertheless, faultless.

Lecuona sits on the bench and runs over the keyboard as though
caressing an old friend. Most of the difficulties of execu-
tion seem to leave by themselves, as though the instru-
ment were a tamed monster. When he is finished, el maestro
salutes, and not a hair of his head has changed places.
(Rosello, 1935, p. 4)

Even more peculiar than his failure to practice was the fact that

he never touched the piano while composing. Friends recall his indefa-

tigable jotting of notes in a hotel room, at a card table, or in a

restaurant, and almost never making a change. He would often send

compositions to publishers without having heard or played them ("Ernesto

Lecuona, Composer of 'Siboney' Is Dead," 1963). The composer maintained

that he did not need to play them because he knew how they sounded -- in

his head (de Grandy, 1979).

Lecuona loved it all; his life was his career. "Lecuona lived a

happy life because he lived doing what he wanted . doing what he

loved" (de Grandy, 1979).










Fans, Friends, and Honors

During his lifetime Ernesto Lecuona was surrounded by friends and

fans wherever he went. A warm, kind, and affectionate man, he was

always on the lookout for the well being of those he knew and loved, and

they, in return, showered him with respect and admiration. He be-

friended the wealthy and the poor, always finding gentle words for all

who came in contact with him (Grenet, 1979). With tears in their eyes,

friends and colleagues lovingly remember el maestro, who furthered their

careers but, most of all, was a trustworthy friend.

Lecuona creates a legion of singers that adore him, but it is
not easy to maintain harmony in this great family. Lecuona
achieves it, always affectionate, always patient, year after
year, dedicating to each singer the next romanza, the next
song, making them feel that it was especially for them.
(Ayala, 1981, p.136, trans. Gloria Jacobson)

During his serious illness in Madrid, Cuba mourned and prayed for

his recovery. His sister Ernestina was accosted by visitors and phone

calls of known and unknown friends who wanted to know how Lecuona's

recovery was progressing. Miguel de Grandy, who was with Lecuona in

Madrid at that time recalls:

I was playing at the theater two blocks away from Lecuona's
flat. Every hour I would pay someone to go and find out how
the maestro was doing. Our worry was beyond words. (de
Grandy, 1979)

Later on, when a man named Ricardo Lecuona was killed in a

Colombian airplane accident, radio stations all over Central and South

America went off the air for a silent minute of mourning, under the

mistaken impression that it was Ernesto who had been killed. Like Mark

Twain reading his own obituary, Lecuona said, "The news of my death has

been somewhat exaggerated" (Ramirez, n.d., p. 87).









Following Lecuona's death, Spain proclaimed days of mourning for

the composer who had sung the glories of that land, and many city and

town streets were named after him (Sperry, 1973). Cuba honored Lecuona

with the Gran Cruz de (Great Cross of) Carlos Manuel de Cespedes; the

municipality of Havana with the Medalla de (Medal of) la Habana; and the

municipality of Guanabacoa with the title "Hijo Eminente" (Eminent Son).

There stands in Miami, Florida, in Crandon Park, an impressive

marble and bronze monument, erected in memory of the composer. It was

completed in 1968, through the generous contributions of Lecuona's

friends in exile.

At the official ceremonies of the day, April 21 was designated
hereafter as Ernesto Lecuona Day each year by the mayor and
his official family. This signal honor was never before
bestowed on any composer from a foreign country. (Sperry,
1973, p. 3)

At the small ceremony which took place at the time, friends and

colleagues spoke of the maestro in these words, reported by Rosell

(n.d., p. 27), translated by Gloria Jacobson), which summarize the

feelings of those who knew him:

And that world of God, where your music, hugging the Cuban flag,
brought joy to its people, that world, maestro, will remember you
till eternity. (Osvaldo Farr6s)

Lecuona, contrary to the main character in his popular danza, did
not 'go never to return,' because his memory lives and will con-
tinue to live in us, while his music, rhythmic expression of our
Cuba, will continue to be heard under all the skies of the world."
(Carlitos RobreRo)






31


And that is probably the greatest honor that Lecuona has ever

received. His music continues to be played everywhere the Cuban spirit

lives, and everywhere his songs have touched. And even in those places

where the name Lecuona is unknown, one can hear the strains of his many

popular works, being sung in the native language, by persons of all

creeds and backgrounds. Lecuona's music has been limited by no race,

people, or national boundaries.

















CHAPTER IV
SONGS


Introduction

Lecuona was a tireless songwriter, composing more than 200 songs,

spanning his entire career. It was through the wide appeal of many of

his songs that Lecuona became known in the international arena. His

"Siboney," "Canto Carabali" (Carabali Song), "Always in My Heart," and

"Noche azul" (Blue Night) are known the world over.

You will seldom meet an American who is unfamiliar with his
durable song hits. Some of them are such old familiar tunes
that people are always attributing them vaguely to some long
dead classical composer. Others are constantly nudging the
top numbers on each year's hit parade. (Sargeant, 1947, p. 152)

A number of his songs were, at the outset, written for his zar-

zuelas and stage works; but their popularity was so great that they

became independent entities, completely disassociated from the original

context. A few examples are "Canto Carabali" and "Siboney." Other

songs have been created from many of the composer's popular piano music,

such as "Malagueia" ("At the Crossroads"), "Andalucia" ("The Breeze and

I"), and "Para Vigo me voy" ("Say Si Si"). These songs will not be

dealt with in the present chapter, but in the one covering Lecuona's

piano music. This chapter will look exclusively at original songs and

those that have been extracted from his zarzuelas and stage works, where

such works are not available for study.









Characteristics of Songs

Most of Lecuona's songs may be classified in the several genres

characteristic of Cuban songs. We find boleros, criollas, danzas,

canciones, and pregones. There are also berceuses and caprices. In

this paper, the works will be studied under their particular categories,

with a brief prior discussion of the texts, melodies, and accompaniment.

The Texts

As stated in the previous chapter, Ernesto Lecuona was a poetry

aficionado, well-read and familiar with the poets of the day. Many of

the texts are verses by well-known poets, enhancing the appealing

melodies. As Pedro Machado Castro, music critic, writes:

His Cuban songs form an unending rosary of beautiful melodies,
crowned with literary texts, admirable ones, which result in
great balance between the greatness of the music and the
inspiration of the verses in such cases. (Ramirez, n.d., p. 195)

Among the many poets whose words Lecuona set to music are Gustavo

S. Galarraga (librettist for most of his zarzuelas, to be discussed

later in more depth), Campoamor, Jos4 Angel Buesa, Jacinto Benavente,

Heine, Rosario Sensores, Mary Morandeyra, and Blanco Fombona. Following

are a few examples of those poems. They have been translated into

English by this writer, but it should be understood that they are only

literal translations. To appreciate the value of the texts, one must

make the effort to read them in the original version.

"Hastio" "Boredom"

Ya todo lo he vivido I have lived everything
Y s61o siento ansias And only eagerness I feel
De que termine la jornada. For the journey to end
Para sentir ya no me queda nada, I have nothing left to feel with,
Todo lo devor6 mi pensamiento. My thoughts have devoured all.
Mi coraz6n, fogoso y turbulento My fiery and turbulent heart
Es hoy hoguera exhaust y apagada, Is today an exhausted fire,
Y mi voz, melanc6lica y cansada And my voice, melancholic and tired,
S61o exhala las preces Only exhales the prayers of the
del moment. moment.









No hay un camino que mi afan There is no road that will wake my
encienda enthusiasm,
Porque s6 que despu&s For I know that, beyond each trail,
de cada senda
Se oculta el desencanto. Hides disenchantment.
Y s61o espera mi fatigado And my tired, childish heart only
coraz6n de niuo awaits
La mano fervorosa de un cariio, The warm hand of a love,
Que me cierre los ojos That will close my eyes upon death.
cuando muera.
(words by Galarraga)

And this beauty by Campoamor:

"Nunca te perdonare" "I Will Never Forgive You"

Ya que 6ste mundo abandon Given that this world I abandon,
Antes de dar cuenta a Di6s, Before settling with God,
Aqui para entire los dos, Here, with just the two of us,
Mi confesi6n te dir&: I my confession will tell you:
Con todo el alma perdono, With all my soul I forgive,
Hasta los que siempre he odiado. Even those I have always hated.
LY a ti que tanto te he amado! And you, whom I have loved so much!
Nunca te perdonar&. You I will never forgive.

And, by Mary Morandeyra:

"Yo compadezco" "I Pity"

Yo compadezco los corazones I pity those hearts
Que no quisieron nunca sofar. That never wanted to dream.
Arpas de mirmol, liras inertes, Marble harps, inert lyres,
Que no supieron vibrar jams. That never knew how to vibrate.
Yo compadezco los corazones I pity those hearts
Que no quisieron nunca llorar, That never wanted to cry,
Los que vivieron anestesiados The ones who lived anaesthetized
Por los placeres y la maldad, By the pleasures and the wickedness,
Los que murieron sin recorder. Those that died without memories.
Yo compadezco los corazones I pity those hearts
Que no quisieron amar jams That never wanted to love.

We find, amid Lecuona's output, two collections of works for piano

and voice. One of the collections sets to music the Versos sencillos

(Simple Verses) of the Cuban poet-revolutionary Josi Marti. It is made

up of eight poems, including the famous "Una rosa blanca" (A White

Rose). The other collection is based on the poems of Juana de

Ibarbourou and includes the well-known children's song and lullaby, "La

Seiora luna" (Lady Moon).










"La SeKora Luna" "Lady Moon"

La seiora Luna Lady Moon
Le pidi6 al naranjo Asked the orange tree
Un vestido verde For a green dress
Y un vestido blanco. And a white dress.
La seiora Luna Lady Moon
Se quiere casar Wants to marry
Con un pajecito A little page boy
De la casa real From the royal house.
DuBrmete Natacha Sleep, Natasha
E iris a la boda And you'll go to the wedding,
Peinada de mono Your hair combed high
Y en traje de cola And with a long-trail dress.

Lecuona himself was a fine poet and he set many of his own verses

to music. His inspiration derived mainly from rivers, birds, flowers,

cities, and geographical regions. Consequently we find songs titled

"Pheasant," "Peacock," "Chrysanthemum," "Gardenia," "Madrigal," "Costa

Rica," and "Valencia mora." And then there are his love songs, some of

which have become standards in the Spanish language repertoire, such as

his "Noche azul."


Melodies

Lecuona's melodic gift was probably unparalled, as far as Cuban

composers go. He produced some of the most attractive combinations of

notes written before or after his time. It is quite difficult to form

generalizations about the melodies, given that they were all so unique

and individual in their character. But it is safe to make a few state-

ments about them.

For the most part, Lecuona's melodies are within the reach of any

fine singer, although he tends to favor the higher registers, and some

parts are actually quite demanding. Nevertheless, we find melodies

written for all vocal ranges.










For example, the very singable "Por eso te quiero," shown in

Figure 1, achieves its beauty with a series of rather close intervals within

the range of a ninth.

In other songs, such as "Aguinaldos blancos" (White Aguinaldo

Flower), quoted in Figures 2, 3, and 4, the range spreads out to one and

a half octaves. It is a work full of charm and elegance.
The composer's melodies are generally melodic. A good example is

his famous "Noche azul" (Figure 5).

There are a few exceptions, however, among which is the one

appearing in Figure 6, "Lamento africano" (African Lament).

Accompaniment

Lecuona's songs were all written with piano accompaniment. Since

the accompaniments were usually played by himself or his sister

Ernestina, an excellent musician, the composer felt comfortable writing

quite demanding parts. The obvious disadvantage today is the difficulty

in finding two able performers to carry out the songs successfully.

The selection in Figure 7 illustrates the point.

Note in the previous example the octave passages which also appear in

"Canci6n del amor triste" (Song of Sad Love) towards the end (Figure 8)

and in the last six measures (Figure 9).

Added difficulties in the same song are the sudden dynamic con-

trasts, which range from pp to fff, as well as continuous changes in

time and key signatures.

"Balada de amor" (Love Ballad), appearing in Figure 10, is another

good example of Lecuona's piano writing. within the space of a few

measures there is a wide range of dynamics.
































TO qo: m paor ca- aao re .8



23 ai ==z
__ To I "W Md _____ To






Ym - Io o 1 1 yo are .. ztou a -





- aft eh. to -r -0- 1


Figure 1. Lecuona, "Por eso te quiero," Measures 4-20



























P


f~-r~rgu L3rC- ats.... c-lo, ae ?r. v





~ ~ ~ ~ ~ u *la-&r d SL g.- _________ ?uin




-L dr.4 --aLb or.. ? T La ~ -


Figure 2. Lecuona, "Aguinaldos blancos," Measures 1-16










































,A -m-


Figure 3. Lecuona, "Aguinaldos blancos," Measures 45-48


I


































J I


d" s e ,-.- c.__ __ __


Figure 4. Lecuona, "Aguinaldos blancos," Measures 81-87


1) Y ----- =:= ,


r








































j l L lig -o rcar~~i- d


.14L 4vd. --f yo.a r~ o





a'- ~- 4-.,


Figure 5. Lecuona, "Noche azul," Measures 3-18















Cant o(
















.g W- -t -tn~l8PoCan A. -ca soy v SWs lu cu..i ylum YU,




f-t







godts-" a pSLsae m en mi c-ra-zm la~t.L.-Opasmn pa-bdn


=2-1 J

0,4







ja~lmas D ra ms o.ra ypwm c,,err. mlnmlor-r-ll


Figure 6. Lecuona, "Lamento africano," Measures 6-21



















T1 I


Ah4 I A, L ~
pc-~- C -dd POP 9Yzpr/ddfl-dr






A 4:


c,~~~7 ,z,~ _ _


Figure 7. Lecuona, "En noches de luna," Measures 1-10


1eJ I -l


4. -di--. ~ Lzlr~d


=-I


I PY






































































Figure 8. Lecuona, "Canci6n del amor triste," Measures 60-70


















p l
, 7m ~ v-~, b Cr~ly


mn ma . .rr ..,

z t


Figure 9. Lecuona, "Canci6n del amor triste," Measures 84-90


5


AfrAYY -
















*4 p-J~ Str t-j'..a--~ua- t*,-e-



L - A-

r L- f


. - S, ,' e J-. ., -. r . n C .












S - - _- .


Figure 10. Lecuona, "Balada de amor," Measures 16-31









But in his writings, Lecuona was not always eager to impress with

his pianistic technique. In many of his songs he appropriately uses a

simple accompaniment to complement or enhance the melody line. For

instance, looking back at "Aguinaldos blancos" one finds verses dealing

with love at Christmas time. In the piano part Lecuona adeptly imitates

the continuous and awesome toll of cathedral bells (Figure 11).



Types of Songs

Boleros

The bolero, a dance of undisputed Spanish origin, appeared on the

Island at the beginning of the nineteenth century. But the Cuban bolero

has little connection with its Spanish counterpart. After its introduc-

tion to Cuba, it was acclimated to the new environment. Its original

three-four time was promptly changed to the favorite two-four time of

the Island. Its form became standardized, consisting of a brief intro-

duction followed by two allegretto parts of sixteen to thirty-two

measures each, although there are not any exact rules concerning their

dimensions.

The rhythmic pattern of the bolero varies among the forms, although

not to a great extent. The most widely used and characteristic pattern

in its initial stages was






It was later changed to include the cinquillo and tresillo figures.





cinquillo: 4


























- as 'a 4i a s. ga- r .7A


Figure 11. Lecuona, "Aguinaldos blancos," Measures 1-17









2
tresillo: 4 =



The boleros found in Lecuona's output, as well as in many Latin

American dances, made use of the following pattern, among the others:








which is another way of writing the cinquillo, and








Notwithstanding the rhythmic pattern, what probably characterizes a

bolero more than anything else is its spirit or mood.

The bolero . is always lyrical, playful, and a merriment
which endeavors to send primordial bubbles through it. When a
trace of truth mars its perennial smile, this smile suddenly
emerges again with greater strength. (Grenet, 1937, p. 39)

Some of Lecuona's boleros represent classic examples of the form.

Among them are "Se fu,," "Aquella tarde," "Por un beso de tu boca," and

the second section of the popular "Como arrullo de palmas."

In "Por un beso de tu boca" (For a Kiss from Your Lips) the two

patterns described above are found interchanged throughout the song.

(Figure 12) The same is the case in the typical bolero, "Se fue" (She

Left), in Figure 13.

In the well-known "Como arruyo de palmas" (Like the Whispers of

Palm Trees), Lecuona strictly adheres to the J J pattern

(Figure 14).














* ~3.- -

I -pgt


Figure 12. Lecuona, "Por un beso de tu boca," Measures 1-21


r- YL~ ~i)-f
































Pip
-0 P











00 -10-
A4 L





a'.. 44L, 0- m


Figure 13. Lecuona, "Se fu6," Measures 1-17








BoLro (Lybo)






S a- ----- __ -r

















Figure 14. Lecuona, Coma arruyo de palmss" Measures 20-37




Sat t

















Figure 14. Lecuona, "Como arruyo de palmas," Measures 20-37










Criollas

Another group of Lecuona's songs falls into the category of

criollas, short for canci6n criolla (creole song). Derived from the

canto de clave, which was in turn a black creation, the criolla is a

genre which shows the influence of both the Spanish melody and the

African rhythm. Enilio Grenet provides a clear description of the form

of the criolla:

It consists of a brief introduction and two parts generally of
sixteen measures each in which the phrases attain two or four
measures. The extension of each part is not, however, limited
to a determined number of measures, nor is its modal aspect
limited. The measure is six-eight, and the air is slow and
cantable. (Grenet, 1937, p. 41)

The rhythmically interesting feature of the criolla is the hemiola

effect created by the juxtaposition of six-eight figures in the melody

against the three-four in the accompaniment. Some of Lecuonas's songs

in this form are "Bajo el claro de la luna" (Under the Light of the

Moon), quoted in Figure 15, "Nada tengo de ti" (I Have Nothing from

You), and "Hastio" (Boredom).

The criolla often appears in combination with other genres, parti-

cularly the bolero. The criolla appears in the first part. Lecuona's

"Aquella tarde" is a fine example of the so-called "criolla-bolero."

Figure 16 is a section of the criolla part.

"Como arrullo de palmas," discussed earlier as an example of the

boleros, also fits into the category of "criolla-bolero." One of the

reasons the criollas are paired with the boleros is, according to

Grenet, "to attenuate the harshness of its (the bolero's) rhythmical

yoke" (Grenet, 1939, p. 26).






































































Figure 15. Lecuona, "Bajo el claro de la luna," Measures 7-19












I od S iF F



Ij 40-


I'.

qato 90(mgu






7


Figure 16. Lecuona, "Aquella tarde," Measures 1-20









Danzas

Danzas are yet another category in Lecuona's song output. These,

which originally developed from the contradanza and were later super-

ceded by the danz6n, are in two-part form. The introduction is made up

of eight measures, repeated to make a total of sixteen. The second part

is usually thirty-two measures. It is in two-four time and makes fre-

quent use of the cinquillo rhythmic pattern:







The larger instrumental form will be discussed in more detail in the

chapter on piano music. Suffice it to say that some examples of the

composer's danzas for voice and piano are "Mufequita," "Andar," and

"Aqui est$."

Canciones

Another group is labeled simply canciones (songs), and the works

comprised are extremely varied in character. They are all, nonetheless,

romantic, with a touch of dramaticism, which sets them apart from the

other genres. The canciones have not achieved a particular character-

istic form, admits Grenet.

It uses the most varied forms for its expression, employing
rhythmic measures of three-four, six-eight, quadruple, or two-
four time. This expression is tender, plaintive, melancholy,
sentimental, romantic, and it is developed in the most
measured harmonic environment. There are at times agreeable
modulative surprises aided by a slow and dramatic style which
follows classical technique in expression. (Grenet, 1939, p. 27)

"Noche azul" is probably one of Lecuona's best-known canciones.

Also popular are "Sefor jardinero" (Mr. Gardener), "Te quiero morena" (I

Love You, Brunette), and "Coraz6n: no pidas m&s" (Heart: Don't Ask for

More).








Pregones

The preg6n is probably the most characteristic Cuban genre. It is

the name given to the chant of the common street vendor or peddler,

while he announces the goods and quality of the goods for sale. "The

intonation of the voice announcing an article acquires a clear profile,

producing real musical periods" (Grenet, 1939, p.41) Cuban musicians

have always been inspired by pregones, and some of the Island's most

famous and loved songs fall in this category. "El manisero" (The Peanut

Vendor) by Mois&s Simons has toured the world.

Lecuona also felt drawn to the pregones of the Cuban vendors and

adapted them to music. He created some of the most picturesque and at

the same time nostalgic views of the common peddler on the streets of

the Island. Ayala asks concerning Lecuona's pregones, "How could anyone

purify, sophisticate, and elegantly dress the popular music without

losing its character?" (Ayala, 1981, p. 138).

Four of his best-known pregones are in a collection which includes

"El pirulero" (The Candy Vendor), "El frutero" (The Fruit Vendor), "El

dulcero" (The Pastry Vendor), and "El pulpero" (The Fruit-Pulp Vendor).

The texts of the pregones are usually humorous and piquant. It

must be remembered that the peddler's song was aimed at the housewives,

who were home alone during the day. Following is the text of "El

frutero," by Sinchez-Galarraga, translated by this author.

El frutero The Fruit Vendor

Yo llevo piias sabrosas I carry delicious pineapples
Y con doraditas conchitas. With golden skins.
Esas piias yo las llevo Those pineapples I carry
Para las nifas bonitas For pretty girls.
Tambien llevo calabaza I also carry pumpkin
Con otras frutas mezcla'os Mixed in with other fruits.
Esas no son para las nifas; Those are not for the girls
Son pa' sus enamora'os But for their lovers.









Tambijn yo llevo naranjas, I also carry oranges,
Y argunas(sic) las llevo secas. And some I carry dry.
Esas son para las viejas, These are for the old ladies,
Para las viejas cluecas. For the flirting old ladies.
Caserita, sal que tengo Little housewife, come out for I have
Muchas frutas en sas6n. Many fruits in season.
Soy el frutero que llevo I'm the fruit vendor who sells
Mamoncillo y rico an6n. Mamoncillo and tasty an6n.
Soy frutero, caserita sal. I'm the fruit vendor, little
housewife; come out.
Medio tablero doy por un real, Half a flat I sell for a dime,
Y a ti caserita te lo dare And to you, little housewife, I'll
give it
Si te sonries como yo s6. If you smile, as I know you do.
Ya se va, si sefor, He's leaving, yes sir,
El frutero ya se va. The fruit vendor's leaving.
Caserita pronto sal Little housewife, come out soon
Si le quieres ti comprar. If you want to buy from him.
Que llevo los mamoncillo y el I carry mamoncillo and canitel
canitel,
Y llevo tambien las naranjas And also oranges I carry
de la China 6 del Cajel From China or from Cajel,
Y el rico mamey. And the tasty mamey.
Y llevo tambien an6n And I also carry an6n
Tan dulce por su sabor. Tasting so very sweet.
Ay casera sal Ay, housewife, come out
Que ya el frutero se vs. For the fruit vendor is leaving.
Ay, que si senior, Ay, yes sir,
Que ya yo me voy I'm already leaving
Si ta no me quieres If you don't want
Comprarme na'. To buy anything from me.

Musically the preg6n is in two-four and is characterized by a rapid

progression of, most likely, eighth or sixteenth notes. This parallels

the fast delivery of words of the peddlers. The note range is usually

narrow with intervals no greater than a fourth. With many repeated

notes, they are accurate approximations of the chant-like intonations of

the street vendors (Figure 17). The accompaniment, as seen in that

example, is usually unobtrusive, although sometimes one can find the

bolero rhythm in the bass, as is the case in "El frutero (Figure 18).

Many of these pregones, it must be said, have been standardized to

the point that they are passed on from generation to generation without

suffering any major changes.

















































































Figure 17. Lecuona, "El frutero," Measures 17-32


A isO








































































Figure 18. Lecuona, "El frutero," Measures 4-16








Summary

Lecuona's song output may be summarized with one phrase: unmistak-

ably Cuban. He did write a few songs labeled "berceuse," "impromptu,"

and "caprice," definitely inspired by the Romantic movement taking place

abroad. However, there are so few such examples that a detailed discus-

sion is immaterial to the task at hand. The overwhelming majority of

his compositions for voice were rooted in and inspired by the Cuban land

and its people.

What makes Lecuona's songs so unmistakably Cuban? Of foremost

musical significance is his use of native rhythms and forms, which he

applies accurately and tastefully. But more important to the man on the

street is that inherent Cuban character and flavor that permeates his

output.

In Lecuona, Cubanism is a deep current that flows like an
emotional sap throughout his work. One of his songs, the
least rhythmic, which unfolds itself without a sensual cadence
or suggestion of syncopation is indefinably Creole. It is
enough to hear it, in any part of the world, to identify its
origin. A work of Lecuona, announcing its simple song without
the complementary left hand, expresses the entire tropics. No
one would mistake its affiliation or derivation. (Rosello,
1935, p. 2, trans. Gloria Jacobson)

Lecuona's songs are a good illustration of the composer's romantic

nature. He searched for texts that were filled with human emotions and

feelings. Banal subjects had no place in his output. Further evidence

of romanticism is the extreme dynamic markings and tempo changes that

invariably appear throughout the songs.

It may be safely stated that, although Lecuona's songs are not

landmarks in the history of the genre, their worldwide appeal rests on

the composer's ability to use the old, the traditional, the loved, to

create new and fresh means of expression. He gave a face lift to the

time-honored musical forms.
















CHAPTER V
PIANO MUSIC

Introduction

Lecuona's music for piano constitutes the most exciting, varied,

and representative genre of his entire output. Because of its impor-

tance, an attempt must be made to understand those factors which contri-

buted towards its form and character as we know it today.

Lecuona was an accomplished pianist from his earliest years. His

future in the concert world was practically assured when he decided to

devote himself to the performance of his own works. This chapter seems

the ideal place to relate the reasons for the composer's choice, which

was to influence the quality of his output so greatly.

The Afro-Cuban influence on Lecuona's music has been pointed out

repeatedly. It permeated almost every work, becoming such an inherent

part of the composer's music to the point of being considered one and

the same. Before embarking on the analysis of the literature, it is

therefore appropriate to expound briefly in this chapter on the meaning

of the term and its specific place in the music of Cuba.

Lecuona as Composer and Performer of his Own Works

Long before Lecuona's transition to composer and performer of his

own music, he was a serious interpreter of the classic repertoire. The

reviews of the times and the observations made by the established

pianists of the epoch attest to the fact that he was well on his way to

fame as a performer. Hubert de Blanck admitted, as early as 1913,

he's a player of extraordinary brilliancy, a perfect temperament,










and of great value" (Ramirez, n.d., p. 13). Emilio Agramonte was even

more effusive in his praise.

I have heard all the great pianists from Liszt to Thalberg.
Lecuona is a complete artist. He has temperament, easy and
nimble fingers. A surprising mechanism and a left hand simi-
lar to Rubenstein and Lavine (sic). His touch is pure and
clean like that of Joseph Hoffman. (Ramirez, n.d., p. 13)

It may be recalled that the maestro's graduating piece at the

Conservatory was Schumann's A Minor Concerto. Before, and also long

after that recital, Lecuona would primarily select works from the clas-

sical repertoire to form his numerous programs. Only at the end of the

performance would he add one or two of his own compositions for the

audiences to hear.

His future, then, seemed paved for success as a pianist of world

renown.

He could have appeared in all the world's stages, and today
his name would be among the universe's performers, but he was
too much of a composer and, most of all, too much of a Cuban
for that. (Ayala, 1981, p. 136, trans. Gloria Jacobson)

Ayala is completely correct in his observation. Lecuona was too

much of a composer and a Cuban. The maestro certainly did not reject

the idea of becoming a well-known performer; but he wanted to use his

pianistic ability to do what he enjoyed most. His dream was to become

an interpreter of his own works, which were indeed far from the classi-

cal repertoire in which he had been brought up. Lecuona recalled:

I had the ambition of being unique, my own. To be Lecuona:
theater, danzas, songs, and piano of Lecuona. To be it in my
country, and in Spain, Argentina, Norway, China, Japan,
Australia, Russia, ... .(Ramirez, n.d., p. 17)

What were the reasons for the road finally taken, for the abandon-

ment of the virtuoso route, which had proved to be so easy and acces-

sible to Lecuona?










First, Lecuona felt great admiration, almost to the point of

infatuation, for the American Louis Gottschalk. Interesting parallels

may be drawn between the early musical genius and rise to fame of both

composers. Lecuona was particularly interested in Gottschalk's music,

in his use of Afro-Caribbean rhythms, Creole melodies, and virtuoso

passagework. He also admired the composer's full dedication to the

performance of his own works. Gottschalk had been mentioned in the same

breath as Liszt and Thalberg, just as Lecuona had been later. And

Gottschalk had relinquished the call to fame and followed his intuition.

This was probably the first push Lecuona received, however indirectly,

towards his goal.

Second, the Cuban environment was very limited in terms of opportu-

nities to develop the musical potential of a pianist trained in the

classical arena. Unfortunately, there were no societies or organiza-

tions that would provide scholarships for study abroad of talented

students. Lecuona did not have the means to take his musical education

upon himself.

The third problem, competition and financial difficulties, was

corroborated by Lecuona.

I was an artist dedicated seriously to the "serious" piano
literature, classic and modern. . But I realized that my
fight to universalize myself as a strict piano concertizer was
going to be terrible, my name not ending in "wsky" or in
another strange combination of letters. I did not have for-
tune or revenues, or anything like that to live on, except my
inspiration and my hands of a pianist. (Ramirez, n.d., p. 16)

Fourth, Lecuona liked applause and, from the very start, "I noticed

that even in concert halls, when Lecuona interpreted Lecuona, the

public, equally in Havana, Madrid, or Paris, vibrated with enthusiasm"

(Ramlrez, n.d, p. 16).











Although even up to 1932 the composer added classical works to his

repertoire, the trend towards popular music had already been estab-

lished. It may be recalled that while still eleven, the young pianist

accompanied singers of the day in segments from zarzuelas and other

popular music. It was at that time that he began to manifest a pro-

mising melodic talent, very popular and very Cuban. The various works

of his own that he included at the end of recitals were received with

frenetic enthusiasm, not only because of their brilliant execution but

because of the Cubanism they represented.

The decisive break came in 1932. He was then touring Spain, with

the soprano Maria Fantoli, presenting concerts of his own works for

piano and voice. The audiences loved it, and the critics gave glowing

reviews. Lecuona decided it was the time to make his definitive move.

Notwithstanding his success from then on, the maestro never refused

to play from the classical repertoire when asked to.

This giant of music was so humble that he never resented a
suggestion at a private gathering that he play Bach, Mozart,
Beethoven, and his response was invariably gracious and
cooperative. He would play any composer's piece without a
tinge of feeling that his should have preference. Without
fail, his admirers and friends would insist that he cap the
evening's entertainment with his own tunes. (Sperry, 1973,
p. 2)

Although the definitive transition came rather late in the com-

poser's career, Lecuona was elated. What he had always dreamed had

finally become reality: Lecuona was interpreting Lecuona.

Afro-Cubanism

The general feelings of the white community in the first years of

the Republic were reflected in hostile observations made by musicolo-

gists of the time concerning the presence of black rhythms in Cuban


j









music. Blacks had already been granted their freedom by then. But the

same country which was trying to parallel the cultural currents of the

time showed little, if any respect for its black population. Indeed, in

many ways blacks were severely repressed, as was the case with their

religious celebrations and other cultural expressions.

Up to that time, the blacks in the Island were conserving a poetic

and musical tradition which, unknown to them, would later be analyzed

and scrutinized by historians and musicologists everywhere. The purity

of many of those traditions was questionable. The freed slaves in the

nineteenth century had, of their own will, rapidly acculturated into the

Cuban-Spanish way of life. Many of these blacks would deal exclusively

with the music of the whites and would refuse to play the role of blacks

in the stage works of the time. But it was difficult to relinquish

those enculturated rhythms that were so much a part of their heritage.

At the same time, it must not be forgotten, ships kept unloading

black laborers, fresh from the African homelands. Those blacks, in

contrast to their freed counterparts, had little if any contact with the

outside world. To some, the boundaries of their master's farm would be

as far as they would ever go. Their work was made less arduous by the

singing of their traditional songs, which were passed on to the younger

generation. Furthermore, the blacks were frequently required to dance

their dances and sing their songs for the white overlords, who believed

it to be good for their health. Most of the songs and dances were

religious in nature.

From the beginning of the nineteenth century to its end, an Afro-

Cuban secular music developed. It came to the attention of the white

population through the public performances given by lower class benefit








societies. Largely Negro, although not exclusively, these societies

appeared in public, dancing, singing, and drumming, on such feast days

as Epiphany. They would wear elaborate masks and costumes at these

performances.

The sound and rhythms of the African drum fascinated the white

population and, at the end of the century,

Spanish melodies were superimposed on the secular Afro-Cuban
music, and the guitar was added to the drums, producing, in
the words of Ortiz, 'love affairs of the Spanish guitar with
the African drum.' The dances and rhythms that resulted from
this mingling -- the rumba, conga, son, and bolero -- spread
to much of the world. (McGaffy, Wyatt, and Barnett, 1962,
p. 223)

As stated before, though, whites in early twentieth-century Cuba

were still not ready to accept the contributions of the blacks, and the

Afro-Cuban movement was violently received. But it did not take long

for the fever to cool down. After all, that was the time when

Stravinsky, in his revolutionary Rite of Spring, was making use of a

barrage of complex and interesting rhythms. Milhaud had already been

influenced by the Brazilian sambas, and the Mexican painter Diego Rivera

y de Orozco had impressed Cuban intellectuals with the possibility of

tapping their local creole cultural resources. And suddenly, all eyes

turned to the Negro.

That is the way that the Afro-Cuban tendency was born, that
for more than ten years would feed poems, novels, folkloric,
and sociological studies. In many cases, the extent was to
the superficial and peripheral, to the 'negro under the sun-
intoxicated palm trees,' but that constituted a necessary step
to the better understanding of certain poetic, musical,
ethnic, and social factors that had contributed to giving a
unique character to the creole. (Carpentier, 1946, p. 236,
trans. Gloria Jacobson)











Danzas

Best known in Lecuona's piano repertoire are his three sets of

danzas: Afro-Cubanas, Cubanas, and A la antigua ("Nineteenth-Century

Cuban Dances"). As Grenet correctly states, "His production in this

genre constitutes the most interesting manifestation of this highly

popular composer" (Grenet, 1939, p. 31).

The ballroom danza as a form developed from the contradanza, as

described earlier. The contradanza (from the English "country dance")

was imported to Cuba by the French in the eighteenth century. It be-

longed to the typical square dances where all the couples in the ball-

room collaborated to form different figures.

The danza, however, was danced independently by couples. Its form

was two-part, the second of which was a sharp contrast in character to

the first. In two-four time, it was a rapid dance, full of joy and

gaiety. It is probably the tempo, unsuited to the warm tropical climate,

that caused the danza to be replaced eventually by the danz6n, in a

slower rhythm.

The danza disappeared completely. It was instead stylized and

placed in concert halls, with little remaining of its original relation-

ship to the dance. Lecuona was one of a few composers to produce in

this new form.

Ernesto Lecuona has enriched the genre with his abundant
production and has redeemed it definitely from the dance
steps. His control of piano technique makes him dally with
delicious sonorities of a realism which is at times surprising
and in which the idea bubbles in the impenetrability of a
rhythm which is uncontrollable, dominating, and obsessing.
(Grenet, 1939, p. 31)









Danzas Afro-Cubanas

1. "La conga de medianoche"
2. "Danza negra"
3. "Y la negra bailaba"
4. "Danza de los naiigos"
5. "Danza Lucumi"
6. "La comparsa"

The obsessing rhythm of which Grenet speaks is best exemplified in

"La comparsa." A comparsa is a traditional procession which takes place

yearly during the Carnival season in Cuba. Thousands of Negroes and

mulattos dance down the streets, singing their exotic melodies to the

accompaniment of rhythm instruments. Composers have always tried to

capture the spirit of these festive times.

In his danza, which Lecuona wrote at the early age of fifteen, the

composer carefully depicts the gradual approach of the comparsa. After

developing it through all the climactic moments of the second part, the

music begins to diminish. The parade is disappearing in the distance,

and its last sounds get lost in a melancholy diminuendo. As Ayala

writes, "'La comparsa' is music that describes; it is a symphonic poem,

probably the most compact one ever written" (Ayala, 1981, p. 138, trans.

Gloria Jacobson)

The persistent rhythm of the African drum is heard continuously

through the danza, imbuing the work with the liveliness and gaity typi-

cal of the Cuban comparsas (Figure 19). The effect is even more drama-

tic in the climactic second half, in a new key (Figure 20).

The same rhythmic fervor may be observed in "Danza Lucumi," which,

along with "La comparsa" and "Danza negra," captures the Carnival spirit

so well. The Lucumis were the Cuban descendants of the Nigerian Yoruba.

They brought to Cuba their complex religious beliefs and their drums,

which were an integral part of their religious ritual, Santeria Lucumi.


















Modernt j


L:=


Figure 19. Lecuona, "La comparsa," Measures 1-19





























/'1. 1 -----------


12 ~~

,jr-,"J-' -~


(s -____ ^ ^


Figure 20. Lecuona, "La comparsa," Measures 52-61









Figure 21 illustrates a portion of the frantic music. Note the

repeated rhythmic pattern in the bass. It is the J :J J bolero

rhythm. It is a work of unequalled feverish excitement. The constant

and sudden changes in dynamics clearly evoke the soulful expression of

the participants.

Another interesting work in the suite is the "Danza de los

NaHigos." The Rafigos were members of a cult which maintained its

unique religion, worship, customs, and rituals, even after their arrival

in Cuba. There was a certain kind of fear and mysticism associated with

the Rafigos, which Winthrop Sargeant describes:

Upper class Cubans sometimes frighten their children by tel-
ling them the Sanigos will get them if they are not good. The
Cuban police keep the Manigo tribal rituals under surveillance
and are ready to pounce the minute there is a change from
harmless voodoo to political agitation. Once a year, at
Carnival time, the Sanigos come into the open as the big event
of the Cuban comparsas....The streets of Havana stream with
joyous throngs of fantastically costumed Negroes, prancing
along to drumming and chanting that sounds as though it came
straight from the heart of Africa. (Sargeant, 1947, p. 151)

In "Danza de los aiiigos," it seems that Lecuona wants to express

that yearly moment of elation when the Saiigos can openly sing of

themselves. The composition opens with no more than a pp passage of

constant hand crossing, shown in Figure 22. It all builds to an almost

uncontrollable fff strepitoso, achieved by different rapid octave pas-

sages in the right hand (Figure 23). The work ends, again in a ppp,

probably symbolizing the return of the Ratigos to their secret world.

Lecuona was favored with hands that could easily span a tenth on

the keyboard. He exploited them by constantly writing demanding octave

passages in the great majority of his works. A case in point appears in

Figure 24, the piu mosso section in "...Y la negra bailaba" (And the

Black Woman Danced).




































1"'R"
--- ----







arm.









-- -- -- -- -- -- -



It 1 4

4: 41 -4 $:~I ;


Figure 21. Lecuona, "Danza Lucumi," Measures 91-102











.5- _
~I 'AT L-





-g-


I, S. ~-,- -
p -vS. S.

r


Figure 22. Lecuona, "Danza de los lanigos," Measures 77-100






































































Figure 23. Lecuona, "Danza de los Fanigos," Measures 41-55










































S. . . . . . . .. . o o . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Sloco


Figure 24. Lecuona, "Y la negra bailaba," Measures 55-69









Another example, shown in Figure 25, appears in "Danza negra." In

the same piece, Figure 26 shows that rhythmic obsession which charac-

terizes most of the compositions in the suite. The repeating pattern

appears here in the first and last section.

By far the most challenging of the Afro-Cuban danzas is the "Conga

de medianoche" (Midnight Conga). Congas are dances of African origin.

"The 'conga,' whose name comes from a large drum, probably of the Congo,

is a manifestation of African joy without any preconceived formality"

(Grenet, 1939, p. 45).

The dance is in two-four time, with essentially a march rhythm. It

is based on a two-measure pattern; the first is symmetrical, but the

second is syncopated, the second beat anticipated by a sixteenth note.







The conga is danced on ballrooms and in the street. In a ballroom

it is danced by couples or, as is more often the case, in a conga line,

wherein participants hold on to the waist or shoulders of the person

ahead. The dancers simply march to the beat of the rhythm, marking the

syncopation by a kick and a brusque movement of the body. In the street

the conga is similarly danced, except that the dancers are often not

holding on to one another.

It should be added that, from the time of the Republic, the conga

became an instrument of political propaganda. The texts almost always

dealt with the defeat or victory of a particular candidate. In writing

the "Conga de medianoche," Lecuona probably recalled the noises and

popular sones he heard as a child during nights of typical political

meetings.







































































Figure 25. Lecuona, "Danza negra," Measures 55-68











































SI

I~~ p


2 ~ I I~U ~ ~~)3 ~) ~~- -


i -e -9----- _


Figure 26. Lecuona, "Danza negra," Measures 1-10










Lecuona's conga is an extremely interesting piece to analyze. In

the first place we do find the continuous conga rhythm throughout

(Figure 27). However, in listening to the work we find that it is

practically impossible to dance to it. "La conga de medianoche" is a

very delicate composition. Its elegance and refined character make it a

great listening piece, but out of place on a dance floor. Moreover, it

is not at all a singable melody. "La conga" is one of Lecuona's most

dissonant works. The opening measures, quoted in Figure 28, give a

brief glimpse of the unconventional harmonies.

The dissonances are brought about through the superimposition of

major and minor seconds. This is also seen in the climactic B section,

"strepetoso e largamente." Figure 29 illustrates the unusual harmony

for early twentieth-century Cuban music.

Danzas Cubanas

1. "No hables mis" (Speak No More)
2. "No puedo contigo" (I Cannot Deal with You)
3. "Ahi viene el chino" (Here Comes the Chinaman)
4. "4Por qu6 te vas?" (Why Do You Go?)
5. "Lola est& de fiesta" (Lola Is Celebrating)
6. "En tres por cuatro" (In Three-Quarter Time)

This representative set of Cuban dances is next in popularity to

the Danzas Afro-Cubanas. Four of the compositions are in the two-four

time typical of popular music. "Ahl viene el chino" is in four-four, and

"En tres por cuatro," as the title says, is in three-four. They are all

in simple ABA form.

Characteristic of the danzas is a repetitive rhythmic pattern in

the bass which continues throughout the entire A section of the works.








































































Figure 27. Lecuona, "Conga de medianoche," Measures 37-45




































Allezro
. .

w7 -

V2 3F ]F

I1L CLL1~-- LbL ~.I

.i. k


Figure 28. Lecuona, "Conga de medianoche," Measures 1-6


I
























































n-


Figure 29. Lecuona, "Conga de medianoche," Measures 98-110








In "No hables mis" we find the pattern Jj fl, and in ".Por qu& te

vas?" it is 4J J (Figure 30). In the B section Lecuona pro-

vides the contrast by changing the rhythm pattern which, once again,

remains constant throughout the part.

The two best known Danzas Cubanas are "En tres por cuatro" and "Ahi

viene el chino." In the former, Lecuona places the accents in the weak

beats, creating a syncopated three-four piece full of grace and

freshness. The repetitive left hand pattern and the right hand octaves

are also illustrated in the example of Figure 31.

The B section has one of the most contagious melodies found in the

suite, defined more by its rhythmic character than by its melodic

pattern (Figure 32).

"En tres por cuatro" is, overall, an extremely exciting rhythmic work

and at the same time, one which exudes emotion from every note.

"Ahi viene el chino" follows the pattern of the other danzas, but

this particular one is so descriptive that one can easily picture the

subject of Lecuona's music. The A sections, with continuous grace notes

give the tinkling effect reminiscent of far-eastern music. It also

brings to mind the delicateness and diminutive stature associated with

the people (Figure 33).

And then comes the intense middle section which almost seems to

express in music the strength of body and mind acquired by the dedica-

tion and hard work of the Chinese coolies on the island of Cuba

(Figure 34).

In the words of Ayala referring to the danza, "One really sees him

walking more than hearing him, and one almost understands the big words































V _____ -
rea


Figure 30. Lecuona, "EPor qu6 te vas?" Measures 5-11


6:2
































































I)I


Figure 31. Lecuona, "En tres por cuatro," Measures 1-9


1



































i- ff+r ~

;-uu ___~
rj~f FKU


Figure 32. Lecuona, "En tres por cuatro," Measures 21-26





















All IZvo 11 1 o 1 11, ti ppo


Li ers


Figure 33. Lecuona, "Ahi viene el chino," Measures 1-10





















Allegro




Iy f I.


-i ; -(:< ? ,.<* -t ^ ^ ^ _


=


-~+ .-'
iC :t


- .,4iI2I ,=-- __


a-~


3 pp =


Figure 34. Lecuona, "Ahi viene el chino," Measures 27-38




Full Text

PAGE 1

THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF ERNESTO LECUONA BY GLORIA CASTIEL JACOBSON A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1982

PAGE 2

Copyright 1982 by Gloria Castiel Jacobson

PAGE 3

A MIS QUERIDOS PADRES BELINA Y ALBERTO CON TODO MI AMOR

PAGE 4

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This work has become reality only through the cooperation of a group of people sincerely dedicated to the goal of preserving the memory and music of Ernesto Lecuona. I should like to extend my warmest thanks to Roberto Rodriguez, Lecuona* s impresario, for providing me with photographs, newspaper articles, mementos, and vital information on the composer; Miguel de Grandy, Octavio Alvarez, Ernesto Garcia, Rolando Lluis, Josef ina LeCerff , and Ernesto Grenet, all of whom knew or worked with Lecuona, for the time they dedicated to my interviews and for their contagious enthusiasm; Aurelio and Graciela Fox for lending me much of Lecuona 's music from their private record collection; John Sperry for his time and for providing me with Lecuona' s will and biographical notes; and Edward B. Marks Music Corporation for their continuous help in locating and providing me with numerous pieces of sheet music and for extending copyright privileges. To Dr. David Z. Kushner, professor and friend, I offer my heartfelt appreciation for his interest, encouragement, advice, and inspiration throughout this entire project. To Dr. Gordon Lawrence and Dr. Phillip Kniseley I am grateful for their valuable contributions to the success of this study. And an especially warm thank you goes to the person who encouraged, advised, and helped me with every aspect of this paper, my editor, typist, and counselor: my wonderful husband, Ed.

PAGE 5

The following compositions are the copyright of Edward B. Marks Music Corporation. The measures or text cited are used by permission: Songs Por eso te quiero, 4-20 Noche azul, 3-18 Lamento africano, 6-22 Aquella tarde, 1-20 Piano Music La comparsa, 1-19, 52-61 Danza Lucumi, 91-102 Danza de los Nanigos, 77-100, 41-55 Y la negra bailaba, 55-69 Danza negra, 55-68, 1-10 Conga de medianoche, 37-45, 1-5, 98-110 £,Por que te vas?, 5-11 En tres por cuatro, 1-9, 21-26 Ahl viene el chino, 1-10, 27-38, 88-90 A la antigua, 1-8 Ante el Escorial, 1-8, 33, 34-41 San Francisco el grande, 1-10, 37-56 Malaguefia, 1-9, 28-35, 59-70, 87-90, 125-141 Andalucia, 1-11, 105-112 Gitanerlas, 1-8, 72-88 Alhambra, 32-55, 85-99 Rapsodia negra, 161, 162-168, 270-283 Vals romantico, 33-49 La habanera, 1-8 Zarzuelas Nina Rita: Damisela encantadora, 39-54 El cafetal: Lamento africano, 7-20, 81-95 El cafetal: Lamento africano, entire text Maria la O, 1-11, 21-37

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CONTENTS PAGE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iv LIST OF FIGURES viii ABSTRACT X CHAPTER I — INTRODUCTION 1 Purpose of the Study 1 Organization of the Study 1 Tasks of the Study 2 The Need for the Study 2 Background of Art Music in Cuba 5 The Research Procedure 7 Limitations of the Study 9 CHAPTER II — REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE 10 CHAPTER III — THE LIFE AND CAREER OF ERNESTO LECUONA 15 Introduction 1 5 u Family Background 1 5i> Early Years: Musical Studies and Achievements 16^' Early Works for the Theater and International Successes 18' Trip to Paris: Friendship with Lortat, Orloff, and Ravel 19 Tours of Central America and a Hollywood Experience 2 1933: Formation of "Lecuona's Cuban Boys" 2 1 and Threats to Lecuona's Health The Years 1935-1942 22 Lecuona as Cultural Attache to the Cuban Embassy 22 •' Concerts in the Pan American Union and Carnegie Hall 23 Carnival in Costa Rica 2 3 The Last Ten Years — 1953-1963 24 Physical Appearance and Personality 24 Lifestyle 26 x Friends and Friendships 27 l/ Always a Cuban 27^ Lecuona the Musician 28 t ^ Fans, Friends, and Honors 29u"

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FAGE CHAPTER IV — SONGS 32 Introduction 32 Characteristics of Songs 33 Types of Songs 47 Summary 6 1 CHAPTER V — PIANO MUSIC 62 Introduction 62 Danzas 68 Religious Works 90 Andalucia — Suite Espagnole 99 Estampas Infantiles ("Diary of a Child") 113 Miscellaneous Works 117 Conclusion 123 CHAPTER VI — ZARZUELAS 125 Introduction 125 The Zarzuelas of Ernesto Lecuona 130 Conclusions 146 CHAPTER VII — CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 149 Conclusions 149 Recommendations 151 GLOSSARY 152 APPENDIX A — LIST OF MUSICAL WORKS OF ERNESTO LECUONA 156 APPENDIX B — MEMORABILIA 172 BIBLIOGRAPHY 186 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 190

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LIST OF FIGURES PAGE Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 Figure 10 Figure 11 Figure 12 Figure 13 Figure 14 Figure 15 Figure 16 Figure 17 Figure 18 Figure 19 Figure 20 Figure 21 Figure 22 Figure 23 Figure 24 Figure 25 Figure 26 Figure 27 Figure 28 Figure 29 Figure 30 Figure 31 Figure 32 Figure 33 Figure 34 Figure 35 Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona Lecuona "Por eso te quiero," Measures 4-20 3 7 "Aguinaldos blancos," Measures 1-16 38 "Aguinaldos blancos," Measures 45-48 39 "Aguinaldos blancos," Measures 81-87 40 "Noche azul," Measures 3-18 41 "Lamento africano," Measures 6-21 4 2 "En noches de luna," Measures 1-10 4 3 "Cancion del amor triste," Measures 60-70 44 "Cancion del amor triste," Measures 84-90 45 "Balada de amor," Measures 16-31 46 "Aguinaldos blancos," Measures 1-17 48 "Por un beso de tu boca," Measures 1-21 5 "Se fue," Measures 1-17 51 "Como arruyo de palmas," Measures 2 0-37 52 "Bajo el claro de la luna," Measures 7-19 54 "Aquella tarde," Measures 1-20 55 "El frutero," Measures 17-32 59 "El frutero," Measures 4-16 60 "La comparsa," Measures 1-19 7 'La comparsa," Measures 52-61 71 'Danza Lucumi." Measures 91-102 7 3 'Danza de los ftanigos," Measures 77-100 74 'Danza de los Hafiigos," Measures 41-55 75 'Y la negra bailaba," Measures 55-69 76 'Danza negra," Measures 55-68 78 'Danza negra," Measures 1-10 79 'Conga de medianoche," Measures 37-45 81 'Conga de medianoche," Measures 1-6 82 'Conga de medianoche," Measures 98-110 83 ' iPor que te vas?" Measures 5-11 8 5 'En tres por cuatro," Measures 1-9 86 'En tres por cuatro," Measures 21-26 87 'Ahl viene el chino," Measures 1-10 88 'Ahi viene el chino," Measures 27-38 89 'Ahl viene el chino," Measures 88-90 91

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PAGE Figure 36 Lecuona, "A la antigua," Measures 1-8 92 Figure 37 Lecuona, "Ante el Escorial," Measures 1-8 93 Figure 38 Lecuona, "Ante el Escorial," Measure 33 95 Figure 39 Lecuona, "Ante el Escorial," Measures 34-41 96 Figure 40 Lecuona, "San Francisco el grande," Measures 1-10 97 Figure 41 Lecuona, "San Francisco el grande," Measures 37-56 98 Figure 42 Lecuona "Malaguena," Measures 1-9 101 Figure 43 Lecuona "Malaguena," Measures 28-35 102 Figure 44 Lecuona "Malaguena," Measures 58-70 104 Figure 45 Lecuona "Malaguena," Measures 87-90 105 Figure 46 Lecuona "Malaguena," Measures 125-141 Figure 47 Lecuona "Andalucia," Measures 1-11 Figure 48 Lecuona "Andalucia," Measures 105-112 Figure 49 Lecuona "Gitanerias," Measures 1-8 Figure 50 Lecuona "Gitanerias," Measures 72-88 Figure 51 Lecuona "Alhambra," Measures 32-55 Figure 52 Lecuona "Alhambra," Measures 85-99 Figure 53 Lecuona, "El baile de la muneca, "Measures 1-8 Figure 54 Lecuona, "Carousel, "Measures 1-8 Figure 55 Lecuona, "Rapsodia negra," Measures 161 Figure 56 Lecuona, "Rapsodia negra," Measures 162-168 Figure 57 Lecuona, "Rapsodia Negra," Measures 270-283 Figure 58 Lecuona, "Vals romantico," Measures 33-49 Figure 59 Lecuona, "La habanera" Measures 1-8 Figure 60 Lecuona, "Damisela encantadora," Measures 39-56 106 108 109 1 10 111 112 114 1 15 116 1 18 120 121 122 124 133 Figure 61 Lecuona, "Lamento africano," Measures 6-20 Figure 62 Lecuona, "Lamento africano," Measures 81-95 Figure 63 Lecuona, "Maria la O," Measures 1-11 Figure 64 Lecuona, "Maria la O," Measures 21-37 Figure 65 Lecuona, "Lola Cruz," Measures 18-34 135 137 142 143 147 Figure 66. Figure 67. Figure 68. Figure 69. Figure 70. Last Will and Testament of Ernesto Lecuona Lecuona at the Piano Lecuona and Impresario Roberto Rodriguez Lecuona on the podium 173 178 179 180 Members of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Lima, Directed by 181 Ernesto Lecuona Figure 71. Figure 72. Figure 73. Figure 74. Lecuona 1 s First Concert at the Teatro Municipal de Lima, Peru; December 4, 1934. Director: Ernesto Lecuona, Pianist: Ernestina Lecuona, Soloist: Esther Borja Lecuona Conducting Lecuona the Pianist Autographed Portrait of Ernesto Lecuona to Roberto Rodriguez 182 183 184 185

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF ERNESTO LECUONA By Gloria Castiel Jacobson August, 1982 Chairman: Dr. Gordon Lawrence Major Department: Music/ Curriculum and Instruction Ernesto Lecuona (1895-1963), Cuban composer-pianist, achieved worldwide recognition during his lifetime. There is, however, very little information available on him. Nothing of consequence has been written either in Spanish or in English on the influential composer; sheet music is difficult to locate, and very few recordings are available for study. This paper examines both the personal and professional life of Ernesto Lecuona as well as representative works chosen from his vast output. These have been primarily selected from the composer's songs, piano music and zarzuelas. Data for the study have been gathered from a variety of sources, including interviews with significant persons in Lecuona' s life and career, music publishers and foreign and domestic libraries.

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Findings show that Lecuona was a prolific composer of music in a great variety of media. His works appealed to everyone, from the sophisticated musician to the layman. Many of his works became international hits, such as "Malaguefia," "Andalucla," "Always in My Heart," and "Siboney." As pianist and performer of his own works, he appeared in almost every major theater both in Cuba and abroad, including Central and South America, the United States, and Europe. The one factor, above all others, which won his music such wide acceptance was the composer's use of Spanish and Afro-Cuban forms and rhythms in almost every one of his works. Lecuona' s influence was not confined to music. He made statements, through his zarzuelas , on the lifestyle and socio-political conditions of Cuba; he was also influential in bringing recognition to a multitude of artists. Most importantly, Lecuona inspired young composers by demonstrating how fertile the field of Afro-Cubanism was, both in Cuba and abroad. Lecuona, in summary, was a musician in his own right. He was also influential on Cuban society, music, and musicians. His music needs to be performed, recorded, and analyzed, and his contributions to Cuban and Latin American music included in all major music history texts.

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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Purpose of the Study It is the purpose of this study to examine the life and music of the Cuban-born composer-pianist Ernesto Lecuona (1895-1963), and to provide a list, as complete as possible, of the composer's works. The report traces Lecuona' s life from birth, covering his early musical training, family life, education, musical career, travels, and lifestyle, as well as his personal and professional relationships. The composer's output in the different musical genres is analyzed in light of representative works selected for study. The report investigates Lecuona 's musical style, the influences upon it, and his contribution to the music of Cuba. The list of his works identifies the majority of Lecuona 's output. Some of the works are published and available; others are available but out of print; the rest are not available, never having been published. Organization of the Study The study is documented in seven chapters, a glossary, and two appendices. Chapter I contains introductory material: the purpose of the study, tasks of the study, need for the study, historical background, research procedure, and limitations. Chapter II is a review of the related literature. Chapter III deals with the life and musical career of Ernesto Lecuona. Chapters IV and V are devoted to an analysis of the composer's songs and piano music, respectively. The zarzuelas 1

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are discussed in Chapter VI. The conclusions and recommendations are found in the final chapter, VII. Appendix A contains the relatively complete listing of Lecuona's works. Spanish terms used in the research are explained in the Glossary. Appendix B contains memorabilia of Lecuona, including photographs and his will. Tasks of the Study 1 . To determine the musical influences which played a role in the formation of Lecuona's musical style through study of representative works. 2. To study the composer's life and to identify the personal, social, and political influences upon his work. 3. To locate, acquire, and list as much of Lecuona's musical output as possible. 4. To assess the contribution of Ernesto Lecuona to the music of Cuba. 5. To identify the importance of the study of Lecuona's music outside Latin American countries. 6. To evaluate the need for the performance of Lecuona's music by music students and professional musicians. The Need for the Study Ernesto Lecuona is credited with writing no fewer than 3,500 compositions (Sperry, 1981). He was a pianist and composer known worldwide, who indefatigably toured Latin America, Europe, and the United States. Many of his pieces became best-sellers outside the island of Cuba. His works were arranged for most combinations of instruments and performed by major pianists and orchestras all over the world, particularly in the United States and Latin America.

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But that was during the height of his career. It was a time when Cuba, free and independent, prided itself on its national talents, encouraged the import and export of musicians, and was eager to be recognized abroad. With the advent of the new political regime in 1959, music experienced a regression. Today, among the Spanish-speaking community in the United States, the name and memory of Ernesto Lecuona is clear and vivid. But time has also taken its toll. With Lecuona and many of his contemporaries now dead, the music of "Cuba's No. 1 Composer" (Sargeant, 1947) seems to be suffering the same fate. The unfortunate situation may be attributed to several factors. Of greatest importance is the obvious difficulty in locating much of the composer's music. Although some of it is published and readily available, a major portion has remained in Cuba and its libraries. Attempts of this author to establish communication with the National Library in Havana, where many of his works are suspected to be, have been unsuccessful. It appears that the Cuban government is not as yet ready to cooperate. Some music remains in the hands of zealous exiled colleagues who refuse to give it up or permit it to be reproduced for study. Still other works, unpublished, are in the possession of relatives. Of almost equal importance is the fact that no one, in exile, has had or taken the time to write on Lecuona. In the most recent book on Cuban music, written by Cristobal Diaz Ayala, the author makes the sad statement that "...of Lecuona there is no biography, not even a cataloguing of his output" (Ayala, 1981, p. 305). This is the case even though Lecuona 's name is a household word among Spanish-speaking

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musicians and laymen. Memory is failing among Lecuona's closest surviving friends, and details of his life and works are becoming less and less distinct. If not documented soon, Lecuona's life and music will remain a secret to future generations. Outside Spanish-speaking circles, there is a much greater lack of knowledge concerning Lecuona. Reference sources give the composer a few lines, compared to their otherwise lengthy entries. This is indeed unfortunate, considering the impact Lecuona had on the music of Cuba. Textbooks on music history and, more importantly, Latin American music, have virtually nothing on Lecuona or his works, for example, the most recent book on Latin American music, entitled Music in Latin America , by Gerard Behague (1979). Important to the telling of Lecuona's story are a few exiled compatriots now residing in Miami, Florida. They include several remaining members of his family, close friends, and a considerable number of musicians and colleagues. Some of these people are well advanced in years, and their stories need to be heard. Cuba has not had an abundance of composers to represent it internationally. Lecuona was one of those musicians who did, and a study of his life and music has been needed to improve our otherwise minimal knowledge of the rich musical heritage of the Island. To summarize, this study serves the following purposes: 1 . It is a comprehensive source of information on the music of Cuba and its character. 2. It sheds light on the music of the once internationallyacclaimed pianist and composer. 3. It helps to close the gap now evident in textbooks dealing with Latin American music.

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4. It puts onto paper Lecuona's life story, which up to now has been plagued by inaccuracies and confusion. 5. It identifies new music for both American and Latin American musicologists to study and explore. 6. It provides pianists new literature for their repertoires. 7. When translated into Spanish, it will be a valuable source of information to Spanish-speaking musicians and laymen. Background of Art Music in Cuba Art music in Cuba may be traced back to the eighteenth century. This is a rather late start, as compared to the vast amount of art music already found in Europe at the time. Nonetheless, researchers have been unable to provide documentation for any previous significant musical activity in the Island. It is with Esteban Salas (1725-1803), notable composer of religious and secular music, that we begin tracing the line of composers of serious music in Cuba. Antonio Raffelin ( 1796-1882) and Juan Paris (1759-1845), the classical -style composers, succeeded Salas. Manuel Saumell (1817-1870) and his contradanzas for piano represented musical nationalism, and began an important tradition in Cuban art music — the stylization of folk music. The trend was continued and perfected by Ignacio Cervantes ( 1847-1905) , undoubtedly one of the finest musicians of his time. Ernesto Lecuona (1895-1963), the subject of this study, provided the link between them and the twentieth-century nationalistic composers, Amadeo Roldan (1900-1939) and Alejandro Garcia Caturla (1906-1940), who cultivated Af ro-Cubanism in art music. Jose Ardevol (191 1 — ) became a leader of modern music in Cuba, as well as an outstanding teacher. Best known outside the Island are Julian Orbon

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( 1925-) and Aurelio de la Vega ( 1925-) . Juan Blanco ( 1920-) and Leo Brower ( 1939-) have worked in the realm of electronic and serial music. None of the composers, however, attained the popularity and international renown of Ernesto Lecuona or had more impact upon Cuban music. Affectionately referred to as "el maestro," Lecuona' s popularity rests, principally, on the wide appeal of his works. Often called the Victor Herbert of Cuba, he engaged the love and respect of the sophisticated musician and of the simple layman. He was a serious composer of popular music and a popular composer of serious music; he catered to all with his fertile imagination. Absorbing the influences of both Spanish and Cuban folk music, Lecuona' s output carries a stamp uniquely his own. Lecuona 's works are well known in Latin American countries and are occasionally performed in the United States. But it is within the Cuban community that e_l maestro 's music and memory are daily honored. He is, among the exiled Cuban population, more than a well-known composer. He is a household name, an admired musician, a loved human being. His works are performed in almost every musical event, and his compositions are a standard component of pianists' repertoire. Every year on the anniversary of his death, a recital is staged in his memory, when musicians and singers from the old times get together to remember their friend and colleague by performing his music. The admiration for Lecuona in Miami's Little Havana has culminated in the construction of an impressive monument in his honor, bearing a sculpture of the maestro at the piano, Cuba's national seal, and the inscription, "Ernesto Lecuona — Cuba's world-renowned composer and pianist. Died in Exile. 1895-1963."

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The maestro is loved not only for what he was, but for what he represents: the Cuba of old, sugar cane and palm trees, song and sea. The Afro-Cuban rhythms and folk-like melodies in his music are a constant reminder to the exiled Cuban of his cherished homeland and what it once was. The Research Procedure The necessary materials for this research were gathered from three principal sources: significant persons in Lecuona's life and career, music publishers, and both foreign and domestic libraries. Actors and singers who worked with or for Lecuona, musicians, and friends of the maestro, as well as remaining family members provided a variety of documentation pertaining to Lecuona's life and career. The material included photographs, programs of old concerts, articles that appeared in Cuban newspapers during the height of Lecuona's career, pamphlets and sheet music which had been saved throughout the years, and many other pieces of memorabilia. Most important, however, was their eagerness to relate information they were able to recall about the composer, filled with their personal outlooks, anecdotes, and that love and admiration which runs through all of them as an underground current. Those interviewed are named in the following list: o Roberto Rodriguez, impresario for the Teatro Marti in Miami and Lecuona ' s agent in Cuba o Miguel de Grandy, producer of Lecuona's zarzuelas in Miami and formerly a tenor, actor, and director o Rolando Lluis, violinist who played under Lecuona o Octavio Alvarez, actor o Pedro Roman, creator of the park and monument in Lecuona's memory

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8 o Ernesto Garcia, former actor and singer o Ernesto Grenet, drummer and trombonist o Josef ina LeCerff, Lecuona's sister-in-law Correspondence was established with John Sperry, lawyer and trustee of Lecuona's estate. Edward B. Marks, music publisher and holder of the rights to most of Lecuona's music, provided a great deal of the piano literature studied throughout the work. Domestic university libraries were used to locate some of Lecuona's music — both recordings and sheet — as well as relevant articles in periodicals and materials on Cuban and Latin American music. The National Library in Madrid had in its collection the most significant document discovered. The available music of Lecuona has been collected and analyzed. Chapters IV, V, and VI represent the synthesis of their study by this researcher. The historical approach has been used to examine the data. Glen Haydon, in Introduction to Musicology (1941), addresses the problems and methods of historical research in music. In observations concerning methodology, the author states that the researcher must be able to meet three general requirements: 1. To be conscious of the existing problem 2. To define the problem, in such a way as to render it susceptible of solution. 3. To seek the integration of his particulat problem with more general problems ; to weave the findings into the general history of music. Haydon also addresses the systematic orientation to musical research, which makes use of the various auxiliary sciences which contribute to the understanding of music, such as acoustics, physiology, and psychology in relation to music, aesthetics, theory, pedagogy, and

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comparative musicology. He concludes that the systematic and historical approaches constitute the two axes in the frame of references in relation to which musical intelligence is oriented. The two approaches are, of course, complementary. The one cannot be maintained without reference to the other. (Haydon, 1941, p. 10) Information has been placed in perspective as it related to the musical history of Cuba, taking into account the forces which shaped it and those it helped shape. Limitations of the Study The limitations of the study derive primarily from the paucity of extant sheet music and recordings of Lecuona's works. As stated previously, much of the composer's music is now out of print or in the hands of private individuals. Other compositions, probably housed in Cuban libraries, are practically impossible to locate at the present time. Particular difficulty was encountered in the process of studying Lecuona's zarzuelas . None of the scores are available in the United States, even though a few of the musical numbers have been preserved and are relatively easy to find. Fortunately, recordings have been made of three of Lecuona's zarzuelas: Maria la O, Rosa la china , and El cafetal, permitting their study in considerably greater detail. It must be noted that the music in these recordings has been reproduced from memory by artists who had staged the works in Cuba and who, in exile, felt the need to preserve them. In summary, this research makes the most of the material available. Items selected for study should suffice to illustrate those ideas central to an understanding of the music of Ernesto Lecuona.

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CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE Literature related to the subject under study was virtually nonexistent. Even the most basic information on Ernesto Lecuona was absent from standard music history texts and reference materials. Conscientious searches through domestic college and university libraries were, for the most part, fruitless. The most important item on Lecuona thus far located was found in the collection of the Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid Spain. The document, an unfinished and unpublished manuscript by Arturo Ramirez (n.d) , is an interesting report on the artistic trajectory of Ernesto Lecuona. Ramirez, a respected newspaper reporter, basically outlines the composer's numerous tours throughout the world. Entitled Lecuona , the manuscript is filled with a considerable number of reviews and critiques of Lecuona 's appearances. The author collected the material from newspapers of many cities in several countries. The value of the work lies in the amount of information on Lecuona' s personal life and the partial listing of the composer's works in an Appendix. Regardless of its importance, the work has several serious drawbacks. First, and most important, Ramirez devotes no time to the music itself. A reader not familiar with Lecuona' s output would be able to gather no clue as to the characteristics of the composer's music. This is understandable, since Ramirez was not a musicologist. 10

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11 A more serious problem, given the stature of Ramirez, is the almost total omission of essential bibliographic information on the items quoted. Authors, dates, and names of the newspapers are more often than not omitted. Although Ramirez was a respected reporter, and there is probably no reason to doubt the authenticity of his quotations, it would have been helpful to obtain those newspapers. It is beyond the scope of this work to attempt such a task. Finally, the work is not up to date. Completed before the death of the composer, Lecuona leaves many important questions unanswered about the maestro' s last years. It should also be noted that the manuscript is written in Spanish and that the author overlooked several of Lecuona' s works, both major and minor, in his list. One article each in Newsweek ("Jorge Gershwin Lecuona," 1943) and Life (Sargeant, 1947) magazines, appearing in the bibliography, are the only other sources that have dealt more or less directly with Ernesto Lecuona; however, they are brief, outdated, and general, and they provide no real insight into the composer's music. The musical journal, Etude , has dealt in two brief articles with Lecuona 's "Malaguena," mainly its key and form (Gehrkens, 1953, 1954). That is the only material which directly addresses itself to Lecuona' s music. There are other works which, although not dealing directly with Lecuona, prove to be fine background reading for the musical history of Cuba. The most recent and up-to-date is Cristobal D. Ayala's Musica cubana: del areyto a la Nueva Trova (1981). In a readable style, Ayala traces Cuban music from the displaced Indians to the present composers.

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12 The book is well organized. It is divided into ten major parts: I From discovery until the end of the eighteenth century — 1492-1799 II The nineteenth century III The first twenty years of the Republic IV The decade of the nineteen-twenties V The decade of the thirties VI The decade of the forties VII The decade of the fifties VIII Revolutionary Cuba until Communism IX Cuban music in the United States X Cuba in exile Included in each major part are sub-sections which deal not only with the major musical figures of each period (both popular and serious), but with the musical trends, instruments used, and socio-political atmosphere of each period. Within the comprehensive scope of the 500-page book, Ayala manages to treat each composer with due respect, pointing out his contributions, however small, to the musical scene. Five pages are devoted to Lecuona, in which the author briefly outlines the composer's life, career, and major works. But Ayala states in the Prologue that, not being a musician, he is unable to go into any analysis of representative works of periods and composers. This is, of course, the major drawback of the book. Other valuable works are Jla musica en Cuba by Alejo Carpentier (1946) and Popular Cuban Music by Emilio Grenet (1939). The latter is an essay on the evolution of Cuban music, including eighty revised and corrected compositions. All popular Cuban musical forms are described

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13 in detail, and most are notated. Grenet briefly mentions Lecuona when discussing the musical genres bordering on the African. The book is a fine resource for the popular music of Cuba. Carpentier's work concentrates primarily on the origins and historical development of Cuban music. Chapters are devoted to the major figures such as Salas, Saumell, Espadero, Cervantes, Roldan, and Caturla. Its coverage of Afro-Cubanism is excellent and a requirement for the understanding of Lecuona" s music. The book is in Spanish, however, with no translation available. Three additional and very fine related studies are Gilbert Chase's definitive The Music of Spain (1941), Nicolas Slonimsky's Music of Latin America ( 1945) , and Gerard Behague's Music in Latin America: An Introduction (1979). The study of these books was helpful in gaining a better understanding of the Cuban musical scene. Neither here nor elsewhere does any text or reference source contains substantive information on the composer. The Music of Spain is an excellent account of Iberian music from the Middle Ages to the present day. One of the chapters most relevant to this study is the one on the "Rise of the Popular Zarzuela ," which gives a fine overview of the form that was to influence so greatly the music of Cuba and Ernesto Lecuona. Slonimsky's book, although now somewhat outdated, was one of the few books of its kind for many years. It is an encompassing account of the music and musicians of "the twenty republics" of Latin America. The book is divided into three parts: Panorama of Latin American Music, Music in the Twenty Republics, and Dictionary of Latin American Musicians, Songs and Dances, and Musical Instruments. In the middle

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14 part, Slonimsky addresses the characteristic forms, dances, and rhythm patterns of each of the countries discussed. He then proceeds to give a short summary of each country's major musicians and their works. Lecuona is included in the section on Cuba. In approximately fifteen lines, Slonimsky provides a general outline of Lecuona' s life, and mentions five of his works. It is certainly a meager coverage, if one realizes that Lecuona was at the height of his career during the decades of the thirties and forties. Music in Latin America is divided into three parts: the Colonial Period, the Rise of Nationalism, and Counter-Currents in the Twentieth Century. In each of the three parts, Behague looks at the representative music and musicians of the Latin American countries. He quotes numerous musical examples, ranging from the sacred music of the Colonial period to the electronic works of the twentieth-century composers. Although Behague states in the Preface that the book provides "a closer examination of some of the main works by the most representative composers of the various periods, trends, and countries," the name of Ernesto Lecuona is never mentioned. This serious omission certainly invalidates his statement. The review of related literature suggests that research on the life and music of Ernesto Lecuona is seriously lacking and that the composer has regretably been omitted from standard music sources. Considering the achievements of Lecuona as a pianist and composer, the impact he had upon the Cuban musical scene, and the contribution he made to it, the neglect is incomprehensible. It makes this and future studies in this area absolutely necessary.

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CHAPTER III THE LIFE AND CAREER OF ERNESTO LECUONA Introduction The majority of information found in this chapter on Lecuona's life is from Lecuona, by Arturo Ramirez, and direct quotations have been translated by Gloria Jacobson. When other references have been used, the source is indicated in a citation. Unattributed information may be assumed to have been gathered from Ramirez's work. Family Background It was August 6, 1895 (Rodriguez, 1979)*. For the preceding months the small island of Cuba had been struggling for independence from Spain. The populace was in turmoil. In Cereria Street (today Estrada Palma), in the village of Guanabacoa, Ernesto Lecuona-Ramos and his wife Elisa awaited the birth of their child. He was to be Ernesto Lecuona y Casado, later to be known to the world simply as Lecuona (Basque for "good place"). Lecuona's father was a Spaniard. Born in Islas Canarias (the Canary Islands), Lecuona-Ramos settled in Cuba while still in his youth There is serious disagreement as to Lecuona's birth date. It has been variously given as August 7, 1895 (Sperry, 1973), August 7, 1896 (Ramirez), and the one given here. Rodriguez asserts that although the composer liked to celebrate his birthday on August 7, his real birthday was August 6. 15

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16 and soon was assimilated into the new land (LeCerff). He chose as his wife Matanzas-born Elisa Casado Bernal, by whom he had 14 children. Only seven survived to adulthood: Luis/ Ernestina, Jose, Fernando, Teodoro, Elisa, and Ernesto, the newcomer (LeCerff, 1979). Although not wealthy, Lecuona-Ramos was a hard-working, successful newspaper man, eventually becoming the editor of El Comercio. Elisa was a devoted wife and mother as well as a patriotic Cuban. She supported the revolution taking place, and she never concealed from her husband her dedication and commitment to the rebels' cause. Together with the children, she would invariably wave the Cuban flag in front of the house whenever any of her husband's Spanish friends visited. Elisa would also secretly contribute, with her scarce financial means, to the revolution. It was to this family and amid political tensions that Lecuona came into the world. Early Years: Musical Studies and Achievements Lecuona" s musical genius was discovered at the age of three and a half. His sister Ernestina was now a piano teacher, and at home kept the instrument under lock and key to protect it from her brothers and sisters. Little Ernesto was not to be feared, though, since he was too small to reach the keyboard. One day, while mother Elisa was in the kitchen, she was surprised to hear music being played on the piano. She knew that Ernestina and Elisita, who was now learning piano, were not at home. To her surprise she found young Ernesto at the keyboard. He was playing the bolero "Alia en las lomas" (There on the Hills), continuing with a waltz titled "Isabelita." Both of these works were often played

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17 by Ernestina, and Ernesto had duplicated them exactly. To reach the piano, he had climbed on a box nearby. It was then that Ernestina decided to guide her brother's talent. The musical relationship that was cemented between Ernestina and Ernesto during these early years would last a lifetime. By the age of five, Ernesto had a diverse repertoire of five pieces, among which were "Las campanadas" (The Tolling), "La Marsellesa" (The Marseillaise), and the Cuban national anthem. It was at this tender age that Ernesto Lecuona staged his first recital, standing up at the piano, at Havana's Hispanic Club. The reviews were all extremely favorable, mentioning the child's sure and sensitive playing and big tone. He was labeled a child prodigy. The composer's early general education was received at the school Hoyos y Junco (Martin). While Lecuona was still in school and not yet seven, two important events took place: the establishment of the Republic of Cuba on May 20, 1902, and in that same month, a few days earlier, the death of his father, of a heart attack, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. (His mother was later to marry Pedro Montells Gil.) Two years later, at the age of nine, Ernesto enrolled in the Conservatory Peyrellade. Here he stayed three years furthering his musical education. He continued to study with Antonio Saavedra (pupil of Ignacio Cervantes) and Joaquin Nin (1883-1950), great Cuban-Spanish musicologist and composer. From this period came a few unpretentious piano pieces. By eleven he had written "Cuba y America," a two-step which later entered the repertoire of Cuban military bands (Sperry, 1973). Trying to earn some money for his efforts, the young composer went from door to door selling copies of his first work. He was also,

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19 The year 1922 brought Lecuona his first international success, when he toured America, appearing for eight consecutive weeks at the Capitol Theater in New York. It was there that he introduced "Malaguena" and "Andalucla" (Sargeant, 1947). During the same year Lecuona busied himself with the formation of the Sociedad de Conciertos de la Habana, an organization whose purpose was to further the dissemination of symphonic music in the Island. The group eventually founded the Havana Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Gonzalo Roig. He took the first of what were to be many trips to Spain in 1924. It was a four-month tour as accompanist to violinist Martha de la Torres. In Madrid at the end of his tour, he was contracted to set several libretti to music; the Spanish public loved him. Trip to Paris: Friendship with Lortat, Orloff, and Ravel Lecuona 's first trip to Paris took place in 1928. He performed his works for piano and voice at the theaters Pleyel and Gaveau. It was at this time that he became friends with the pianists Lortat and Orloff, and expressed a wish to study under the former (Sperry, 1973). Sperry relates: "Lortat asked Lecuona to play a prelude by Debussy, Jeux d'eau by Ravel, and some of his own danzas. Whereupon Lortat said that he had nothing to give or contribute to this gifted pianist. In fact, for many years he thought that this incident was a prank planned by their mutual friends" (Sperry, 1973). Orloff was equally impressed. It was also during this visit to Paris that Lecuona became friends with Ravel. He had been invited to spend a few days at the villa of Joaquin Nin in San Juan de Luz. Ravel was invited at the same time. So much was the French composer interested in the Cuban's "La comparsa" and "Danza negra" that he took notes with the purpose of "doing something"

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orchestral with them (Sperry, 1973). Sperry also writes: "Ravel and Lecuona became warm friends and the former once said of Lecuona that he was so struck by the sheer romance and enchantment of his music that he felt that 'Malaguena' was more melodic and beautiful than his own 'Bolero'" (Sperry, 1973, p. 2). Tours of Central America and a Hollywood Experience The successful Paris tour was followed, in 1929, by a tour of Central America, to Panama and Costa Rica. Back in Havana in 1929 Lecuona premiered a series of reviews and zarzuelas which kept him occupied until the end of 1930. They included Nina Rita (1929), La liga de las senoras (the League of Ladies; 1929), and three of his best-known zarzuelas : El cafetal (The Coffee Plantation; 1929), El batey (The Sugar Mill; 1929), and Maria la O (1930), to be discussed later in more detail. The year 1931 brought Lecuona the death of his mother but also great success on his first trip to Mexico, where he presented a series of concerts in the Teatro Fabregas. He was immediately invited back for another series of concerts in 1933. It was during this second trip to Mexico that he was asked to present his zarzuelas there. Bringing a company from Cuba was no easy task, for anyone but Lecuona, that is. By 1934 he had his company set up and premiered El cafetal , Rosa la china (Rosa the Chinese Woman), and Cancion de flor (Flower Song), among several others, in the Iris Theater. In between his trips to Mexico, Lecuona had his first experience with Hollywood. In 1930 he was contracted by Metro Goldwyn Mayer as musical director for the motion picture Under Cuban Skies, with Lupe

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21 Velez and Lawrence Tibbett ("Ernesto Lecuona, Composer of 'Siboney' Is Dead," 1963). Although it was a brilliant social and artistic adventure, the purely cinematographic aspect of it was a disaster, according to Lecuona. "Tibbett was no Cuban, even in jest. Velez was good as a Mexican, not as a Cuban, and there was not a single Cuban landscape in the entire movie" (Ramirez, n.d., p. 94). Immediately after the completion of the music, Lecuona was invited to present a program at Los Angeles' Paramount Theater. It lasted several weeks and was very successful. Under Cuban Skies was the first of several movies with scores or musical numbers by Lecuona. Others included Carnival in Costa Rica , Always in My Heart , bearing the title of the theme song, One More Tomorrow , and Pearl Harbor. 1933: Formation of "Lecuona 's Cuban Boys" and Threats to Lecuona 's Health The formation of the world-renowned Lecuona 's Cuban Boys was the result of a serious double pneumonia contracted by Lecuona during his 1933 visit to Madrid. The seriousness of the illness was such that Cubans and fans all over the world were awaiting the news of his death. The composer's delicate condition made headlines in newspapers throughout the world. During his illness, his orchestra "boys" were touring Spain. When he had recuperated and decided to go back to Cuba for the warm climate, he learned that his boys had received an offer from an European impresario to continue touring. Lecuona advised them to accept it and authorized the use of his name. The year 1933 was not to be one of Lecuona 's most fortunate. While back in Cuba recuperating from the double pneumonia, he seriously injured his left hand, threatening the end of his pianistic career.

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22 Miraculously, the operation on the broken tendon in his thumb healed properly, and a few months later Lecuona was back at the keyboard. The Years 1935-1942 This seven-year period was primarily one of travel. But first Lecuona devoted 1935 to organizing La Orquesta de la Habana, the first of its kind in the capital, and one which would have a long and healthy future (Ramirez, n.d.). From 1936 to 1940 he was on tour through Buenos Aires, giving recitals and playing radio engagements. He also traveled to Chile and Peru. During that time he conducted concerts with symphony orchestras and choruses and led the Lecuona Cuban Boys on tours of Europe, Latin America, and North Africa ("Ernesto Lecuona, Composer of 'Siboney' Is Dead," 1963). During the next couple of years he premiered more zarzuelas and reviews . One of them was the popular La plaza de la catedral ( The Plaza of the Cathedral). The composer suffered another career threat when he broke his right arm in a car accident. He recuperated satisfactorily. Lecuona as Cultural Attache to the Cuban Embassy The year 1943 brought Lecuona his first recognition in the political arena. On March 24, Cuban President Fulgencio Batista appointed Lecuona honorary cultural attache to the Cuban embassy in Washington ("Ernesto Lecuona, Composer of 'Siboney' Is Dead," 1963). Although the composer was certainly not a political figure, he was not above recognizing the concerns of the Cuban people. Always apolitical, he nevertheless would frequently discuss with Fulgencio Batista the need to give some serious thought to reforms to alleviate the plight of those poor, in his native Cuba, that needed help. (Sperry, 1973, p. 3)

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Concerts in the Pan American Union and Carnegie Hall It was on March 31, 1943, in the middle of World War II, that Lecuona presented a concert at Washington's Pan American Union. The audience consisted of diplomatic representatives accredited in Washington. In that same year, on October 10, Lecuona presented a memorable concert in Carnegie Hall, celebrating Cuba's independence day (Sperry, 1973, p.3). At that concert he premiered Rapsodia negra and "Aragon". The program consisted primarily of his own compositions with some by his sister, Ernestina, who also appeared as pianist. The New York Times observed the following morning, The new works, along the same lines as Lecuona 's earlier output, proved like his conducting and pianism, clean-cut and brilliant. ... A large audience received the whole program with fervent enthusiasm. ("Ernesto Lecuona Offers Cuban Program to Celebrate Country's Independence Day," 1943) And Sperry wrote: It might be said, without fear of contradiction, that the capacity of that hall has never been so taxed before, nor since, his memorable appearance on that occasion. (Sperry, 1973, p. 2) Carnival in Costa Rica Two years later, in 1945, Lecuona had renewed his exclusive contract with the Edward B. Marks Corporation when Twentieth Century Fox offered him a contract for musical directorship of the film Carnival in Costa Rica . Since his 1931 experience in Hollywood life had not been a pleasant one, the composer decided not to move to that city while working on the score. Instead, he bought a house on 86th Street in Jackson Heights, New York, and worked from there. The years 1948 to 1950 Lecuona again spent traveling. In 1948 he performed in Washington and New York, where he once more appeared in Carnegie Hall. He toured Florida during some of 1949 and 1950, and went to Madrid towards the end of 1950.

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24 The Last Ten Years — 1953-1963 Madrid was the site of Lecuona's theatrical campaign in 1953. From Cuba he imported many of his collaborators, among them tenor, actor, and director Miguel de Grandy, Ernesto Garcia, Esther Borja, and Mimi Cal. He completed his cast with a few Spaniards, and launched an extremely successful season, opening with El cafetal at the Alvarez Quintero Theater. Lecuona's saddest year was probably 1960, when he was forced, given the political circumstances, to flee his native land. The hopes he had nurtured for his country had all but vanished. At first, he hoped that Fidel Castro might soon succeed where others failed. But these hopes were soon dispelled. Lecuona sought voluntary exile from his beloved land in 1960. At that time he vowed never to play again until his country was free from tyranny of the right or left. (Sperry, 1973, p. 3) After leaving the Island, Lecuona went to Tenerife, Spain, and directed various ensembles, which he took to the Broadway, San Martin, and Ateneo theaters. He established residence in Tampa, Florida, and lived there until his untimely death, at the age of 68, of a heart attack. He had been visiting Tenerife at the time. The date was November 29, 1963. He was buried in The Gate of Heaven Cemetery in New York (LeCerff, 1979). Lecuona wrote in his will that his remains be kept there until Cuba is once again free and sovereign. His remains are then to be taken back to the land he loved and forever interred there (Sperry, 1973). Physical Appearance and Personality Ernesto Lecuona has been described as a melancholic version of the late comedian Zero Mostel ( Newsweek , 1943). Indeed, Jay Nelson Tuck said that Lecuona's press agent once, finding no extra photographs of

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25 the maestro, sent a copy of Mostel's snapshot with Lecuona's name on it to the newspapers. The photo was printed, and the exchange went unnoticed (Sargeant, 1947). Six feet tall and large framed, the composer carried his stature with dignity and natural grace. His hair, jet black, was always immaculately kept. But by far the most attractive feature of Lecuona was his large dark eyes. With a melancholy stare they always appeared to transcend the immediate object in front of him and focus on some distant place that no one else could see. His wonderful smile would brighten his face which, as described by his friends, always carried an expression that seemed to ask, "What smells here?" And then there were always those traces of childhood, the zest for living, and the innocence that were so refreshing to those who knew him. Rarely could one find a soul more affiliated to childhood than that of Lecuona. The precocious artist that he has been matured in the arts, but has conserved, in life, that faith and creative enthusiasm which never gets old prematurely. At home he is talkative, communicative, anecdotal, and maintains that childlike incongruity, that goes from one subject to another, without maintaining the attention or serious order of a narration. (Rosello, 1935, pp. 3-4, trans. Gloria Jacobson) But he did have his moments of Cuban temperament, as the writer of "Jorge Gershwin Lecuona" humorously remarked: Brewing Cuban coffee, for instance, becomes a nerve-wracking Schubert production with him. ("Jorge Gershwin Lecuona," 1943, pp. 97-98) Affable, sincere, and unpretentious, Lecuona was never eager to talk about his successes. He was indifferent to money, even though he was quite a wealthy man. Much of his fortune went to assist maraca players and aspiring cabaret singers, both in Cuba and abroad (Sargeant, 1947).

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26 The artist, for the sake of being, does not have that utilitarian ferocity that translates a theatrical attraction into money. The gold that the world paid to listen to Lecuona, he confided to his innocence, and it dispersed it to all the winds. (Rosello, 1935, p. 3, trans. Gloria Jacobson) Lifestyle Lecuona led an unconventional life. During his stays in Cuba he lived exclusively on farms or ranches in the rural surroundings of Havana. On some of his ranches the composer raised pigs, deer, poultry, birds (he is said to have had a parrot that would sing his song "Noche azul"), fish, and turtles, among many other creatures. He would get up every morning, before any of his servants, and wearing a yarey hat and work clothes, would feed his small zoo, and water, check, and care for his plants and flowers. He was a collector of antiques, ranging from furniture to music boxes, of which he had an extensive collection. He also collected good books, and his personal library contained volumes on world history, music history, biography, theater, poetry, music critiques, and Cuban literature. His favorite poets were Marti, Dario, Juan Ramon Jimenez, and Garcia Lorca, among others. He was even an avid reader of Agatha Christie. Baseball was one of his favorite hobbies, and the composer would watch or listen to all the national championships, from October to February, and to the Major Leagues and World Series from April to October. He also enjoyed poker, dominoes, cooking, and entertaining (LeCerff, 1979).

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27 Friends and Friendships The composer had more than a few friends. When he moved to his most famous ranch, La Comparsa, the first thing he did was to build a cobertizo , a kind of shelter, which he called "La Cobija." This was done to accomodate the hundreds of people he called friends and who would follow him wherever he went. La Cobija was going to be the meeting place of present and future artists, known and unknown, who came to look for advice or for an opportunity to work with the maestro and to be introduced to the public. The gatherings of friends in La Cobija would start at mid-morning and last until midnight, although Lecuona himself would often have gone to sleep by that time (de Grandy). He always had company eating at his table. He would usually cook the meals, which invariably included black beans and rice. And, if his friends were not there, Lecuona was known to sit down with his servants for his meals. Everyone enjoyed his warm personality and interesting conversation (Alvarez, 1979) . Notwithstanding his many friends, Lecuona never found a woman to share his life. But he once humorously remarked, "I'd like to collect American women. They are the most beautiful in the world". ("Ernesto Lecuona, Composer of 'Siboney' Is Dead," 1963). Always a Cuban Due to the extensive traveling, Lecuona was a cosmopolitan man, but only to the extent of adapting himself to surroundings and customs, and for the appreciation of cultural interchanges. In his heart Lecuona was as criollo and tropical as any could claim to be (de Grandy, 1979). In between tours he always eagerly returned to his homeland. Sometimes he

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28 would get homesick in the middle of a tour and come back to the sun and palm trees that had become such a part of him. His music was for Cuba and about Cuba, and on more than one occasion he spoke of his love and devotion to the tropical island. He was a Cuban, in his music and in his deeds, to his last day. Lecuona the Musician If the personal side of Lecuona' s life showed traces of eccentricity, so did the musical. Although an electrifying pianist who would hypnotize audiences, Lecuona rarely practiced. For about 42 years now, his sister and teacher, Ernestina, has been trying to get him to practice. But he is strictly a man of moods and won't go near the instrument unless his muse is upon him. ("Jorge Gershwin Lecuona," 1943, p. 97) But his performances were, nevertheless, faultless. Lecuona sits on the bench and runs over the keyboard as though caressing an old friend. Most of the difficulties of execution seem to leave by themselves, as though the instrument were a tamed monster. When he is finished, el maestro salutes, and not a hair of his head has changed places. (Rosello, 1935, p. 4) Even more peculiar than his failure to practice was the fact that he never touched the piano while composing. Friends recall his indefatigable jotting of notes in a hotel room, at a card table, or in a restaurant, and almost never making a change. He would often send compositions to publishers without having heard or played them ( "Ernesto Lecuona, Composer of 'Siboney' Is Dead," 1963). The composer maintained that he did not need to play them because he knew how they sounded — in his head (de Grandy, 1979). Lecuona loved it all; his life was his career. "Lecuona lived a happy life because he lived doing what he wanted . . . doing what he loved" (de Grandy, 1979).

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29 Fans, Friends, and Honors During his lifetime Ernesto Lecuona was surrounded by friends and fans wherever he went. A warm, kind, and affectionate man, he was always on the lookout for the well being of those he knew and loved, and they, in return, showered him with respect and admiration. He befriended the wealthy and the poor, always finding gentle words for all who came in contact with him (Grenet, 1979). With tears in their eyes, friends and colleagues lovingly remember e_l maestro , who furthered their careers but, most of all, was a trustworthy friend. Lecuona creates a legion of singers that adore him, but it is not easy to maintain harmony in this great family. Lecuona achieves it, always affectionate, always patient, year after year, dedicating to each singer the next romanza , the next song, making them feel that it was especially for them. (Ayala, 1981, p. 136, trans. Gloria Jacobson) During his serious illness in Madrid, Cuba mourned and prayed for his recovery. His sister Ernestina was accosted by visitors and phone calls of known and unknown friends who wanted to know how Lecuona's recovery was progressing. Miguel de Grandy, who was with Lecuona in Madrid at that time recalls : I was playing at the theater two blocks away from Lecuona ' s flat. Every hour I would pay someone to go and find out how the maestro was doing. Our worry was beyond words, (de Grandy, 1979) Later on, when a man named Ricardo Lecuona was killed in a Colombian airplane accident, radio stations all over Central and South America went off the air for a silent minute of mourning, under the mistaken impression that it was Ernesto who had been killed. Like Mark Twain reading his own obituary, Lecuona said, "The news of my death has been somewhat exaggerated" (Ramirez, n.d. , p. 87).

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30 Following Lecuona's death, Spain proclaimed days of mourning for the composer who had sung the glories of that land, and many city and town streets were named after him (Sperry, 1973). Cuba honored Lecuona with the Gran Cruz de (Great Cross of) Carlos Manuel de Cespedes ; the municipality of Havana with the Medal la de (Medal of) la Habana ; and the municipality of Guanabacoa with the title "Hi jo Eminente " (Eminent Son). There stands in Miami, Florida, in Crandon Park, an impressive marble and bronze monument, erected in memory of the composer. It was completed in 1968, through the generous contributions of Lecuona's friends in exile. At the official ceremonies of the day, April 21 was designated hereafter as Ernesto Lecuona Day each year by the mayor and his official family. This signal honor was never before bestowed on any composer from a foreign country. (Sperry, 1973, p. 3) At the small ceremony which took place at the time, friends and colleagues spoke of the maestro in these words, reported by Rosell (n.d., p. 27), translated by Gloria Jacobson) , which summarize the feelings of those who knew him: And that world of God, where your music, hugging the Cuban flag, brought joy to its people, that world, maestro, will remember you till eternity. (Osvaldo Farres) Lecuona, contrary to the main character in his popular danza, did not "go never to return,' because his memory lives and will continue to live in us, while his music, rhythmic expression of our Cuba, will continue to be heard under all the skies of the world." (Carlitos Robreno)

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31 And that is probably the greatest honor that Lecuona has ever received. His music continues to be played everywhere the Cuban spirit lives, and everywhere his songs have touched. And even in those places where the name Lecuona is unknown, one can hear the strains of his many popular works, being sung in the native language, by persons of all creeds and backgrounds. Lecuona 's music has been limited by no race, people, or national boundaries.

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CHAPTER IV SONGS Introduction Lecuona was a tireless songwriter, composing more than 200 songs, spanning his entire career. It was through the wide appeal of many of his songs that Lecuona became known in the international arena. His "Siboney," "Canto Carabali" (Carabali Song), "Always in My Heart," and "Noche azul" (Blue Night) are known the world over. You will seldom meet an American who is unfamiliar with his durable song hits. Some of them are such old familiar tunes that people are always attributing them vaguely to some long dead classical composer. Others are constantly nudging the top numbers on each year's hit parade. (Sargeant, 1947, p. 152) A number of his songs were, at the outset, written for his zarzuelas and stage works; but their popularity was so great that they became independent entities, completely disassociated from the original context. A few examples are "Canto Carabali" and "Siboney." Other songs have been created from many of the composer's popular piano music, such as "Malaguefia" ("At the Crossroads"), "Andalucia" ("The Breeze and I"), and "Para Vigo me voy" ("Say Si Si"). These songs will not be dealt with in the present chapter, but in the one covering Lecuona' s piano music. This chapter will look exclusively at original songs and those that have been extracted from his zarzuelas and stage works, where such works are not available for study. 32

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33 Characteristics of Songs Most of Lecuona's songs may be classified in the several genres characteristic of Cuban songs. We find boleros , criollas , danzas, canciones , and pregones . There are also berceuses and caprices. In this paper, the works will be studied under their particular categories, with a brief prior discussion of the texts, melodies, and accompaniment. The Texts As stated in the previous chapter, Ernesto Lecuona was a poetry aficionado, well-read and familiar with the poets of the day. Many of the texts are verses by well-known poets, enhancing the appealing melodies. As Pedro Machado Castro, music critic, writes: His Cuban songs form an unending rosary of beautiful melodies, crowned with literary texts, admirable ones, which result in great balance between the greatness of the music and the inspiration of the verses in such cases. (Ramirez, n.d. , p. 195) Among the many poets whose words Lecuona set to music are Gustavo S. Galarraga (librettist for most of his zarzuelas , to be discussed later in more depth) , Campoamor, Jose Angel Buesa, Jacinto Benavente, Heine, Rosario Sensores, Mary Morandeyra, and Blanco Fombona. Following are a few examples of those poems. They have been translated into English by this writer, but it should be understood that they are only literal translations. To appreciate the value of the texts, one must make the effort to read them in the original version. "Hastio" "Boredom" Ya todo lo he vivido I have lived everything Y solo siento ansias And only eagerness I feel De que termine la Jornada. For the journey to end Para sentir ya no me queda nada, I have nothing left to feel with, Todo lo devoro mi pensamiento. My thoughts have devoured all. Mi corazon, fogoso y turbulento My fiery and turbulent heart Es hoy hoguera exhausta y apagada, Is today an exhausted fire, Y mi voz, melancolica y cansada And my voice, melancholic and tired, Solo exhala las preces Only exhales the prayers of the del momento. moment. ! h

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34 No hay un camino que mi afan encienda Porque se que despues de cada senda Se oculta el desencanto. Y solo espera mi fatigado corazon de nino La mano fervorosa de un carifio, Que me cierre los ojos cuando muera. (words by Galarraga) And this beauty by Campoamor: "Nunca te perdonare" Ya que este mundo abandono Antes de dar cuenta a Dios , Aqui para entre los dos, Mi confesion te dire: Con todo el alma perdono, Hasta los que siempre he odiado. lY a tx que tanto te he amado! Nunca te perdonare. And, by Mary Morandeyra: "Yo compadezco" Yo compadezco los corazones Que no quisieron nunca sofiar. Arpas de marmol, liras inertes, Que no supieron vibrar jamas. Yo compadezco los corazones Que no quisieron nunca llorar, Los que vivieron anestesiados Por los placeres y la maldad, Los que murieron sin recordar. Yo compadezco los corazones Que no quisieron amar jamas There is no road that will wake my enthusiasm, For I know that, beyond each trail, Hides disenchantment. And my tired, childish heart only awaits The warm hand of a love, That will close my eyes upon death. "I Will Never Forgive You" Given that this world I abandon, Before settling with God, Here, with just the two of us, I my confession will tell you: With all my soul I forgive, Even those I have always hated. And you, whom I have loved so much! You I will never forgive. "I Pity" I pity those hearts That never wanted to dream. Marble harps, inert lyres, That never knew how to vibrate. I pity those hearts That never wanted to cry, The ones who lived anaesthetized By the pleasures and the wickedness, Those that died without memories. I pity those hearts That never wanted to love. We find, amid Lecuona's output, two collections of works for piano and voice. One of the collections sets to music the Versos sencillos (Simple Verses) of the Cuban poet-revolutionary Jose Marti. It is made up of eight poems, including the famous "Una rosa blanca" (A White Rose) . The other collection is based on the poems of Juana de Ibarbourou and includes the well-known children's song and lullaby, "La Senora luna" (Lady Moon) .

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35 "La Senora Luna" "Lady Moon" La senora Luna Lady Moon Le pidio al naranjo Asked the orange tree Un vestido verde For a green dress Y un vestido bianco. And a white dress. La senora Luna Lady Moon Se quiere casar Wants to marry Con un pajecito A little page boy De la casa real From the royal house. Duermete Natacha Sleep, Natasha E iras a la boda And you'll go to the wedding, Peinada de mono Your hair combed high Y en traje de cola And with a long-trail dress. Lecuona himself was a fine poet and he set many of his own verses to music. His inspiration derived mainly from rivers, birds, flowers, cities, and geographical regions. Consequently we find songs titled "Pheasant," "Peacock," "Chrysanthemum," "Gardenia," "Madrigal," "Costa Rica," and "Valencia mora." And then there are his love songs, some of which have become standards in the Spanish language repertoire, such as his "Noche azul." Melodies Lecuona' s melodic gift was probably unparalled, as far as Cuban composers go. He produced some of the most attractive combinations of notes written before or after his time. It is quite difficult to form generalizations about the melodies, given that they were all so unique and individual in their character. But it is safe to make a few statements about them. For the most part, Lecuona' s melodies are within the reach of any fine singer, although he tends to favor the higher registers, and some parts are actually quite demanding. Nevertheless, we find melodies written for all vocal ranges.

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36 For example, the very singable "Por eso te quiero," shown in Figure 1, achieves its beauty with a series of rather close intervals within the range of a ninth. In other songs, such as "Aguinaldos blancos" (White Aguinaldo Flower), quoted in Figures 2, 3, and 4, the range spreads out to one and a half octaves. It is a work full of charm and elegance. The composer's melodies are generally melodic. A good example is his famous "Noche azul" (Figure 5). There are a few exceptions, however, among which is the one appearing in Figure 6, "Lamento africano" (African Lament). Accompaniment Lecuona's songs were all written with piano accompaniment. Since the accompaniments were usually played by himself or his sister Ernestina, an excellent musician, the composer felt comfortable writing quite demanding parts. The obvious disadvantage today is the difficulty in finding two able performers to carry out the songs successfully . The selection in Figure 7 illustrates the point. Note in the previous example the octave passages which also appear in "Cancion del amor triste" (Song of Sad Love) towards the end (Figure 8) and in the last six measures (Figure 9). Added difficulties in the same song are the sudden dynamic contrasts, which range from pp to fff, as well as continuous changes in time and key signatures. "Balada de amor" (Love Ballad), appearing in Figure 10, is another good example of Lecuona's piano writing. Within the space of a few measures there is a wide range of dynamics.

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37 •n mt»di-a» daou3«n ca .iMUMknriy n
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38 Sip-^f^eA-gut..i^t.C — ctos co— lor u-o* Ca.r-<*« ae y*. • '* — 3
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39 Figure 3. Lecuona, "Aguinaldos blancos," Measures 45-48

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40 g-LLi. — r,*.i — txea — Figure 4. Lecuona, "Aguinaldos blancos," Measures 81-87

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41 jw cJ**-*uJ _?<_*» -"f «/jm ^-v?*. l««-yv cm.r \ faj i i Hf g j g ? ii 1 1 i ram/ra dm jhi* r *_^ a^r ^omm 4 .«/ ca-j-m*oji dJfa wj £» am amlor Figure 5. Lecuona, "Noche azul," Measures 3-11

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42 Canto (?) Figure 6. Lecuona, "Lamento africano," Measures 6-21

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43 D«coy — ti — go ove-rosCo doiptd.rpor £* >ye_£*-llo so/a coy rpi dolor £» Figure 7. Lecuona, "En noches de luna," Measures 1-10

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44 Figure 8. Lecuona, "Cancion del amor triste," Measures 60-70

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45 Figure 9. Lecuona, "Canci5n del amor triste," Measures 84-90

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46 Figure 10. Lecuona, "Balada de amor," Measures 16-31

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47 But in his writings, Lecuona was not always eager to impress with his pianistic technique. In many of his songs he appropriately uses a simple accompaniment to complement or enhance the melody line. For instance, looking back at "Aguinaldos blancos" one finds verses dealing with love at Christmas time. In the piano part Lecuona adeptly imitates the continuous and awesome toll of cathedral bells (Figure 11). Types of Songs Boleros The bolero , a dance of undisputed Spanish origin, appeared on the Island at the beginning of the nineteenth century. But the Cuban bolero has little connection with its Spanish counterpart. After its introduction to Cuba, it was acclimated to the new environment. Its original three-four time was promptly changed to the favorite two-four time of the Island. Its form became standardized, consisting of a brief introduction followed by two allegretto parts of sixteen to thirty-two measures each, although there are not any exact rules concerning their dimensions. The rhythmic pattern of the bolero varies among the forms, although not to a great extent. The most widely used and characteristic pattern in its initial stages was Ml 2 It was later changed to include the cinquillo and tresillo figures. cinquillo:

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48 "IOO£/?A>ro: Sy-treA-gLu.-rjaX — seas co—ior ae >ji* — Figure 11. Lecuona, "Aguinaldos blancos," Measures 1-17

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49 tresillo: The boleros found in Lecuona's output, as well as in many Latin American dances, made use of the following pattern, among the others: which is another way of writing the cinquillo, and Notwithstanding the rhythmic pattern, what probably characterizes a bolero more than anything else is its spirit or mood. The bolero ... is always lyrical, playful, and a merriment which endeavors to send primordial bubbles through it. When a trace of truth mars its perennial smile, this smile suddenly emerges again with greater strength. (Grenet, 1937, p. 39) Some of Lecuona's boleros represent classic examples of the form. Among them are "Se fue," "Aquella tarde," "Por un beso de tu boca," and the second section of the popular "Como arrullo de palmas." In "Por un beso de tu boca" (For a Kiss from Your Lips) the two patterns described above are found interchanged throughout the song. (Figure 12) The same is the case in the typical bolero , "Se fue" (She Left), in Figure 13. In the well-known "Como arruyo de palmas" (Like the Whispers of Palm Trees), Lecuona strictly adheres to the J" I J JJ J pattern (Figure 14).

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50 * JL-0~-~ fl .liy^j l * .. ' ' g ! I J n life | |; | | _ j | 8 I _' I S 3 ') K> J«<&'fcfcfc * P* * — /" ^BS ^ r=r Efefe ^ Figure 12. Lecuona, "Por un beso de tu boca," Measures 1-21

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51 TFO. JZF SQ2JPJ70 Figure 13. Lecuona, "Se fue," Measures 1-17

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52 BoLaro {Unto) Figure 14. Lecuona, "Como arruyo de palmas," Measures 20-37

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53 Criollas Another group of Lecuona's songs falls into the category of criollas , short for cancion criolla (creole song) . Derived from the canto de clave , which was in turn a black creation, the criolla is a genre which shows the influence of both the Spanish melody and the African rhythm. Emilio Grenet provides a clear description of the form of the criolla ; It consists of a brief introduction and two parts generally of sixteen measures each in which the phrases attain two or four measures. The extension of each part is not, however, limited to a determined number of measures, nor is its modal aspect limited. The measure is six-eight, and the air is slow and cantable. (Grenet, 1937, p. 41) The rhythmically interesting feature of the criolla is the hemiola effect created by the juxtaposition of six-eight figures in the melody against the three-four in the accompaniment. Some of Lecuonas's songs in this form are "Bajo el claro de la luna" (Under the Light of the Moon), quoted in Figure 15, "Nada tengo de ti" (I Have Nothing from You), and "Hastio" (Boredom). The criolla often appears in combination with other genres, particularly the bolero . The criolla appears in the first part. Lecuona's "Aquella tarde" is a fine example of the so-called "criolla-bolero. " Figure 16 is a section of the criolla part. "Como arrullo de palmas," discussed earlier as an example of the boleros , also fits into the category of "criolla-bolero." One of the reasons the criollas are paired with the boleros is, according to Grenet, "to attenuate the harshness of its (the bolero's) rhythmical yoke" (Grenet, 1939, p. 26).

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54 yoz Figure 15. Lecuona, "Bajo el claro de la luna," Measures 7-19

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55 Hod vote Figure 16. Lecuona, "Aquella tarde," Measures 1-20

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56 Danzas Danzas are yet another category in Lecuona's song output. These, which originally developed from the contradanza and were later superceded by the danzon , are in two-part form. The introduction is made up of eight measures, repeated to make a total of sixteen. The second part is usually thirty-two measures. It is in two-four time and makes frequent use of the cinquillo rhythmic pattern: The larger instrumental form will be discussed in more detail in the chapter on piano music. Suffice it to say that some examples of the composer's danzas for voice and piano are "Munequita," "Andar," and "Aqul est a." Canciones Another group is labeled simply canciones (songs), and the works comprised are extremely varied in character. They are all, nonetheless, romantic, with a touch of dramaticism, which sets them apart from the other genres. The canciones have not achieved a particular characteristic form, admits Grenet. It uses the most varied forms for its expression, employing rhythmic measures of three-four, six-eight, quadruple, or twofour time. This expression is tender, plaintive, melancholy, sentimental, romantic, and it is developed in the most measured harmonic environment. There are at times agreeable modulative surprises aided by a slow and dramatic style which follows classical technique in expression. (Grenet, 1939, p. 27) "Noche azul" is probably one of Lecuona's best-known canciones. Also popular are "Sefior jardinero" (Mr. Gardener), "Te quiero morena" (I Love You, Brunette), and "Corazon: no pidas mas" (Heart: Don't Ask for More) .

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57 Pregones The pregon is probably the most characteristic Cuban genre. It is the name given to the chant of the common street vendor or peddler, while he announces the goods and quality of the goods for sale. "The intonation of the voice announcing an article acquires a clear profile, producing real musical periods" (Grenet, 1939, p.41) Cuban musicians have always been inspired by pregones , and some of the Island's most famous and loved songs fall in this category. "El manisero" (The Peanut Vendor) by Moises Simons has toured the world. Lecuona also felt drawn to the pregones of the Cuban vendors and adapted them to music. He created some of the most picturesque and at the same time nostalgic views of the common peddler on the streets of the Island. Ayala asks concerning Lecuona' s pregones , "How could anyone purify, sophisticate, and elegantly dress the popular music without losing its character?" (Ayala, 1981, p. 138). Four of his best-known pregones are in a collection which includes "El pirulero" (The Candy Vendor), "El frutero" (The Fruit Vendor), "El dulcero" (The Pastry Vendor), and "El pulpero" (The Fruit-Pulp Vendor). The texts of the pregones are usually humorous and piquant. It must be remembered that the peddler's song was aimed at the housewives, who were home alone during the day. Following is the text of "El frutero," by Sanchez-Galarraga, translated by this author. El frutero The Fruit Vendor Yo llevo pifias sabrosas I carry delicious pineapples Y con doraditas conchitas. With golden skins. Esas pinas yo las llevo Those pineapples I carry Para las ninas bonitas For pretty girls. Tambien llevo calabaza I also carry pumpkin Con otras frutas mezcla'os Mixed in with other fruits. Esas no son para las ninas; Those are not for the girls Son pa' sus enamora'os But for their lovers.

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58 Tambien yo llevo naranjas, Y argunas(sic) las llevo secas. Esas son para las viejas, Para las viejas cluecas. Caserita, sal que tengo Muchas frutas en sason. Soy el frutero que llevo Mamoncillo y rico anon. Soy frutero, caserita sal. Medio tablero doy por un real, Y a ti caserita te lo dare Si te sonries como yo se. Ya se va, si senor, El frutero ya se va. Caserita pronto sal Si le quieres tu comprar. Que llevo los mamoncillo y el canitel, Y llevo tambien las naranjas de la China 6 del Cajel Y el rico mamey. Y llevo tambien anon Tan dulce por su sabor. Ay casera sal Que ya el frutero se va. Ay, que si senor, Que ya yo me voy Si tu no me quieres Comprarme na' . I also carry oranges, And some I carry dry. These are for the old ladies, For the flirting old ladies. Little housewife, come out for I have Many fruits in season. I'm the fruit vendor who sells Mamoncillo and tasty anon. I'm the fruit vendor, little housewife; come out. Half a flat I sell for a dime, And to you, little housewife, I'll give it If you smile, as I know you do. He's leaving, yes sir, The fruit vendor's leaving. Little housewife, come out soon If you want to buy from him. I carry mamoncillo and canitel And also oranges I carry From China or from Cajel, And the tasty mamey. And I also carry anon Tasting so very sweet. Ay, housewife, come out For the fruit vendor is leaving. Ay, yes sir, I'm already leaving If you don't want To buy anything from me. Musically the preg5n is in two-four and is characterized by a rapid progression of, most likely, eighth or sixteenth notes. This parallels the fast delivery of words of the peddlers. The note range is usually narrow with intervals no greater than a fourth. With many repeated notes, they are accurate approximations of the chant-like intonations of the street vendors (Figure 17). The accompaniment, as seen in that example, is usually unobtrusive, although sometimes one can find the bolero rhythm in the bass, as is the case in "El frutero " (Figure 18). Many of these pregones , it must be said, have been standardized to the point that they are passed on from generation to generation without suffering any major changes.

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59 TuU\ uava caidaa-saseaya&wJjvhxjntsa /as jpj/ksjanai ia r a-na tM jwdtajif j'/l*YOJiaJ-anjasjarguMs/aslle-ro se-cas J^sts sopjH'j-a las r/e-jas jpa-r* /as yae-jasetue -cjls. Case jj-ltjaJpr k/wjfttcfajJTiitdSWsa'S&fsere/jsar/ejv&Ui-Yajqayiia Figure 17. Lecuona, "El frutero," Measures 17-32

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60 .& ^:a> Figure 18. Lecuona, "El frutero," Measures 4-16

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61 Summary Lecuona's song output may be summarized with one phrase: unmistakably Cuban. He did write a few songs labeled "berceuse," "impromptu," and "caprice," definitely inspired by the Romantic movement taking place abroad. However, there are so few such examples that a detailed discussion is immaterial to the task at hand. The overwhelming majority of his compositions for voice were rooted in and inspired by the Cuban land and its people. What makes Lecuona's songs so unmistakably Cuban? Of foremost musical significance is his use of native rhythms and forms, which he applies accurately and tastefully. But more important to the man on the street is that inherent Cuban character and flavor that permeates his output . In Lecuona, Cubanism is a deep current that flows like an emotional sap throughout his work. One of his songs, the least rhythmic, which unfolds itself without a sensual cadence or suggestion of syncopation is indefinably Creole. It is enough to hear it, in any part of the world, to identify its origin. A work of Lecuona, announcing its simple song without the complementary left hand, expresses the entire tropics. No one would mistake its affiliation or derivation. (Rosello, 1935, p. 2, trans. Gloria Jacobson) Lecuona's songs are a good illustration of the composer's romantic nature. He searched for texts that were filled with human emotions and feelings. Banal subjects had no place in his output. Further evidence of romanticism is the extreme dynamic markings and tempo changes that invariably appear throughout the songs. It may be safely stated that, although Lecuona's songs are not landmarks in the history of the genre, their worldwide appeal rests on the composer's ability to use the old, the traditional, the loved, to create new and fresh means of expression. He gave a face lift to the time-honored musical forms.

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CHAPTER V PIANO MUSIC Introduction Lecuona's music for piano constitutes the most exciting, varied, and representative genre of his entire output. Because of its importance, an attempt must be made to understand those factors which contributed towards its form and character as we know it today. Lecuona was an accomplished pianist from his earliest years. His future in the concert world was practically assured when he decided to devote himself to the performance of his own works. This chapter seems the ideal place to relate the reasons for the composer's choice, which was to influence the quality of his output so greatly. The Afro-Cuban influence on Lecuona's music has been pointed out repeatedly. It permeated almost every work, becoming such an inherent part of the composer's music to the point of being considered one and the same. Before embarking on the analysis of the literature, it is therefore appropriate to expound briefly in this chapter on the meaning of the term and its specific place in the music of Cuba. Lecuona as Composer and Performer of his Own Works Long before Lecuona's transition to composer and performer of his own music, he was a serious interpreter of the classic repertoire. The reviews of the times and the observations made by the established pianists of the epoch attest to the fact that he was well on his way to fame as a performer. Hubert de Blanck admitted, as early as 1913, ". . . he's a player of extraordinary brilliancy, a perfect temperament, 62

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and of great value" (Ramirez, n.d. , p. 13). Emilio Agramonte was even more effusive in his praise. I have heard all the great pianists from Liszt to Thalberg. Lecuona is a complete artist. He has temperament, easy and nimble fingers. A surprising mechanism and a left hand similar to Rubenstein and Lavine (sic). His touch is pure and clean like that of Joseph Hoffman. (Ramirez, n.d., p. 13) It may be recalled that the maestro 1 s graduating piece at the Conservatory was Schumann's A Minor Concerto. Before, and also long after that recital, Lecuona would primarily select works from the classical repertoire to form his numerous programs. Only at the end of the performance would he add one or two of his own compositions for the audiences to hear. His future, then, seemed paved for success as a pianist of world renown. He could have appeared in all the world's stages, and today his name would be among the universe's performers, but he was too much of a composer and, most of all, too much of a Cuban for that. (Ayala, 1981, p. 136, trans. Gloria Jacobson) Ayala is completely correct in his observation. Lecuona was too much of a composer and a Cuban. The maestro certainly did not reject the idea of becoming a well-known performer; but he wanted to use his pianistic ability to do what he enjoyed most. His dream was to become an interpreter of his own works, which were indeed far from the classical repertoire in which he had been brought up. Lecuona recalled: I had the ambition of being unique, my own. To be Lecuona: theater, danzas, songs, and piano of Lecuona. To be it in my country, and in Spain, Argentina, Norway, China, Japan, Australia, Russia, .... (Ramirez, n.d., p. 17) What were the reasons for the road finally taken, for the abandonment of the virtuoso route, which had proved to be so easy and accessible to Lecuona?

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64 First, Lecuona felt great admiration, almost to the point of infatuation, for the American Louis Gottschalk. Interesting parallels may be drawn between the early musical genius and rise to fame of both composers. Lecuona was particularly interested in Gottschalk' s music, in his use of Afro-Caribbean rhythms, Creole melodies, and virtuoso passagework. He also admired the composer's full dedication to the performance of his own works. Gottschalk had been mentioned in the same breath as Liszt and Thalberg, just as Lecuona had been later. And Gottschalk had relinquished the call to fame and followed his intuition. This was probably the first push Lecuona received, however indirectly, towards his goal. Second, the Cuban environment was very limited in terms of opportunities to develop the musical potential of a pianist trained in the classical arena. Unfortunately, there were no societies or organizations that would provide scholarships for study abroad of talented students. Lecuona did not have the means to take his musical education upon himself. The third problem, competition and financial difficulties, was corroborated by Lecuona. I was an artist dedicated seriously to the "serious" piano literature, classic and modern. . . . But I realized that my fight to universalize myself as a strict piano concertizer was going to be terrible, my name not ending in "wsky" or in another strange combination of letters. I did not have fortune or revenues, or anything like that to live on, except my inspiration and my hands of a pianist. (Ramirez, n.d. , p. 16) Fourth, Lecuona liked applause and, from the very start, "I noticed that even in concert halls, when Lecuona interpreted Lecuona, the public, equally in Havana, Madrid, or Paris, vibrated with enthusiasm" (Ramirez, n.d, p. 16).

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65 Although even up to 1932 the composer added classical works to his repertoire, the trend towards popular music had already been established. It may be recalled that while still eleven, the young pianist accompanied singers of the day in segments from zarzuelas and other popular music. It was at that time that he began to manifest a promising melodic talent, very popular and very Cuban. The various works of his own that he included at the end of recitals were received with frenetic enthusiasm, not only because of their brilliant execution but because of the Cubanism they represented. The decisive break came in 1932. He was then touring Spain, with the soprano Maria Fantoli, presenting concerts of his own works for piano and voice. The audiences loved it, and the critics gave glowing reviews. Lecuona decided it was the time to make his definitive move. Notwithstanding his success from then on, the maestro never refused to play from the classical repertoire when asked to. This giant of music was so humble that he never resented a suggestion at a private gathering that he play Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and his response was invariably gracious and cooperative. He would play any composer's piece without a tinge of feeling that his should have preference. Without fail, his admirers and friends would insist that he cap the evening's entertainment with his own tunes. (Sperry, 1973, p. 2) Although the definitive transition came rather late in the composer's career, Lecuona was elated. What he had always dreamed had finally become reality: Lecuona was interpreting Lecuona. Afro -Cubanism The general feelings of the white community in the first years of the Republic were reflected in hostile observations made by musicologists of the time concerning the presence of black rhythms in Cuban

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66 music. Blacks had already been granted their freedom by then. But the same country which was trying to parallel the cultural currents of the time showed little, if any respect for its black population. Indeed, in many ways blacks were severely repressed, as was the case with their religious celebrations and other cultural expressions. Up to that time, the blacks in the Island were conserving a poetic and musical tradition which, unknown to them, would later be analyzed and scrutinized by historians and musicologists everywhere. The purity of many of those traditions was questionable. The freed slaves in the nineteenth century had, of their own will, rapidly acculturated into the Cuban-Spanish way of life. Many of these blacks would deal exclusively with the music of the whites and would refuse to play the role of blacks in the stage works of the time. But it was difficult to relinquish those enculturated rhythms that were so much a part of their heritage. At the same time, it must not be forgotten, ships kept unloading black laborers, fresh from the African homelands. Those blacks, in contrast to their freed counterparts , had little if any contact with the outside world. To some, the boundaries of their master's farm would be as far as they would ever go. Their work was made less arduous by the singing of their traditional songs, which were passed on to the younger generation. Furthermore, the blacks were frequently required to dance their dances and sing their songs for the white overlords, who believed it to be good for their health. Most of the songs and dances were religious in nature. From the beginning of the nineteenth century to its end, an AfroCuban secular music developed. It came to the attention of the white population through the public performances given by lower class benefit

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67 societies. Largely Negro, although not exclusively, these societies appeared in public, dancing, singing, and drumming, on such feast days as Epiphany. They would wear elaborate masks and costumes at these performances. The sound and rhythms of the African drum fascinated the white population and, at the end of the century, Spanish melodies were superimposed on the secular Afro-Cuban music, and the guitar was added to the drums, producing, in the words of Ortiz, 'love affairs of the Spanish guitar with the African drum. The dances and rhythms that resulted from this mingling — the rumba , conga, son, and bolero -spread to much of the world. (McGaffy, Wyatt, and Barnett, 1962, p. 223) As stated before, though, whites in early twentieth-century Cuba were still not ready to accept the contributions of the blacks, and the Afro-Cuban movement was violently received. But it did not take long for the fever to cool down. After all, that was the time when Stravinsky, in his revolutionary Rite of Spring , was making use of a barrage of complex and interesting rhythms. Milhaud had already been influenced by the Brazilian sambas , and the Mexican painter Diego Rivera y de Orozco had impressed Cuban intellectuals with the possibility of tapping their local Creole cultural resources. And suddenly, all eyes turned to the Negro. That is the way that the Afro-Cuban tendency was born, that for more than ten years would feed poems, novels, folkloric, and sociological studies. In many cases, the extent was to the superficial and peripheral, to the 'negro under the sunintoxicated palm trees,' but that constituted a necessary step to the better understanding of certain poetic, musical, ethnic, and social factors that had contributed to giving a unique character to the Creole. (Carpentier, 1946, p. 236, trans. Gloria Jacobson)

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68 Danzas Best known in Lecuona's piano repertoire are his three sets of danzas ; Af ro-Cubanas , Cubanas , and A la antigua ( "Nineteenth-Century Cuban Dances"). As Grenet correctly states, "His production in this genre constitutes the most interesting manifestation of this highly popular composer" (Grenet, 1939, p. 31). The ballroom danza as a form developed from the contradanza, as described earlier. The contradanza (from the English "country dance") was imported to Cuba by the French in the eighteenth century. It belonged to the typical square dances where all the couples in the ballroom collaborated to form different figures. The danza , however, was danced independently by couples. Its form was two-part, the second of which was a sharp contrast in character to the first. In two-four time, it was a rapid dance, full of joy and gaiety. It is probably the tempo, unsuited to the warm tropical climate, that caused the danza to be replaced eventually by the danzon , in a slower rhythm. The danza disappeared completely. It was instead stylized and placed in concert halls, with little remaining of its original relationship to the dance. Lecuona was one of a few composers to produce in this new form. Ernesto Lecuona has enriched the genre with his abundant production and has redeemed it definitely from the dance steps. His control of piano technique makes him dally with delicious sonorities of a realism which is at times surprising and in which the idea bubbles in the impenetrability of a rhythm which is uncontrollable, dominating, and obsessing. (Grenet, 1939, p. 31)

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69 Danzas Afro-Cubanas 1. "La conga de medianoche" 2. "Danza negra" 3. "Y la negra bailaba" 4. "Danza de los Sanigos" 5. "Danza Lucuml" 6. "La comparsa" The obsessing rhythm of which Grenet speaks is best exemplified in "La comparsa." A comparsa is a traditional procession which takes place yearly during the Carnival season in Cuba. Thousands of Negroes and mulattos dance down the streets, singing their exotic melodies to the accompaniment of rhythm instruments. Composers have always tried to capture the spirit of these festive times. In his danza , which Lecuona wrote at the early age of fifteen, the composer carefully depicts the gradual approach of the comparsa . After developing it through all the climactic moments of the second part, the music begins to diminish. The parade is disappearing in the distance, and its last sounds get lost in a melancholy diminuendo. As Ayala writes, "'La comparsa' is music that describes; it is a symphonic poem, probably the most compact one ever written" (Ayala, 1981, p. 138, trans. Gloria Jacobson) The persistent rhythm of the African drum is heard continuously through the danza , imbuing the work with the liveliness and gaity typical of the Cuban comparsa s (Figure 19). The effect is even more dramatic in the climactic second half, in a new key (Figure 20). The same rhythmic fervor may be observed in "Danza Lucuml," which, along with "La comparsa" and "Danza negra," captures the Carnival spirit so well. The Lucumis were the Cuban descendants of the Nigerian Yoruba. They brought to Cuba their complex religious beliefs and their drums, which were an integral part of their religious ritual, Santerla Lucuml.

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70 Modernto Oi"

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71 <5 * * , _-* *•

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72 Figure 21 illustrates a portion of the frantic music. Note the repeated rhythmic pattern in the bass. It is the J jj ! ~j I bolero rhythm. It is a work of unequalled feverish excitement. The constant and sudden changes in dynamics clearly evoke the soulful expression of the participants. Another interesting work in the suite is the "Danza de los ftafiigos." The Ranigos were members of a cult which maintained its unique religion, worship, customs, and rituals, even after their arrival in Cuba. There was a certain kind of fear and mysticism associated with the flanigos, which Winthrop Sargeant describes: Upper class Cubans sometimes frighten their children by telling them the Sanigos will get them if they are not good. The Cuban police keep the ftafiigo tribal rituals under surveillance and are ready to pounce the minute there is a change from harmless voodoo to political agitation. Once a year, at Carnival time, the Raiiigos come into the open as the big event of the Cuban comparsas. . . .The streets of Havana stream with joyous throngs of fantastically costumed Negroes, prancing along to drumming and chanting that sounds as though it came straight from the heart of Africa. (Sargeant, 1947, p. 151) In "Danza de los Rariigos , " it seems that Lecuona wants to express that yearly moment of elation when the Hanigos can openly sing of themselves. The composition opens with no more than a pp passage of constant hand crossing, shown in Figure 22. It all builds to an almost uncontrollable fff strepitoso, achieved by different rapid octave passages in the right hand (Figure 23). The work ends, again in a ppp, probably symbolizing the return of the Rariigos to their secret world. Lecuona was favored with hands that could easily span a tenth on the keyboard. He exploited them by constantly writing demanding octave passages in the great majority of his works. A case in point appears in Figure 24, the piu mosso section in "...Y la negra bailaba" (And the Black Woman Danced) .

PAGE 84

73 * £ *-.

PAGE 85

74 r^r i Efcggg -J» £ — t* * * « = — *_ A^.' I V i^., g = j y T '^ g c£. 'v. K. I : tm -s~r rl g . 2 « g =Eg ^r mr

PAGE 86

75 \-J<*»r,

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76 Figure 24. Lecuona, "Y la negra bailaba," Measures 55-69

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77 Another example, shown in Figure 25, appears in "Danza negra." In the same piece, Figure 26 shows that rhythmic obsession which characterizes most of the compositions in the suite. The repeating pattern appears here in the first and last section. By far the most challenging of the Afro-Cuban danzas is the "Conga de medianoche" (Midnight Conga). Congas are dances of African origin. "The 'conga, ' whose name comes from a large drum, probably of the Congo, is a manifestation of African joy without any preconceived formality" (Grenet, 1939, p. 45) . The dance is in two-four time, with essentially a march rhythm. It is based on a two-measure pattern; the first is symmetrical, but the second is syncopated, the second beat anticipated by a sixteenth note. hi* nh The conga is danced on ballrooms and in the street. In a ballroom it is danced by couples or, as is more often the case, in a conga line, wherein participants hold on to the waist or shoulders of the person ahead. The dancers simply march to the beat of the rhythm, marking the syncopation by a kick and a brusque movement of the body. In the street the conga is similarly danced, except that the dancers are often not holding on to one another. It should be added that, from the time of the Republic, the conga became an instrument of political propaganda. The texts almost always dealt with the defeat or victory of a particular candidate. In writing the "Conga de medianoche," Lecuona probably recalled the noises and popular sones he heard as a child during nights of typical political meetings .

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J,!.J,i l -

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79 Modern (o Figure 26. Lecuona, "Danza negra," Measures 1-10

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80 Lecuona's conga is an extremely interesting piece to analyze. In the first place we do find the continuous conga rhythm throughout (Figure 27). However, in listening to the work we find that it is practically impossible to dance to it. "La conga de medianoche" is a very delicate composition. Its elegance and refined character make it a great listening piece, but out of place on a dance floor. Moreover, it is not at all a singable melody. "La conga" is one of Lecuona's most dissonant works. The opening measures, quoted in Figure 28, give a brief glimpse of the unconventional harmonies. The dissonances are brought about through the superimposition of major and minor seconds. This is also seen in the climactic B section, "strepetoso e largamente." Figure 29 illustrates the unusual harmony for early twentieth-century Cuban music. Danzas Cubanas 1. "No hables mas" (Speak No More) 2. "No puedo contigo" (I Cannot Deal with You) 3. "Ahi viene el chino" (Here Comes the Chinaman) 4. "iPor que te vas?" (Why Do You Go?) 5. "Lola esta de fiesta" (Lola Is Celebrating) 6. "En tres por cuatro" (In Three-Quarter Time) This representative set of Cuban dances is next in popularity to the Danzas Af ro-Cubanas . Four of the compositions are in the two-four time typical of popular music. "Ahi viene el chino" is in four-four, and "En tres por cuatro," as the title says, is in three-four. They are all in simple ABA form. Characteristic of the danzas is a repetitive rhythmic pattern in the bass which continues throughout the entire A section of the works.

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Figure 27. Lecuona, "Conga de medianoche, " Measures 37-45

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82 Allegro 8 m *• *•(>» ~r /-in** * Figure 28. Lecuona, "Conga de medianoche," Measures 1-6

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83 Figure 29. Lecuona, "Conga de medianoche," Measures 98-110

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84 In "No hables mas" we find the pattern J Jj J J, and in "^Por que te vas?" it is J J J J J~J J (Figure 30). In the B section Lecuona provides the contrast by changing the rhythm pattern which, once again, remains constant throughout the part. The two best known Danzas Cubanas are "En tres por cuatro" and "Ahi viene el chino." In the former, Lecuona places the accents in the weak beats, creating a syncopated three-four piece full of grace and freshness. The repetitive left hand pattern and the right hand octaves are also illustrated in the example of Figure 31. The B section has one of the most contagious melodies found in the suite, defined more by its rhythmic character than by its melodic pattern (Figure 32). "En tres por cuatro" is, overall, an axtremely exciting rhythmic work and at the same time, one which exudes emotion from every note. "Ahi viene el chino" follows the pattern of the other danzas, but this particular one is so descriptive that one can easily picture the subject of Lecuona 's music. The A sections, with continuous grace notes give the tinkling effect reminiscent of far-eastern music. It also brings to mind the delicateness and diminutive stature associated with the people (Figure 33). And then comes the intense middle section which almost seems to express in music the strength of body and mind acquired by the dedication and hard work of the Chinese coolies on the island of Cuba (Figure 34). In the words of Ayala referring to the danza , "One really sees him walking more than hearing him, and one almost understands the big words

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85 ^ ^ Figure 30. Lecuona, "^Por que te vas?" Measures 5-11

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86 Allegro maesto-o Figure 31. Lecuona, "En tres por cuatro," Measures 1-9

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Figure 32. Lecuona, "En tres por cuatro," Measures 21-26

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Alh'jrro ma non troppo _ — 9 . p -[-j gj-ra^r: W:ff&= Q / (,_ K £ J " j, > * * > v > _ > s Figure 33. Lecuona, "Ahl viene el chino," Measures 1-10

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89 Figure 34. Lecuona, "Ahl viene el chino," Measures 27-3S

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90 that he speaks in Cantonese at the end, in the notes that Lecuona brings out from the piano" (Ayala, 1981, p. 137, trans. Gloria Jacobson) . The author is referring to the last three measures of the piece (Figure 35). A la antigua (Nineteenth-Century Cuban Dances) Here Lecuona writes a suite of ten compositions which, as the title implies, are in the nineteenth-century style. Although similar in form and overall construction to the Danzas Cubanas , these are somewhat more subdued in character than their counterparts, leaning towards the music of his predecessor, Cervantes. Such works as the "Arabesque," "Impromptu," and "Minstrels" attest to the influence of the Romantic movement in Europe on the music of Cuba. "A la Antigua" (In the Old Style) is the one most frequently played out of the suite. Figure 36 is a sample of the tasteful miniature. Religious Works In a totally different vein are the composer's religiously-inspired "Ante el Escorial" (In Front of the Escorial) and "San Francisco el grande" (Saint Francis the Great). The impact of "Ante el Escorial" cannot be fully appreciated until one has seen the magnificent Escorial, in the town of the same name, near Madrid. The monastery was built by Philip II, and he made it the royal pantheon, where all Spanish sovereigns, beginning with Emperor Charles V, are buried. Begun in 1563 and completed in 1584, it is one of the largest and most handsome religious establishments in the world. The sight of El Escorial is awesome and spectacular, and Lecuona grasps the mood in the few pages of his work. The first eight measures, containing three solemn introductory chords, set the character for the rest of the piece. The same chords

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91 Figure 35. Lecuona, "Ahl viene el chino," Measures 88-90

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92 Figure 36. Lecuona, "A la antigua," Measures 1-£

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93 Ben modi'rato Figure 37. Lecuona, "Ante el Escorial," Measures 1-f

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94 are found in the closing measures (Figure 37). This gives way to the Piu mosso, containing a cadenza-like improvisatory section, free of bar lines, beautiful in its simplicity (Figure 38). The moderato which follows is one of the most symphonic excerpts from Lecuona's entire output. It is clearly reminiscent of the style of the Romantic composers. The fullness and richness of the sound is suggestive of a miniature piano concerto (Figure 39). "San Francisco el grande" is stylistically related to "Ante el Escorial." Although Bill Zeitung (1955) claims that it "is a musical interpretation of St. Francis," a closer look provides a different explanation. The music seems clearly to depict a church or a cathedral which deeply impressed the composer. Substantiation of this view is straightforward. It is unlikely that St. Francis would have been referred to as "the great." Moreover, the character of the composition itself justifies this new explanation. For instance, the opening measures are clearly a musical depiction of church bells (Figure 40). The succeeding Piu mosso and Moderato sections are grandiose in sound, as is the awesome view of a church or cathedral. It is in the Piu lento section, however, that the most significant evidence is found. It is a section of hymn-like quality, with a full organ sound, the bell tolls often interrupting the sacred melody (Figure 41). Lecuona then returns to the original Moderato melody , harmonized with thirty-second-note passages. The work closes with the same chords that introduced the piece.

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95 m m a-ti llhiiii^i Figure 38. Lecuona, "Ante el Escorial," Measure 33

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96 Figure 39. Lecuona, "Ante el Escorial," Measures 34-41

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97 Lento ma non troppo *' s ". Figure 40. Lecuona, "San Francisco el grande," Measures 1-10

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98 rf^-.~~Piu lento (Religiose) p^w jjuccj ritFigure 41. Lecuona, "San Francisco el grande," Measures 37-56

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99 Andalucia — Suite Espagnole 1 . "Cordoba" 2. "Andalucia" 3. "Alhambra" 4. "Gitanerias" 5. "Guadalquivir" 6. "Malaguena" It is in Andalucia where Lecuona's Spanish influence is more clearly evident. Each piece in the suite was inspired by the different peoples, music, and topographies of the Andalucia region, which includes most of Spain south of the Sierra Morena. Zeitung comments on the popularity of the work: These are by and large Lecuona's most frequently encored works in the semi-classical vein; they are full of a robust, sparkling vitality and sunshine which are particularly Spanish, and the lush sounds of the music itself pile image upon flashing image. (Zeitung, 1955) Andalucia was divided in 1833 into eight provinces. Two of them — Malaga and Cordoba — are subjects of the suite. The Alhambra is an ancient palace and fortress of the Moorish monarchs of Granada, built between 1238 and 1358. It is famous for its delicate and complex ornamentation. In "Guadalquivir" Lecuona sings the beauty of "the great river," the most important in southern Spain. Finally, there is "Gitanerias" (from gitana , meaning Gypsy) in which Lecuona captures the mood of the Gypsies of the region, whose passionate dance themes are heard throughout the country . Interestingly the suite was not written as a unit. For instance, "Andalucia" was one of the first to be written. It was premiered at Lecuona's appearance at the Capitol Theater in New York. (The orchestra, directed by Erno Rappe had as first violinist none other than Eugene Ormandy.) Its success was instantaneous and tempestuous.

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100 "Malaguena" was written expressly for a tribute given to Lecuona in Cuba's Teatro Marti, celebrating the one -hundredth presentation of the composer's zarzuela, Domingo de pinata. "Malaguena" is by far the most popular piece of the suite. The first popular arrangement for piano and orchestra was edited in the United States with the title "At the Crossroads." It was followed by arrangements for every possible combination of instruments, and it was interpreted by every major pianist. Lecuona's tunes go on selling for decades.... "Malaguena," with a steady sale of 100,000 copies a year since 1931, has set something of a record in the catalogs of its New York publisher. In arrangements for everything from brass bands to piano accordion, it is the most consistent best-seller in the U.S. (Sargeant, 1947, p. 154) Although the literal translation of malaguena is "girl from Malaga," what Lecuona was referring to is the lively Spanish dance by the same name. In triple meter, it is often sung to verses based on popular texts. The dance is a Malaga variety of the fandango . Lecuona's "Malaguena," also in triple meter, is made up of five sections, marked, respectively, Allegro moderato, Lento, Moderato, Piu mosso, and Vivace. The driving, exciting rhythm which characterizes the work is simple and straightforward, supported by the clever use of the open fifths in the left hand (Figure 42). The second half of the Allegro moderato consists of brilliant sixteenth-note passages above a wonderful melody in the left hand. It is very guitar-like in character, and its Spanish flavor is undeniable (Figure 43) . The Lento section, with its luscious, seductive melody is one of the finest in Lecuona's entire output. It is interspersed with

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101 Figure 42. Lecuona "Malaguena," Measures 1-9

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102 * )£*> flf>gf> J£gj> «?!> «g> ^fg> «!*> ggf> !*> £?*> *If^> Sf*^ TsN *£*N *^N *^N **^ Figure 43. Lecuona "Malaguena," Measures 28-35

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103 brilliant pp arpeggio passages. Ramirez quotes the American critic GrayPerry who wrote in the Tampa Tribune in 1926, "The middle parts are beautiful, worthy of Albeniz or Ravel" (Ramirez, n.d. , p. 59) At the end of the Lento there are no bar lines (Figure 44). The Moderato section is a crispy, lively one, with staccato markings on the notes of both hands and steady octaves in the left. It is very Spanish in character, with a castanet effect created. (Figure 45) There is again the demanding octave work in both hands in the Piu mosso. It leads back to the melody of the Lento, richly harmonized. The Vivace is a tour de force, fff from beginning to end, shown in Figure 46. As Margaret Anderton writes: Malaguefia is of the caliber of a Liszt rhapsody, in point of style and effectiveness, without being as lengthy, or nearly as difficult in its technical requirements. (Anderton, 1932, p. 9) Of considerable interest to musicians has been the controversy over the key of "Malaguefia." Although the key signature shows four sharps, tempting one into believing the piece is in C-sharp minor, notes which do not belong to the scale appear constantly, such as D-natural, Esharp, and B-natural. Karl W. Gehrkens quotes Julius Gold, who asserts: In brief, the piece in question is in the Phrygian mode, one of the three ecclessiastical or medieval minor modes, here transposed. . .a minor third lower than its original pitch. Settings in this mode require a signature of one sharp less or one flat more than modern minor. Lecuona's use of four sharps was a mere concession to our understanding of modern minor. This is explained by the fact he wrote the piece for popular consumption; and what could the benighted populace make of a piece presumably in C-sharp minor and with only three sharps in the signature! (Gherkens, 1954, p. 23) This seems to be a reasonable explanation, if one considers the fact that, traditionally, malaguenas begin and end on the dominant of the minor key in which they are set. Thinking of it in the key of

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104 L e n t o I a. la cap ri'ccio I Figure 44. Lecuona "Malaguena," Measures 58-70

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105 Figure 45. Lecuona "Malaguena," Measures 87-90

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106 H'~ • >>> ,>>> > > > m, •**+* ! -*-*-* v y T , ~ T zjl -1r Figure 46. Lecuona "Malaguefia," Measures 125-141

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107 F-sharp minor is also feasible, and then the chords that appear would correspond to the V and the VI, which is also consistent with traditional malaguena patterns. The overall degree of difficulty of the piece, and its general appeal are best explained by Ramirez. Malaguena can be eagerly played by a concert pianist to liven up an indifferent audience, or it can be enthusiastically played, with only minor changes, by a worker from Greenpoint, playing in a bar for a few extra dollars. (Ramirez, n.d., p. 112) "Andalucia" has also achieved world popularity and, although not as technically demanding as "Malaguena," its beauty rests on its enchanting and passionate melody (Figure 47). The five-note grouping in the left hand continues throughout the entire Allegro vivace. On close study it seems clearly to reproduce the sound effect of castanets. The Molto vivace section, which interrupts the melody, has the same crisp character as the Moderato section in "Malaguena." In a new key, it builds to a ff from a pp. The main theme returns once again, in the original key, but more richly harmonized (Figure 48) . In "Gitanerias," Lecuona captures the passionate dance theme in the opening measures of the piece, marked Presto, in D-minor. (Figure 49) A second theme, in D-major, is later introduced, also carefree in character. A dramatic effect is created through the use of the extreme registers of the keyboard and by a gradual crescendo from p to fff . The work is full of charm and vigor, from beginning to end (Figure 50). In "Alhambra," as previously stated, Lecuona wants to depict, in music, the character of the famous palace and fortress. The Lento ma non troppo brings forth a majestic, yet subdued view of the Alhambra,

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108 Allegro Vivace

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109 Figure 48. Lecuona "Andalucla," Measures 105-112

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1 10 Figure 49. Lecuona "Gitanerlas , " Measures 1-E

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1 1 1 Figure 50. Lecuona "Gitanerias," Measures 72-88

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1 12 Lento ma non troppu a a \l£-E ± rif. poco Figure 51. Lecuona "Alhambra," Measures 32-55

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1 13 which may be seen in Figure 51. The Allegro portion of the work, which follows, is very dissonant in character, probably symbolizing the complex ornamentation of the castle. The dissonances are primarily created through the numerous minor seconds in both voices (Figure 52). Although not as well known as the other pieces in the suite, "Alhambra," together with "Cordoba" and "Guadalquivir," are gems in their own right. If the suite had been written as a unit, each of the individual pieces might have been equally received by the public. Estampas Infantiles (Diary of a Child) Estampas infantiles is a unique collection of pieces by Ernesto Lecuona. Its uniqueness rests on the fact that it is probably the only work by the composer written for and about children. The collection is made up of five pieces: 1. "Buenos dias" ("Good Morning") 2. "El baile de la muneca" ("The Puppet's Dance") 3. "Carousel" ( "Merry-Go-Round Whirl") 4. "Cancion de luna" ("The Moon Lights Up") 5. "Bacanal de munecos" ("The Dolls Have a Party") These are pieces that may be easily played by piano students and enjoyed by all. Their simplicity and descriptive character contribute to their charm. Figure 53 is a passage of "El baile de la muneca," a waltz in which one practically sees the dolls dancing to the beat. In "Carousel," the undulating sixteenth-note passages certainly are evocative of the children's ride (Figure 54). They are all tastefully done miniatures and a valuable addition to the literature of and about children.

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1 14 Figure 52. Lecuona "Alhambra," Measures 85-99

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1 15 Figure 53. Lecuona, "El baile de la muneca, "Measures ~\-i

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1 16 Allegro molto Figure 54. Lecuona, "Carousel, "Measures 1-£

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117 Miscellaneous Works Lecuona's piano output is so extensive that to enter into a discussion of all of them is virtually unrealistic. In addition to the works already mentioned Lecuona wrote waltzes, ensemble works, works for piano and orchestra, preludes, mazurkas, an habanera, and various other works for piano solo. Several of those works will be briefly mentioned as representative compositions in the genre. Of foremost importance is Lecuona's Rapsodia negra (Black Rhapsody) for piano and orchestra, a suite of folk dances inspired by the AfroCuban folk rhythms. Following its 1943 premiere at Carnegie Hall, Newsweek had this to say about the work: At last Sunday's concert which also honored Cuban Liberation Day, this country heard its first major Lecuona: the world premiere of the composer's Rapsodia Negra. Black Rhapsody turned out to be very Gershwinesque in conception — which is not too remarkable because Lecuona is a great admirer of Gershwin's and George himself was crazy about Cuban rhythms. Dressed up with all kinds of Afro-Cuban gourd shaking, stick rattling, and drum thumping, the work also made use of the shell and jawbone of an ass — a special effect achieved by beating the contraption with the bare fist. Black Rhapsody may not have been 'great' music, but it certainly made great listening ("Jorge Gershwin Lecuona," 1943, p. 98) It is unfortunate that Newsweek provided so little information concerning the work, since there are no other reviews of it available and it is never performed today in its original form. The article does mention the use of typical African instruments used by the Cuban blacks. There is no doubt that it is precisely those instruments which justify the name of the work. The music itself, although with certain black flavor, is not particularly characteristic of the Cuban blacks. As Figure 55 shows, the music is primarily rhapsodic. The black aspect seems to be provided by the native instruments. One of the few exceptions is the Allegretto, where the black influence

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118 Figure 55. Lecuona, "Rapsodia negra," Measure 161

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119 is more evident in the rhythmic pattern (Figure 56). There are also scattered throughout the work bolero , criolla , tango , and habanera rhythms. The ending is a tour de force labeled Allegro maestoso (Figure 57) . It may be said of the work that its purpose was to satisfy those audiences, outside the Cuban borders, for which it was written, rather than to bring the listener a true representation of Afro-Cuban music. Its virtuosic character comfortably places Rapsodia negra with the nineteenth-century style of the Romantic composers. Nonetheless, the work deserves credit because, in its own modest way, it did bring into the concert hall at least a mild flavor of the music of the island. As far as waltzes are concerned Lecuona has one of the most beautiful selection ever to come out of Cuba. Among the best known are "Damisela encantadora" (Enchanting Damsel), "Crisantemo" (Chrisanthemum) , "La estudiantina" (The Student), and "Vals romantico" (Romantic Waltz). For the most part the waltzes are typical of the genre, but they contain some of the most unforgettable melodies in the composer's output. Although not as technically demanding as some of his other music, Lecuona 's waltzes still contain those virtuosic passages typical of the Romantic composers (Figure 58). Another interesting work is Lecuona' s "Habanera" where, as Zeitung puts it, the composer "demonstrates his understanding and feeling for the life of his native land" (Zeitung, 1955). The habanera is a Cuban dance which originated in the 1840's, the first one being written by Sebastian Yradier. The form then found its way to Spain, where it was treated to various stylized adaptations.

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120 Figure 56. Lecuona, "Rapsodia negra," Measures 162-169

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121 Allegro maestoso Sea -^ ^ ^ >* Figure 57. Lecuona, "Rapsodia negra," Measures 270-283

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122 Figure 58. Lecuona, "Vals romantico, " Measures 33-49

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123 Characteristic of the habanera is its two-four meter and syncopated rhythm, found in either of the following forms: U 4 *Lecuona's "Habanera" strictly conforms to the form, and the composer utilizes the two above-mentioned rhythmic patterns interchangeably (Figure 59). Conclusion From the brief study of Lecuona's piano music several generalizations may me made: 1. The composer favors small forms in his works for piano. With only a few exceptions, such as the Rapsodia negra , the majority of the compositions are in simple forms, expressing concise, miniature statements. 2. Lecuona's piano music, although not strictly program music, has been inspired by scenes, people, and places with which the maestro came in contact. 3. Lecuona was an eclectic composer, as far as diversity of forms is concerned. Within the small forms we find waltzes, danzas , children's music, religiously-inspired pieces, mazurkas, ensemble works, among many others. 4. Within the piano music of the composer, definite gradations in degree of difficulty are found. Works range from relatively simple to virtuosic and extremely challenging ones. 5. Lecuona makes full use of the variety of rhythms and melodies which he absorbed from his Cuban-Spanish heritage and from the African Negro. 6. He was influenced, although only marginally, by the style of the nineteenth-century Romanticists. 7. Since the composer was, for the most part, the performer of his own works, he wrote music which displayed his particular skills.

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124 labanem | M ' ultra to i *' ^^JJA Ui n ^&f\ ^=^T L-? Figure 59. Lecuona, "La Habanera" Measures 1-£

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CHAPTER VI ZARZUELAS Introduction The history of the zarzuela as a form has been a long and rich one. From its early development in seventeenth-century Spain to its fervent adoption in the Cuban theater during the late eighteenth century, the zarzuela went through a myriad of peaks and valleys. This chapter will briefly trace this history, both in Spain and in Cuba. This will aid the understanding of Lecuona's zarzuelas and stage works and will justify their place in the Cuban theater. The process of gathering material on Lecuona's zarzuelas and other works for the stage has been limited by the meager amount of music available from this genre. Of his more than forty-five works, only a handful of musical numbers remain which were extracted from the zarzuelas and became well known on their own. The subject matter of several is known, specifically those which have been recorded: Rosa la china , El cafetal , and Maria la _0. No scores remain, and the recordings have been executed from memory by friends and colleagues of the maestro, who had previously staged the works and had a fair recollection of the music. Within the constraints, this chapter concentrates on the three works that have been preserved, at least partially, to give as accurate a view of Lecuona's stage works as possible. 125

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126 The Zarzuela in Spain The history of the Spanish zarzuela is traced back to the first half of the seventeenth century. The form derives its name from the palace of La Zarzuela, a royal country seat near Madrid where musical events called Fiestas de Zarzuela were staged to entertain the royalty. The earliest zarzuelas are attributed to Pedro Calderon de la Barca (1600-1681), such as El jardin de Falerina (Falerina's Garden; 1648) and El laurel de Apolo (Apollo's Laurel; 1657). Juan Hidalgo's works, some of which have survived, are a good example of the then prevalent style. Best known are Los celos hacen estrellas (Jealousy Makes Stars), Ni amor se libra de amor (Not Even Love Can Free Itself from Love), and Celos aun del aire matan (Jealousy, Even of the Air, Kills). In the latter half of the seventeenth century, the zarzuelas began showing the powerful influence of the contemporary Italian and French operas, making use of monodies, duets, and homophonic four-part choruses. They were elaborate stage productions based on mythological subjects, with addition of popular songs in the interludes between acts, instead of in the zarzuela itself. Indeed, Calderon' s later works fall in this category, and his mythico-legendary type zarzuelas continued until the first half of the eighteenth century. The vogue for the Italian style was carried to its limit by Sebastian Duron (c.1650c.1716), Antonio Literes Carrion (1670-1747), and Jose de Nebra (c.16881768). At the same time, mid-eighteenth century, a reaction began to take place against the aforementioned style. Ironically, it began with Nebra 's last works, which turned away fromn mythological subjects and made fun of the mannered Metastasian operas. Crucial to the movement

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127 was Ramon de la Cruz (1731-1794), whose plots were concerned with ordinary beings. He began using native instruments on stage for dramatic purpose, which was to remain a characteristic feature of the zarzuela . Out of this arose the scenic tonadilla , "a musical form that carried everything before it and spread like a forest fire." (The New Groves, "Sainete") Basically a satirical, comic opera, the main appeal of the tonadilla was its down-to-earth character. Myths and legends were no longer central to the works, but everyday people in everyday situations. The scenic tonadillas dealt with a wide variety of subjects, but most of them were of a satirical or picaresque nature, and nearly all of them depicted typical phases of popular life.... The favorite character types were drawn from the lower strata of society.... The essence of the tonadilla (was) a continuous effervescence of wit and satire against everything that tended to crystallize in conventional patterns, be it fashions of foreign opera or the effusions of local color. (Chase, 1941, p. 130) Through the tonadilla , a Spanish musical idiom was established, according to Chase. It made use of pure folk music, urban street music, and the most representative Spanish dances and songs. Foreign composers, when searching for true Spanish flavor turned to tonadillas as their source. The zarzuela was then virtually non-existent. It was not until the middle of the nineteenth century that it re-emerged in a national movement which led the form to new heights. The works of Basilio Basili and Francisco Barbieri (1823-1894) brought about the revival. Barbieri's Jugar con fuego (To Play with Fire) was innovative in that it had three acts, up to then considered impractical. Its success created the genre of zarzuela grande (large zarzuela), implying a three-act work with serious, dramatic subjects, as opposed to the genero chico (small genre), in one act and essentially comic. He brought into the domain of

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128 the lyric theater songs and dances authentically Spanish. Captivating the public, the form brought the zarzuela back to the center of musical life. When the Teatro de la Zarzuela was founded in 1865, Barbieri's efforts were continued through numerous participants who embraced the movement . The Zarzuela in Cuba The history of the zarzuela in Cuba parallels the development of the zarzuela in Spain. Theater became established with the opening of the Teatro Principal in 1776. One of the first works to be performed was Metastasio's Dido and Aeneas , although it is unclear whether it was an original version or an arrangement. Other small works were staged as well as zarzuelas and concerts in the newly opened theater. By 1790 a Spanish company had made its home in the Principal, and by 1791 Gretry's works were being staged. But it was the scenic tonadilla , whose popularity had taken over Spain, that was also experiencing its zenith in the theaters of Cuba. From 1790 to 1814, well after the form had all but vanished from the Spanish theaters, "more than 200 tonadillas were sung and re-sung in Havana until satiety" (Carpentier, 1946, p. 78). These were all Spanish tonadillas, and passing through the Teatro Principal were some of the best productions in the genre. During this time a French company came to Havana and staged works by Moliere, Cambert, Pergolesi, Paisiello, and de Monsigny. The company was very successful, "giving the public a new notion of what a good lyric theater could be" (Carpentier, 1946, p. 80). By the end of the eighteenth century, the musical taste of the Havana public had been greatly refined.

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129 This change in taste probably explains the success of the Spanish company which came to Cuba in 1810 and remained for more than 22 years. Their presence brought new popularity to the tonadilla , but it was now much different from the ones staged in the 1870's. The spectacle did away with the monotonous structure of the previous form, and there was much more attention given to music and dance. It was basically the transformation of the tonadilla into comic opera. The old tonadilla was dead after a vogue of more than twenty-five years. By 1834 the Italian romantic operas had taken over the theater. The Spanish company was ousted and an excellent Italian one took over in 1834. Works by Bellini, Donizetti, Meyerbeer and Verdi won the public acclaim. It was this great influence of the Italian opera that had such a negative effect in the development of Cuba's own serious art music. During almost a century Cuba lived under its yoke. Fortunately, a parallel movement was taking place which was to save the Cuban theater. It was the buffo theater, born out of a fusion and transformation of the sainete and the scenic tonadilla . The father of the buffo theater in Cuba was Francisco Covarrubias (1775-1850). His achievement was the incorporation of guajiros (peasants) and popular types into the theater. After 1812, even though he was still loyal to the Spanish pattern, Covarrubias added to the action Cuban rhythms and melodies. The popular music of the Island was part of the stage works themselves in this new movement. And, from 1850, the black began to be expressed, especially rhythmically. By 1853 came the first zarzuela , enlarged from the sainete by Rafael Otero. Antonio Medina and Pedro Carreno were also writing zarzuelas. Most of the subjects of the zarzuelas were comments on the

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130 political, social and economic conditions under Spanish rule. The new genre was going to remain intact and arrive, with little variation to the present day. The popular Cuban theater had its most perfect expression in the repertoire of the theater Alhambra which, for more than thiry years, maintained continuous activity. But it was from 1927 on that the Cuban theater achieved its grandeur, with the versatile output of the prolific Ernesto Lecuona. The Zarzuelas of Ernesto Lecuona Early Works Lecuona formally came into the theater in 1919, premiering, at the Teatro Marti, Domingo de pinata (Sunday of Pinata) . But his interest in the theater dated back from his childhood days. Ramirez writes: His sister Ernestina recalls that one of his favorite games during his youth was that of 'making a scene, ' in the back yard of their home, of dramatic-musical -choreographic works in which he was naturally the absolute author; the scenography, generally, was trusted to the sheets and table covers found in the house. The actors were brothers and sisters and children of the neighborhood. (Ramirez, n.d., p.41) From 1919 to 1927 the maestro premiered approximately fifteen works, including La Liga de las Naciones (The League of Nations; 1919), El recluta del amor (The Love Recruiter; 1919), La carrera del amor (Love's Career; 1921), Diabluras y fantasias (Mischief and Fantasies; 1922), Jaque al rey (Jack to the King; 1922), Radiomania (1925), and Rosalima (1927). Most of these works he wrote for the Compania de Velasco which, at that time, had in Havana a receptive audience and site for its performances. These early works were so well received that they were soon crossing national frontiers.

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131 These early works established his life-long collaboration with his librettist, Gustavo Sanchez Galarraga. Galarraga was immensely popular during his lifetime. Born of wealthy parents, he turned to poetry aginst their wishes. His lyricism was considered enchanting, and he was one of the most prolific poets of the times. He was a writer of dramatic works, light sainetes and miscellaneous other works. He was also the poet of the wharves and a favorite among women. His biggest success, however, came through his life-long cooperation with Lecuona. He wrote the majority of the libretti for the maestro, who in turn kept the poet busy with continuous and new demands. The early works also presaged the continual applause which would receive the rest of Lecuona' s works for the theater. The success of these early works is recorded by Ramirez. Concerning Domingo de pinata, "a lyric masquerade in one act and six scenes," (Ramirez, n.d., p. 39) Ramirez quotes Chamaco Longoria: "Lecuona 1 s music triumphed from the first moment. The numbers were repeated amidst the popular outcry. Lecuona had to come out on stage several times to receive the applause that the public offered him as a reward for a job that reveals a musician of great future and magnificent present." (Ramirez, n.d., p. 39) And of Rosalima , Ramirez quotes the Heraldo de Madrid : "Lecuona is a composer of the theater; he knows the rhythm and the character that each situation demands, and his melody is easy and spontaneous. All the numbers of Rosalima were liked by the audience, which applauded without reservation and forced encores of many of them, especially the flute duet." (Ramirez, n.d., p. 42) Radiomania was equally well received and the praises were all over the newspapers of Madrid, the city in which it premiered.

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132 But it was with the launching of Nina Rita (1927) in the elegant Teatro Regina that the composer established himself in the Cuban theater and became its representative throughout the world. Nina Rita, with libretto by Castell and Riancho, was a joint musical effort of Lecuona and the very popular and fine composer, Eliseo Grenet. A sainete of Cuban life, its main appeal was its relevance to the times and its national roots. It was also a more artistically elevated work than what had previously plagued the Island. The richness and originality of the music were all factors which contributed to its success. Ramirez quotes J. R. de Larios in La Noche of Barcelona: "The music of the maestros Grenet and Lecuona is simply delicious, with its romantic and melancholic air. Apart from the folkloric value of its danzas and dan zones , very well written and which will achieve fast popularity, we should note a fine waltz of excellent composition which the public had him repeat four times and which is a great example of very fine melody." (Ramirez, n.d. , p. 43) The waltz which Larios makes reference to is the popular "Damisela encantadora , " which together with Grenet' s "Mama Inez" from the same work, was to tour the world from then on. The simplicity and, at the same time, elegance and appeal of the waltz may be seen in the following excerpt in Figure 60. The following year, 1929, Lecuona premiered no fewer than three new works in the Teatro Regina: Alma de raza (Soul of a Race), El batey (The Sugar Mill), and one of his best known, El cafetal (The Coffee Plantation) . La flor del sitio was premiered that same year in the Teatro Auditorium. Little is left of these works today, but it is clear that Alma de raza "dealt with the birth of the Siboneyes in Cuba, the Spanish influence, and their growth and development" (Grandy, 1979).

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133 CHORUS It's no se cret that the stars beam; It's no secret that lov ers Onmt vir . la en can In Jo ra _____ Da mi »: A Eg : ! day dream; A-pril show-ers bring May flow-ers, . it me bt tat, . , Since the world first be Figure 60. Lecuona, "Damisela encantadora, " Measures 41-56

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134 Ramirez provides us with one of the few pieces of evidence about El batey when he quotes a critic who wrote: "The score is one of the most admirable written by Lecuona, for the musical value of almost all of its fragments and because there is not a number that does not contribute an adequate commentary for the situation in which it is placed. The chant of the Negro has communicable melancholy and in it seem to cry deep nostalgias of the absent and far-away motherland." (Ramirez, n.d. , p. 45) El cafetal El cafetal , in one act, is set on a coffee plantation near Havana in the early part of the nineteenth century. "It is exactly in this sort of locale where the most authentic Afro-Cuban folk rhythms and melodies are discovered, and from which Ernesto Lecuona drew his inspiration to compose this most colorful zarzuela" (Irazazabal, n.d.). The main characters are: Don Jose Owner of the plantation Nina Flor His beautiful daughter Africa and Lazaro A married couple, slaves on the plantation Cipriana An old and ugly widow who is spending some time in the plantation Nino Alberto Cipriana' s nephew After the opening scene, establishing the local atmosphere, Nina Flor, urged by her father to be married, states she is ready to do so when she finds the gentleman whom she had seen only once at the cathedral of Havana and with whom she immediately fell in love. A comic interlude is created by Cipriana when she makes amorous advances to Don Jose. Africa the slave then proceeds to reveal, probably in the most magnificent song of the entire work, her suffering at Lazaro' s indifference towards her. It is the "Lamento africano" (African Lament), quoted in Figure 61.

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135 san.grear. dien-ts vael vot-can A fn-canasojr yo soy lucu-nii yun yu7^ , 7 I I L£_T p 1 p g I j ^ j P ! p p-i' ^^ Figure 61. Lecuona, "Lamento africano," Measures 6-20

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136 The ending is a powerful and passionate one (Figure 62). The text is no less dramatic. Africa sings of the misery associated with slavery: Africana soy Morena es mi faz Y en mi sangre ardiente Va el volcan. Africana soy, Yo soy lucumi Y un yugo de esclava Pesa en mi. En mi corazon Late una pasion Pasion que jamas Para mi sera, Y en mi cruel pesar Mi consuelo es Sollozar en un cantar Mi dolor. Llorar, del esclavo es la suerte fatal. Sufrir es la cruz que nos mandan car gar. Huir es el ansia profunda Del que vive entre el cepo feroz. Morir es tu solo consuelo, lucumi . Africana soy, yo soy lucumi. (El cafetal) African am I Black is my face And my blood rages Like a volcano. African am I, I am lucumi, And the yoke of slavery Weighs on me. In my heart There lies a passion A passion that never For me will be, A heavy pain that is mine And my consolation is But to sing My sadness. To weep, for the fatal luck of the slave. Suffering is the cross we bear. To flee is our deepest hope To live beyond this imprisonment . To die is your only hope, enslaved one. African am I, I am lucumi. (translation: Pedrito Fernandez) Lazaro, meanwhile, confesses his love for Nina Flor to the old slave, and the impossibility of loving Africa. He states his willingness to maintain his love silent and his hope that no other man wins her. If and when this should occur, Lazaro cries, he will commit suicide. The old slave departs in horror, leaving Lazaro to sing his romanza , "Canto carabali," another musical treasure in the zarzuela. When Nino Alberto arrives at the plantation to spend some time with his aunt, Nina Flor recognizes him as the man she met at the cathedral. In the beautiful duet that follows they confess their mutual love. Lazaro' s desperation reaches a climax after overhearing the revelations, and when Africa reproaches him for his indifference, the slave

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137 r?fi k^n'-i dS g^c-r £_/!/ l_j'-? i^jur l^/]Lr i^jz-r i^jzj 1/ = p Figure 62. Lecuona, "Lamento africano," Measures 81-95

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138 does not deny his love for Nina Flor, and Africa promises to seek revenge by telling everything to Nino Alberto. After some lighter moments, when the newly betrothed couple accepts everyone's good wishes, Nino Alberto is momentarily alone. Africa takes the opportunity to tell him of Lazaro' s love for Nina Flor, at which moment he vows to punish the slave. Lazaro then arrives with a sprig of flowers he intends to place at Nina Flor's window as a farewell to his hopeless love. Nino Alberto seeing him, and believing him to be trying to enter the house, attacks the slave, killing him. The work ends with Africa weeping in anguish at the feet of her dead husband. Overall, El cafetal is a tragedy, a sad commentary on the life of slavery. It is best expressed by Lazaro when he sings: ;Que triste es ser esclavo Carabali How sad is the Caraball slave! ; Que triste y negro sino hay en mi! How sad is the Negro's fate! iPor que Dios, tu me Why, Lord, have you abandoned abandonas en mi dolor? me in my sorrow? ...triste es nacer esclavo y ansiar ...sad is to be born a slave Con el corazon gozoso, la libertad. With a gay heart that anxiously seeks freedom. The music, for the most part, suits and enhances the action. There is an exciting rumba towards the end of the zarzuela, danced by the black slaves at the engagement party given for Nina Flor. Popular rhythms appear throughout the entire zarzuela which, together with the "Lamento africano" theme that recurs throughout the work, contribute to the musical unity of El cafetal. Maria la O The year 1930 was equally fruitful for Lecuona regarding stage works. Premiered in the Teatro Payret were El Calesero (The Calash Driver) , El_ maizal (The Corn Field) , _E1 amor del guarachero (The Love of the Guaracha Dancer), and La mujer de nadie (No One's Woman). Little

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139 may be surmised today about these works except, as one may read in the numerous quotations in Ramirez's book, that they were all consistently well received, both by audiences and by critics everywhere. Maria la was also premiered that same year, becoming the best known in the Cuban repertoire. It is practically impossible to document the craze that followed its premiere. Suffice it to look at the critics whom Ramirez quotes to grasp the magnitude of its poularity. Ramon Becali summed it up by writing: "Lecuona created in Maria la the richest, freshest, and most vigorous of his prodigious inspiration." (Ramirez, n.d., p. 47) And, according to his friends that remember, this landmark zarzuela was written by the composer while in his room at a Havana hotel. There was no piano available. Maria la _0 was probably inspired by the mulatto woman of the same name who lived in the city of Santiago de Cuba during the first half of the nineteenth century. She was extremely well known during her lifetime. The zarzuela is in two acts. The setting is Havana, 1880. The main characters are: Maria la Beautiful mulatto woman Fernando de Alcazar Young, handsome aristocrat Jose Inocente "El curro del manglar" (The dandy of the mangrove plantation) Caridad A presumptuous and meddling Negro woman who pretends to play the grand dame Santiago Marino Rich Spanish shoemaker Nina Tula Marques de Palmar Her father The story opens in Caridad' s home where she is throwing a party in celebration of her Saint. "The cream of Havana's society is gathered there, amused by the eccentricities of the Negro woman" (Lecuona, Maria la 0, FM 73, record jacket notes) . The conversation of the guests indicates that Caridad claims to be loved by Santiago Marino, but that

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140 he is really in love with Maria la O. Marino enters the party and asks for Maria. When he admits his love for her, Caridad is furious. She reminds him that the mulatto woman is in love with Fernando de Alcazar, and, at any rate, he should be careful because Jose Inocente, also in love with Maria, has sworn to punish whoever would try to seduce her. Maria and Fernando then enter the party. In the midst of the brilliant reception scene, Jose Inocente interrupts and demands that Fernando have the greatest respect and consideration for the mulatto woman and warns him that just because he is rich and an aristocrat, he has no right to make fun of her if he plans to do it by marrying the daughter of the Marques, as it is rumored. In spite of the violent scene the party proceeds after Jose departs. The next scene is set on the street where Maria la lives. Jose Inocente watches intently for Maria's return from the party. When Fernando de Alcazar says good night to her, Jose approaches Maria la and suggests she go to the house of the Marques de Palmar if she wants to verify the deceit of her lover. Fernando will be there, he says, courting Nina Tula. Left alone after being angrily dismissed, Jose sings a beautiful romance, expressing his sorrow and loneliness. Beginning to have suspicions, Maria goes to the home of the Marques. When Fernando is alone, after having been with Nina Tula, Maria asks where his love really lies. Fernando treats her contemptuously, and they sing a duet. From there Maria goes to the mangrove plantation where she tells Jose of Fernando's deceit. She tells him that she has given Fernando a period of three days to break up with Nina Tula, and if he does not, she will kill him. Jose Inocente then states that vengeance belongs to him and vows to execute it, thus demonstrating his love for Maria la O.

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\ 141 The next scene takes place in the Alameda de Paula; beside the wharves. Maria la O waits there ready to kill Fernando when he goes through to get on the ship that would take him and Nina Tula on their honeymoon. It is at this point that Maria sings her song of desperation, whether to kill Fernando or suffer her misery in silence. Figure 63 illustrates the romance that travelled the world. And the famous chorus is shown in Figure 64. But Jose Inocente is sure of what he will do, and he is shocked when, right before he is about to stab Fernando, Maria intervenes. The following dialogue takes place: Maria: No, Jose Inocente. Fernando: But why? You were going to kill him. Maria: Yes. But the blood of his blood I now feel within me, for that which now stirs within me is his son, senor. This zarzuela exemplifies the type of political statement about colonialism that Lecuona often dealt with in his work. The exploitation of mulattos by the Spanish aristocracy defines the relationship between Maria and Fernando. Lecuona also fearlessly brought out into the open black culture and blacks as people. For a scene in which Maria goes to the Nanigos for advice, the composer writes a score and action derived directly from ethnic witchcraft and voodoo. La guaracha musulmana and Rosa la china La guaracha musulmana and Rosa la china were the two most important works premiered in 1932, at the Teatro Marti. La guaracha musulmana is a comic operetta which, as the title implies, is a picturesque mixture of the national and the moorish. Moorish is the environment and Moorish are the clothes, but the spice is not in the clothing. The Creole teasing shows its head, waggish and disrespectful, in between the pleats of the

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142 Muderato moon, watches man and maid Cuban moon is smil Ing 1 at their ser-eliz tu r.i i/aa-cn bit tic ri -say gua-ra Chan sclia ro tool boi nade Both in fond rmbrace, don't know time or place In the spell of rri fjiy, . i (is ,( ycr tern blan ti'i rtt a mar y con i lu

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143 OPC .. " :p S I 5 I ' = 1 s I i j | Ssa t = U^ = .

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1 44 farce. Lecuona has adorned the book of Sanchez Galarraga with musical pages of varied color. (Ramirez, n.d., p. 54) Remaining from the operetta is the romance "Aixa," a few pages of captivating melodies. Fortunately, as in the case with El cafetal and Maria la 0, a recording is available of Rosa la china , although not a score. The work, in one act and five scenes, has as main characters: Rosa la china Dulzura Rosa's exploiting husband Jose Rosa's lover Preciosillo A professional gambler Dona Tana Elderly woman in the neighborhood Dona Calixta Elderly woman in the neighborhood Greta Young girl The action takes place in Havana, in such well-known places as the Parque Maceo, the Bridge of Lisa, and Vapor Street. It is the Sunday of the Carnaval, and Dulzura lazily reads the paper in front of his bedroom door. Other characters are going about their duties while the maintenance person in the brothel sweeps the patio. The old pious lady, obsessed with gambling, is requiring payment from the professional gambler. He, in turn, flirts with Greta, who aspires to be a movie star. The old women gossip about Rosa la china to the point where the overseer forces them to quiet down. To him, Rosa later confides her miserable life with her husband and of the indifference of Jose, whom she loves. When the overseer leaves, Rosa and Jose sing their mutual love in a beautiful duet. Jose then bravely announces his amorous intentions to Dulzura and challenges him to a duel. At the place where the duel is to occur, the masqueraders get difficult with Dona Calixta, who is promptly rescued by her neighbors, Dona Tana and Greta. After Preciosillo the gambler makes fun of them,

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145 they decide to go to the police. Meanwhile, Rosa arrives, eager about the duel, and finds out the encounter will take place in the evening at the Puente de Lisa. At the given time and place, Rosa waits for the men. Dulzura arrives and is surprised to find her there. She begs for him not to kill Jose, but to no avail. She then grabs the knife and kills him, making him fall over the bridge. When Jose arrives he finds a desperate and triumphant Rosa who tells him what happened. A comparsa is passing through and they mingle in it to leave unnoticed. In Vapor Street, after a scene with Dona Calixta, Dona Tafia and Greta, in the wake of the Carnival, Rosa and Jose appear. They are headed for the brothel to which they decide to return and pretend to ignore what happened. In the ensuing fiesta on the patio, amid songs and frolic, the police arrives to arrest Rosa for the murder of Dulzura, whose body has been found as well as proof of her guilt. Amid the general horror, Rosa la china is taken away. Francisco Ichazo summarizes the fine music of Rosa la china when he writes: The music has that fluidity and unending melodic vein characteristic of Lecuona .... It is a pretty chorus that of the guaracheros in the second scene. The romance of Rosa la china is too well known to go into details here .... The comparsa is well done, both visually and musically . . . the tango congo which appears in the last scene was received with very heated applause. (Ramirez, n.d. , p. 53) Lola Cruz and Other Stage Works The year 1935 was an equally productive one for the maestro. Premiered were Julian el gallo (Julian the Rooster), Lola Cruz , El Torrent e (The Torrent), Aires nacionales (National Airs), Estampas tropicales (Tropical Scenes), and Las mujeres mandan (Women Command).

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146 Of these, Lola Cruz , in two acts, was the most successful and, like Maria la 0_, gained immediate popularity, playing for more than four consecutive months at the Teatro Auditorium, where it premiered. Figure 65 is an excerpt of the romanza from Lola Cruz. The production of stage works declined in Lecuona's later years. A few were produced between 1941 and 1946, although none nearly as successful as his previous achievements. They included La de Jesus Maria (Belonging to Jesus Maria; 1941), Cuando La Habana era inglesa (When Havana was English; 1942), La Cubanita (The Cuban Girl; 1942) and Mujeres (Women; 1946). Before his death Lecuona was working, according to Ramirez, on three other works, two of which, Rosa and El sombrero de yarey, had the maestro's own libretti. The other, Suenos Locos (Crazy Dreams) had a libretto by G. Fernandez Shaw. The works were never completed. Conclusions It is a difficult task to draw conclusions and form generalizations about Lecuona's zarzuelas when the information available is, at best, meager. But we are fortunate to have access to recordings of the better known works in this genre. By briefly analyzing them, as we have done in this chapter, we have gained some insight into part of Lecuona's output. According to friends and colleagues interviewed this insight may be generalized to most other works in this category. Following is a brief summary of those traits, both musical and nonmusical, found in the zarzuelas. 1. They all dealt, as zarzuelas typically do, with everyday people and situations, concentrating on the lower strata of society.

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147 Figure 65. Lecuona, "Lola Cruz," Measures 18-34

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148 2. They exposed the life, customs, folklore and humor of the lower class. 3. They brought out into the open, and sympathized with, the burden of the black slaves. They made a statement on their real condition. No longer were the slaves viewed as a happygo-lucky mass of people, but as suffering individuals longing for a life of freedom. 4. The composer elevated the status of the Negro to one of importance by using their music, rituals and traditions as an integral part of the zarzuelas. 5. Many of the zarzuelas were socio-political statements on the period of Spanish rule. The stories of mulattos that had been used and abused by the Spanish colonizers, for instance, were passed on from generation to generation. 6. The zarzuelas exposed the prejudices, conflicts and social problems among the Cuban populace. 7. Regardless of the subject of the zarzuela there was always humor and comic interludes which served as tension releasers. 8. The plots of the zarzuelas ranged from farce to tragedies, providing audiences with a wide variety of choice. 9. The quality of the literature in the libretti often did not live up to the importance of the subject matter. 10. The works are saturated with the song, dances, and music of the people; there is an even mixture of the Spanish, the African, and the Cuban. 11. All the zarzuelas, whether comic or serious, were imbued with the romanticism and sentimentality so loved by the Cuban audiences.

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CHAPTER VII CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The research suggests the conclusions that are listed below, but it also leads to a recognition that additional work must be done. Such work is in the discipline of musicology, music education, and concertizing. This chapter deals first with the conclusions and then with recommendations . Conclusions Ernesto Lecuona and his music were and still are a major factor culturally and musically in Cuba and Latin America. The importance of Lecuona derives from the man as an individual, from the music he composed, from the influences on society, and from his influence on music. This summary of conclusions from the research is divided into those four categories to aid in the comprehension of the broad and profound effect he had, and to separate the biographical conclusions from the musicological. The Man o Lecuona was a hard-working individual who, practically through his own efforts, made a name for himself. o He had a warm personality and friendly disposition which won him friends and opened doors for him wherever he went. o He was a simple man of simple tastes who did not brag about his money. He had an unassuming nature. o His upper-middle class status did not keep him from being concerned with problems in the society. This social consciousness was reflected in his personal life and in his music. 149

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150 o His nationalistic personality — loving both Spain and Cuba — was reflected in his life style and his works. His Music o Lecuona's output was so extensive and diverse that it inspired comments such as that by Jacinto Guerrero who said: "Lecuona, by himself, is a Society of Authors" (Ramirez, p. 59) o His work is imbued with Afro-Cuban rhythms; it is nationalistic music in every sense. o His music is inspired by and reflects the music of Spain as well as that of Cuba. o Lecuona's work shows influences of the Romantic movement. o He scored equal success in both serious and popular music, appealing to all audiences. o He became as familiar to and loved by the man-on-the-street as Gilbert and Sullivan were to their English counterparts. o There is enough variety to appeal to students and professionals, as far as technical difficulty is concerned. o His music, whether piano music, songs, or zarzuelas always carried a message or was the musical representation of people, places, or things. His Influence on Society and His Contemporaries o It was through Lecuona that many artists were introduced to the national and international scene. o He encouraged newcomers and helped develop their talents. o His social commentary brought out into the open the social problems of Cuba. o Blacks and African culture took on a new respectability in his music. As a result blacks tended to be seen in a new light in the culture and to be afforded that new respectability. o Lecuona helped to refine the musical tastes of the Cubans by writing semi-classical music that was appealing and not too abstract. o His formation of the Orquesta de la Habana contributed greatly to the development of classical music performance in Cuba. o He gave Cuba an international name in the field of music.

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151 o His music has served as a focus of cultural unity for the Cubans in exile. His Influence on Contemporary Music and Musicians o He was an inspiration for the composition of Afro-Cuban works. o Lecuona provided new impetus to composers to export Cuban music to the international market. o Through his generosity, he brought to the music scene a myriad of unknown musicians. o His international recognition, bringing the name of Cuba outside its borders, gave Cubans pride in themselves and their capabilities. o He introduced the music of other contemporary composers by performing them in his concerts, especially the "Lecuona concerts. " Recommendations There are few if any records of Lecuona' s music currently being made, and existing recordings are old, often of poor quality, and cover but a fraction of the composer's output. Thus, there is a crying need for new good recordings of Lecuona 's music. Outside of the Cuban community, where Lecuona is taken seriously, his music is seldom played except in popularized form. Surely such an omission indicates more performances, both at colleges or universities and at the professional level. Voids in the documentation of Lecuona 's music recommend further work in gathering his music, even to the extent of transcribing the music from the memory of colleagues. The omission of substantive reference to Lecuona requires that music history textbooks, especially those dealing with Latin American music, be revised to deal with this glaring deficiency. Since the Spanish-speaking community has no organized biographical or musical resource on Lecuona, this work or parts of it should be translated into Spanish to be made available to it.

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GLOSSARY Bolero A dance, of Spanish origin, introduced in Cuba at the beginning of the nineteenth century. In the Cuban version, the bolero appears in 2/4 time. Its form consists of a brief introduction followed by two parts of sixteen to thirty-two measures each. Rhythmically, a bolero is notated in one of the following ways:

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153 Cinquillo streets dancing, singing, and wearing a variety of costumes. The rhythmic pattern » 1 » l often found in boleros and other Cuban dances. Comparsa A sort of mass-participation dance, performed by masked people, usually on the streets. Popular during the Carnival season. Conga A large drum, probably of the Congo. It is also an AfroCuban dance in two-four time with essentially a march rhythm. It is based on a two-measure pattern; the first is symmetrical, but the second is syncopated, the second beat anticipated by a sixteenth note. Usually danced in a conga line, wherein participants hold on to the waist or shoulders of the person ahead. The syncopation is marked by a kick and a brusque movement of the body. Criolla A form, of both Spanish and African influence. It consists of a brief introduction followed by two parts of sixteen measures each, with phrases of two to four measures. Rhythmically it is characterized by six-eight figures in the melody against three-four in the accompaniment, creating a hemiola effect.

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154 Danza Guaracha Habanera Malaguena Hani go Pregon Revista Sainete A Cuban dance, danced independently by couples, which developed from the contradanza. In two-part form, the danza was full of joy and gaiety. A genre not presently cultivated. Originally a Spanish dance, it was introduced to Cuba, where it adapted to the rhythms of the Island. Characteristic of it was a group of rhythmical combinations in no certain order and sensuous movements by the dancers and mischievous texts. A dance of as yet disputed nationality although evidence strongly suggests that it originated in Cuba in the 1840's, finding its way to Spain where it was adapted and stylized. Literally, "girl from Malaga." Also the name given to the Malaga version of the popular fandango . The lively Spanish dance is in Triple meter, and it is often sung to verses based on popular texts. Member of an African tribe who, upon his arrival as a slave to Cuba, continued his allegiance to his cult, maintaining his unique religion, worship, customs, and rituals. Chant of the common street vendor used when voicing the goods and quality of the goods for sale. A musical review. A short, farcical type of comic opera which became popular in Spain during the late eighteenth century. It dealt with ordinary characters in everyday life, to the point of often becoming vulgar.

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155 Tango congo "An African modality which was cultivated preferently (sic) in the theater although its characteristic rhythm pattern, I J J J has been used in other genres by composers" (Grenet, 1939, p. 44). Tresillo The rhythmic pattern " 4 « ! often found in bolero and other Cuban dances. Tonadilla A Spanish short, satirical, comic opera. Its greatest appeal was its down-to-earth characters, usually drawn from the lower class society. Zarzuela "The most important type of Spanish opera, distinguished from ordinary opera in that the music is intermingled with spoken dialogue, as in comic opera. Its subjects, however, are not restricted to comedy." ( Harvard Dictionary of Music, "Zarzuela")

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APPENDIX A LIST OF MUSICAL WORKS OF ERNESTO LECUONA* This is an exhaustive list of all compositions by Ernesto Lecuona that have been identified by this research effort. The pieces are dated in parentheses following the title according to the following convention : o When the precise date of composition is known, the date is given o When only the copyright date is known, that date is given, preceded by "c") o When the date may only be approximated, the dates given show the span of years during which the piece was written Songs Abril — berceuse (c. 1932) Adios, mi amor — capricho Aguinaldos blancos (c. 1936) Aixa — romanza Al fin ( 1950-60) A la luz de las estrellas ( 1950-60) A la primavera — berceuse Alia lejos un cantar Americana soy — capricho Amor — berceuse ( 1920-30) Amor , amor Amor que ya se fue (1950-60) Amor tardlo (1950-60) Aquel beso que me distes ( 1920-28) Aquella tarde — criolla bolero Aquellos besos — impromptu ( 1920-30) A una golondrina — barcarola Ave del paraiso The greater portion of this list may be credited to Lecuona, by Arturo Ramirez 156

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157 Ave fenix Ave lira Baila usted? -danzon Balada Bajo el claro de luna — criolla (1921) Bajo las palmeras Besame tu Besos Bien se que te ries Blanca flor Butterfly Cancion de la rosa Cane ion del mambl Cancion de los aguinaldos blancos Cancion del regreso Cancion gitana Canta mi clave Cantaba la alondra Cantaba el colibrx Cantando voy Canto caribe Canto de los estudiantes Canto indio (1918-20) Canto Carabali Canto negro Canto siboney Celos Chilena gentil (1920-30) Clavel rojo Claveles para ti Como arrullo de palmas Como flor de lys Como flor tronchada Como presiento Corazon, no pidas mas ( 1920-30) Costa rica Cuando muere el sol Cuando te vere otra vez (1950-60) Cuando yo muera Cubana Dame tus rosas De amor, nina divina Dejame decirte Desengano — berceuse (1924) Devuelveme el corazon ^Donde esta el amor? El cisne ( 1916) El faisan El jardinero y la rosa El jilguero en la flor En la quietud de la noche (1950-60) En mi noche triste (c. 1934) En mi soledad En noches de luna (1920-30)

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158 En una noche asi Es un golfo Esclavo libre Escucha corazon ( 1950-60) Escucha el ruisefior Esperando por tl Fantasia negra Flor de cabaret Flor de loto Funeral — lied (1920-28) Garza real Guajira y bolero Habana — marcha (1920-30) Hastio — criolla (1920-30) Ilusion idonde estas? Indiana Junto a tl Juventud La brisa y yo La coqueta — marcha La de los ojos en bianco La gitana La hermana (1920-30) La maja La negra lucumi Labios Lamento africano (c. 1929) Linda mexicana Los pepillitos Luna de pi at a Madrigal ( 1920-28) Mala mujer Maracas de cuba Maria la — romanza ( 1930) Marilu Mariposa Marquesita de ojos verdes — gavota siglo XVIII Mazurka del amor Merse Me has dejado (1950-60) Melodla gris Mi amor eres tu Mi amor es azul Mi amor fue una flor Mi corazon se fue (1950-60) Mi sueno azul Mi sueno fue un cantar (1950-60) Mi vida Mi vida eres tu Muy cerca de tl (1930-40) Nada quiero de tl Nada tengo de tl (1930-40) Negra macuta Negra me muero

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159 Negra merse No digas que no No es por ti (1950-60) No hay perdon (1933-43) No le hagas caso (1950-60) No me enganaras No me niegues el amor (1950-60) No me vuelvas a besar No quiero acordarme (1920-28) No te olvides de ml No tendre compasion (1950-60) No tienes corazon (1950-60) Noche azul ( 1930-40) Noche de estrellas (1950-60) Noche en flor Nunca me lo diras Nunca te perdonare — berceuse (1919) Nunca volveras Ondas marinas Orgullo Oye tu iPara que? — impromptu (1924) Pavo azul Pavo real Por eso te quiero (1920-30) i,Por que has vuelto? <;Por que me has hecho llorar? iPor que no me lo dices? (1950-60) iPor que no vienes? Por tus ojos negros Primavera Princesa de abril Que hubiera sido de ti Que sabes tu Quiero Quiero tu alma Quiero tus besos Quisiera Quisiera olvidar Recordar (1950-60) i,Recuerdas tu? Rosa de abril Rosa la china — romanza (1932) Rosa negra Rosalia — serenata Serenata azul Serenata romantica Si lo quisiera Dios ( 1920-30) Si me quieres un poquito Si pudiera yo besarte Siempre en mi corazon Sigue con tu vida (1950-60) Sin encontrarte (1950-60) Sin esperanza ( 1950-60)

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160 Sin ti Sin ti no puedo vivir Solo tu Son guajiro Sone Soy razonable £,Te acuerdas? — capricho cubano Te has cansado de mi amor ( 1950-60) Te he visto pasar (1950-60) Te perdonare (1950-60) Te sone una vez ( 1950-60) Te quiero, morena (c. 1933) Tehuana Tengo un nuevo amor Tomeguln del pinar Traicion Traje de soiree Triste es ser esclavo Tu ausencia ( 1920-30) Tu no me quieres Tus ojos azules — criolla-bolero (1924) Tus ojos y tu boca Tuyo siempre Un amor vendra Un beso — impromptu (1924) Un ma nana mas Una mafiana de abril Valencia mora Veracruz Ven a mi otra vez Ven por mi Veneciana Vestal serena (1920-28) Volviste a ml Vuelvo a ti Ya tu lo sabes ( 1950-60) Yara Yo bien se (1920-30) Yo compadezco (1920-30) Yo esperaba un amor (1920-30) Yo nada puedo hacer (1950-60) Yo no se por que Yo quiero que tu sepas Yo soy ardiente Yo te quiero (1920-30) Yo te quiero siempre Yo quisiera amarte Yumurl

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161 Collections of Songs "Versos Sencillos" by Jose Marti (1930-35) De cara al sol La que se murio de amor Mi amor del aire se azora Se que estuviste llorando Tu cabellera Un ramo de f lores Una rosa blanca Verses by Juana de Ibarbourou (c. 1940) Balada de amor Cancion del amor triste La seriora luna Senor jardinero Que pena me da ser mujer

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162 Music for Piano Spanish Music Ante el Escorial (c. 1943) Aragonesa Granada San Francisco el grande (c. 1944) Sevilla Suite Andalucla (c. 1928) Alhambra Andalucla Cordoba Gitanerias Guadalquivir Malaguena Zambra gitana Diverse Music Adios a las armas Bellf lower Black Cat Canto del guajiro ( 1950-60) Cuba y America (1905-06) Diario de un nino — suite (c. 1956) Buenos dias El baile de la mufieca Carousel Cancion de luna Bacanal de munecos En las montanas Habanera (c. 1954) Mazurka en glisado (c. 1940) Music Box ( 1920-29) Polichinela Preludio en la noche (1950-60) Preludio en la tarde Rapsodia hawaiana (1925-31) Zambra Zapateo y guajira

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163 Dances Congas Barcelona (1935-40) Conga de Rosa la China La conga de Broadway (1935-40) La conga se va Negrita coco Panama (1935-40) Para Vigo me voy (c. 1936) Por corrientes va una conga Se fue la comparsa Boleros Amor fugaz (1920-30) Canta morena Lola ( 1920-30) Mujer Nunca te olvidare Palomita blanca (1919) Por alia se ha ido (1919) Por un beso de tu boca (1920-30) Quisiera creerte Se fue ( 1924) Si tu supieras (1924) Sone que me dejabas... Tu amor Quisiera olvidar Ya se que me olvidaste (1920-28) Yo se que tu me quieres ( 1920-30) Yo tengo una ilusion Guarachas Ali Baba Asuncion Isabelita no me quiere Maracas Tengo una guajira Tru-cu-tu Tangos Congos Alia en el Batey Los curros del manglar (1929-35) Negrita ( 1920-28) Tango congo de "El cafetal" (1929-35) Rumbas En la noche tropical-rumba-fox La rumba blanca

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164 No le hagas caso Que risa me da Sones No llores mujer Dances for Piano Afro -Cuban La Comparsa (c. 1939) Danza de los Nanigos (c. 1930) Danza Lucuml (c. 1930) Danza negra (c. 1934) La conga de medianoche (c. 1930) ...Y la negra bailaba (c. 1930) Rythmic Ahi viene el chino (c. 1929) Burlesca ( 1920-28) Como baila el muneco En tres por cuatro (c. 1929) Futurista ( 1920-28) La treinta y dos Lola esta de fiesta (c. 1928) Mientras yo comla... (1920-28) No puedo contigo (c. 1929) iPor que te vas? (c. 1929) ...Y la negra bailaba A la antigua (in the old style ) A la antigua (c. 1943) Al fin te vi (1920-28; c. 1943) Amorosa ( 1920-28) Arabesque (c. 1943) El mirinaque Ella y yo (c. 1943) Impromptu (c. 1943) La cardenense (c. 1943) La mulata (c. 1943) La primera en la f rente (c. 1943) Los minstrels (c. 1943) Ni tu ni yo ( 1920-28) No hables mas (c. 1929) Interrumpida (c. 1943) Dances for Voice and Piano Andar ( 1924) Aquella noche Aqui esta ( 1924)

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165 Dame tu amor Dame un be si to a qui La abuela se llevo al nino Lloraba en suenos Melancolla (1920-28) Munequita (1920-30) Pienso en tl (1950-60) Tu seras

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166 Waltzes For piano A media noche Aragon (c. 1913) Barba Azul Be same Bon ton Broken Blossoms Crisantemo En el mar Gardenia Locura Musetta Noche de primavera Ojos triunf adores Parisiana Sofiaba contigo Vals arabesque (1950-60) Vals brillante Vals de ensueno Vals de la mariposa Vals de las flores Vals de los mares Vals del Cauto Vals del Danubio Vals del Ebro Vals del Nilo Vals del Sena Vals del Yumuri Vals diabolico Vals en la bemol Vals en re bemol (1930-40) Vals en si mayor Vals maravilloso Vals patetico (1950-60) Vals poetico Vals romantico (c. 1955) Voila For voice and piano Amor, que bonito has vuelto (1950-60) Blanca nieve Cenicienta Cuento de abril Damisela encantadora (c. 1935) iDonde estas? Es un sueno Estudiantina Florecita del camino Galanes y damiselas La bella durmiente

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167 La princesa esta triste Los enamorados Luna azul Mirame otra vez Muneca de cristal Noche de estrellas Peruana Senorita de ojos negros Serenata romantica Sin esperanza Te dire un cuento Tus ojos sonadores Vals azul Vals de amor (1950-60) Vals de la rosa Vals de las sombras Vals de Pierrot Vals del antifaz (1919) Vals del beso Vals del globo Vals del Rhin (1913) Vals rosa Vals triste ( 1924) Vampiresa

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Theater Pieces 168 Year Title Theater 1919 Domingo de pinata 1919 La Liga de las Naciones 1919 El recluta del amor* 1919 La caravana* 1919 Una noche en Maxim 1919 El 20, el de la suerte 1920 El portfolio del amor** 1921 La carrera del amor*** 1922 Diabluras y fantasias** 1922 Jaque al rey 1923 Es mucha Habana** 1924 Levantate y anda** 1925 Radiomania** 1925 Al caer la nieve 1926 La revista sin trajes** n/a Malvarrosa 1927 Rosalima n/a La revista de eslava 1927 Nina Rita* 1927 La tierra de Venus** 1927 La revista femenina** 1927 La liga de las senoras 1929 El cafetal* 1929 El batey* 1929 Alma de raza** 1929 La flor del sitio* 1930 Maria la O* 1930 El maizal* 1930 El amor del guarachero*** 1930 El calesero* 1930 La mujer de nadie 1932 La guaracha musulmana 1932 Rosa la china* 1935 Julian el gallo 1935 Lola Cruz 1935 El torrente* 1935 Estampas tropicales 1935 Postales habaneras 1935 Aires nacionales 1935 Las mujeres mandan 1937 Sor Ines 1941 La de Jesus Maria* 1942 Cuando la Habana era inglesa 1942 La cubanita* 1944 La Plaza de la Catedral* 1946 Mujeres 1957 Tropicana** n/a Chofer...,;al Regina! Teatro Marti, Havana Teatro Marti, Havana Teatro Marti, Havana Teatro Marti, Havana Teatro Marti, Havana Teatro Marti, Havana Teatro Marti, Havana Teatro Actualidades Teatro Marti, Havana Teatro Marti, Havana Teatro Marti, Havana Teatro Martin, Madrid Teatro Apolo, Madrid Teatro Ruzafa, Valencia, Spain Teatro Eslava, Madrid Teatro Apolo, Valencia, Spain Teatro Pavon, Madrid Teatro Eslava, Madrid Teatro Regina, Havana Teatro Regina, Havana Teatro Regina, Havana Teatro Regina, Havana Teatro Regina, Havana Teatro Regina, Havana Teatro Regina, Havana Teatro Auditorium, Havana Teatro Payret, Havana Teatro Payret, Havana Teatro Payret, Havana Teatro Payret, Havana n/a Teatro La Comedia, Havana Teatro Marti, Havana Teatro Auditorium, Havana Teatro Auditorium, Havana Teatro La Comedia, Havana Teatro La Comedia, Havana Teatro La Comedia, Havana Teatro La Comedia, Havana Teatro La Comedia, Havana Teatro Auditorium, Havana Teatro La Comedia, Havana Teatro La Comedia, Havana Teatro La Comedia, Havana Teatro Nacional, Havana Teatro Auditorium, Havana n/a, Barcelona n/a * Zarzuela ** Review *** Sainete

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169 Works for Ensemble Voice and Orchestra Bajo las palmeras Ballet conga (for ballet and orchestra) El Cabildo Mosaico azul Mosaico 3 Violin and Piano Impromptu Guajira Sevilla Piano and Orchestra Rapsodia argentina Rapsodia negra ( 1940-43) Piano, Voice, and Orchestra Del manglar (orchestration by Gonzalo Roig) Orchestra Alia en Oriente Bajo las palmeras Camaguey Cantos de Espana Como suenan los tambores De otros tiempos En la tierra del sol En las lomas de Trinidad En el Canaveral Gitanerias Guanabacoa la bella La comparsa Los munecos bailan Malaguena Melodlas conocidas Melodlas de antano Melodlas populares Mosaico cubano 2 Mosaico de carnaval Mosaico Habana Mosaico Yumurl Rapsodia tropical Sinfonla del ritmo Tambor y maracas Valses celebres Varadero Vinales 1941 -melodlas de guerra

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170 Miscellaneous Music Pregones El dulcero (c. 1932) El frutero (c. 1932) El pirulero (c. 1932) El pulpero (c. 1932) El sun sun ( 1935-40) Pregon de las flores (1930-40) Pregon de los pajaros (1930-40) Se va el botellero Couplets Dorotea La chica del gato La nueva rica Maniqui

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171 Music for Films (Films for which Lecuona wrote partial or complete scores) Carnaval in Costa Rica , 2 0th Century Fox (1947) Under Cuban Skies , MGM (1931) Always in My Heart , Warner Bros. (1942) One More Tomorrow , Warner Bros (1946) Mariana Pearl Harbor , MGM La cruz y_ la_ espada , MGM Free Soul ,~MGM (1931) Susana Lenox, MGM (1931) Maria la 0_, Mexican film Adios Buenos Aires , Argentine film La ultima melodia, Cuban film

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APPENDIX B MEMORABILIA This appendix contains the last will and testament of Ernesto Lecubna as well as several photographs of the maestro. The material from which copies were made are in the possession of the author. 172

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173 LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF EPr.JSTO LiCUONA I, ERNESTO ^ECUONA, residing presently at 5004 North Tampanla, Tampa, Florida, being of sound mind, memory, and understanding, declare this co be my Last Will and Testament hereby revoking any and all Wills previously made. 1. I dlrec; that all my Just debts and funeral expenses be paid as toon after ay death as possible and that during funeral services suitable musio and flowers be provided and due consideration be given to the religous aspect of such services. 2. I direct frizz I be buriad in an expropriate mausoleum in accordance with the judgment of -.j Executor hereinafter named and provided the cose sner.sOf be practicable. I furtfcar provide that v. intej-aant be in New York in the even; that Fidel Castro or a ... ot. er head of government in Cuba, oe Communist or repras... iuch faction, group, or class be it governed or doi.;. . ...ad or inspired by alien doctrine from abroad. On the other hand in t;;a event that Cui^ aes free at the time of my death, I direct that I be buried there in accordance with the same standard herein set forth. 3. I direct that all Estate taxes and other taxes _n any State, tarr..;i?y or Jurisdiction of the UniteStates or ot:. : country be paid out of ny Estate and not out of any g:~t, -esacy, benefit or bequesr so any one herein entitlad '? receive. Figure 66. Last Will and Testament of Ernesto Lecuona* Reproduced xerographically to show Lecuona' s signature on each page.

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174 4. I give, devise, and bequeath to my sister, EU3A LECUONA, ray country home situated In Marlanao, Cuba, and known as "El Chioo Country Club". 5. I give and bequeath to LUIS A MARIA MORALES, wife of Dr. Carballldo, ray music library for her own use absolutely and forever. 6. X give and bequeath to ELDA LECUONA and ELENA LECUONA, daughters of LUIS ERNESTO LECUONA, to be shared equally by them, all my original manuscripts for their own use absolutely and forever. 7. I give and Dequeath to DR. FRANCISCO CARBALLIDO, Llcenciado, all my recordB and/or files of my original compositions for his own use absolutely and forever . 8. I give and bequeath to PATRICIA BURUNaT my piano presently located in my nouse at 5004 North Tampania Street, Tampa, Florida. 9. I give and bequeath my car, a 1963 Bulck; I all ray Jewelry; clothes ana any and all furniture, as well as any and all other belongings and personal effects ij not previously disposed of So ARTURO ALQUIZAR for his !] own use absolutely -:nd forever. 10. I direct my .Executor hereinafter named to sell ray house in Tampa, Florida, and to distribute equally ! ! and share and share alike the proceeds derived from such sale to my niece, II3A LECUONA, and to my nephews, RAFAEL and FERNANDO LECUONA, for their own use absolutely and forever. Figure 66. (Continued)

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175 11. I give and bequeath all ray right, title, and interest in and to my copyrights, royalty agreements of which I am the author or owner, including royalties from sales of any or all of my works relating directly or indirectly to my music compositions, whether derived from performing rights, puDllshing rights, or other source including recordings and other mechanicals, together with any and all renewals and any claims of causes of action which may arise therefrom or accrue thereto for infringement, plagarlsm, or breach of contract, accruing and arising anywhere in the world, as follows: Fifteen (15#) per cent to my niece, I3A LECUONA, and to my nephews, RAFAEL and FERNANDO LECUONA, to be divided equally among them; five (5#) per cent to DR. JUAN BATISTA BROUWER; five (5£) per cent to ELISA BROUWER; five (5#) per cent to ELDA LECUONA y Araespil and ELENA LECUONA y Amespll, to be shared equally, viz: two and one-half (2^6) per cent to each; four (4%) per cent to LUIS ERNESTO LECUONA; four (4%) per cent to JULIO CESAR; ten (10%) per cent to CARLOS RAMIREZ; five (5%) per cent to EDGARDO RAMIREZ; five (5£) per cent to ARTURO RAMIREZ; four (4$S) per cent to JUAN ERNESTO LECUONA; four (4%) per cent to ESTER LECUONA; five (5£) per cent to ARTURO ALQUIZAR, ARMANDO DE LA TORRE, and ERNESTO GARCIA, to be divided equally and share and share alike provided, however, that they are all in the service of the Testator at the time of his death. In the event that one or more of those last mentioned falls or fail to qualify, then the share to which such person would be entitled is to be divided equally among those qualified or all to -him Figure 66. (Continued)

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176 that may be qualified to talca; four (4%) per cant to JULIO BURUNAT; ten (10;6) per cent to DR. FRANCISCO CARBALLIDO, Licenciado, my Havana attorney; and fifteen (15£) per cent to JOHN SPERRY, all of which gifts are for their use absolutely and forever. 12. All the rest, residue of my Estate of whatever land, be It real, personal or mixed, I give and bequeath to my niece, IIBA LECUONA, and my nephews, RAFAEL and FERNANDO LECUONA, to be divided equally, share and share alike. 13. I hereby constitute and appoint as the Executor of this, my Last Will and Testament, my friend and attorney, JOHN SPERRY, and direct that no bond or other instrument be required anywhere for the faithful performance of his duties as such Executor. I constitute and appoint at the same time DR. FRANCISCO CARBALLIDO as my Executor in Cuba In the event that services be required respecting natters related to my property or properties in Cuba. 14. I direct that in the event any legatee or beneficiary of this, my Last Will and Testament, oppose or Join in opposing or contesclng the probate of this, my Last Will and Testament, 3uch legatee or beneficiary shall automatically forego and forthwith forfeit and lose any and all right, gift, and/or benefit granted hereinabove . 15. Notwlthstandlns ay temporary residence In Florida, I deem and consider New York my domicile and It is my plan, wish and intention that my Will be probated Figure 66. (Continued)

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177 In the County of New York, State of New York, and that it be construed , interpreted, and considered In accordance with the laws of the State of New York. 16. It is my wish and intention and I so direct that any and all contracts and agreements made with editors 1 or authors' societies of Europe and of the United States be honored to the fullest and it Is my intention and I so direct that the EDWARD B. MARKS MUSIC CORPORATION have preference at all times Insofar as publishing rights to my music, whether it be sheet music or making records or any other mechanical reproduction is concerned. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this -ffwT day of June, the year Nineteen Hundred Sixty Three. SICNED, SEALED, PUBLISHED AND DECLARED by the above named Testator, ERNESTO LECUONA, as and for his Last Will and Testament and witnessed by the undersigned who, at his request and in his presence and in the presence of each other, each signed as subscribing witness thereto, this attestation having been read aloud to said Testator in English and translated in Spanish and said Testator having expressly stated that he read the said Will, knew Its contents and that It was his Last Will and Testament. ~rn \fan\i ~Ma ejjJL '1 1 r esiding at 3?,\./,(, '!>« f^,:,.M residing at .-< n-srr ^Tivm(\mAa ^MJT"W'y. r esiding at. ]*7)1 IA/Hku.^i^-,;. ('i ?i Hut -5Figure 66. (Continued)

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178 Figure 67. Lecuona at the Piano

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179 Figure 68. Lecuona and Impresario Roberto Rodriguez

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180 Figure 69. Lecuona on the podium

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181 ; HH' ! l! ^vrcy* no* y ''{ on V/c/a / Figure 70. Members of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Lima, Directed by Ernesto Lecuona

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182 Figure 71. Lecuona's First Concert at the Teatro Municipal de Lima, Peru December 4, 1934. Director: Ernesto Lecuona, Pianist: Ernestina Lecuona, Soloist: Esther Borja

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183 Figure 72. Lecuona Conducting

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184 Figure 73. Lecuona the Pianist

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185 Figure 74. Autographed Portrait of Ernesto Lecuona to Roberto Rodriguez

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Alvarez, Octavio. Actor, Miami, Florida. Interview. 28 March 1979. Anderton, Margaret. "Malaguena Musically Analyzed." Musician 37 (October, 1932): 8. Ayala, Cristobal Diaz. Musica cubana: del areyto a la nueva trova. San Juan, Puerto Rico: Editorial Cubanacan, 1981. Behague, Gerard. Music in Latin America: An Introduction . New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1979. " " ~ Carpentier, Alejo. La musica en Cuba . Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economica, 1946. Chase, Gilbert. The Music of Spain . New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1941. "Ernesto Lecuona, Composer of 'Siboney,' Is Dead." New York Times, 1 December 1963, p. 84. — "Ernesto Lecuona Offers Cuban Program to Celebrate Country's Independence Day." New York Times , 11 October 1943, p. 22. Garcia, Ernesto. Actor and singer, Miami, Florida. Interview. 28 March 1979. Gehrkens, Karl W. "In What Key Is Malaguena?" Etude 71 (September 1953): 22 Gehrkens, Karl W. "More about the Key of Malaguena." Etude 72 (April 1954): 23. Gonzalez, Diego. Record Jacket Notes in Lecuona, Ernesto. Ernesto Lecuona . With Alfredo Munar and rhythm accompaniment by Candido and Lenny Calderon. Montilla FM 197. n.d. Grandy, Miguel de. Actor and singer, Miami, Florida. Interview. 28 March 1979. Grenet, Emilio. Popular Cuban Music , trans. R. Phillips. Havana: Carasa and Co. , 1939. Grenet, Ernesto. Drummer, Miami, Florida. Interview. 30 March 1979. Harvard Dictionary of Music, 2nd ed. (1974). S.v. "Zarzuela." 186

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187 Haydon, Glen. Introduction to Musicology . New York: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1941. Irazazabal. Record Jacket Notes in Lecuona, Ernesto. El caf etal . With the Chorus and Chamber orchestra of Madrid. Felix Guerrero conducting. Montilla FM 77. n.d. "Jorge Gershwin Lecuona." Newsweek , 18 October 1943, pp. 97-98. LeCerff, Josefina. Ernesto Lecuona's sister-in-law, Miami, Florida. Interview. 30 March 1979. Lecuona, Ernesto. El caf etal . with the Chorus and Chamber orchestra of Madrid. Felix Guerrero conducting. Montilla FM 77. n.d. Ernesto Lecuona . With Alfredo Munar and rhythm accompaniment by Candido and Lenny Calderon. Montilla FM 197 _. Ernesto Lecuona al piano . With Ernesto Lecuona, piano. Antilla 3647. n.d. • Homenaje al Maestro Ernesto Lecuona . TRLP 5150. n.d. _. Immortales al piano; Ernesto Lecuona . With Ernesto Lecuona, piano. Riviera 708. n.d. _• Lecuona : Andalucia, Danzas af ro-cubanas , Danzas cubanas . With Jose Echaniz, piano. Westminster WL5343. n.d. • Lecuona interpreta a Lecuona . With Ernesto Lecuona, piano. Arcano DKL 1-3296. 1972. Lecuona Plays Lecuona . With Ernesto Lecuona, piano. RCA CPM1055. n.d. Malaguena: Music of Cuba . With Percy Faith and his Orchestra. Columbia CL 1267. With Record Jacket Notes, n.d. • Maria la O. ARO 129. n.d. _. Maria la 0_. With Felix Guerrero conducting the Orquesta de Camara de Madrid and Chorus. Montilla FM 73. With Record Jacket Notes, n.d. _. The Music of Ernesto Lecuona. With the Trio Los Panchos. Columbia EX 5145. With Record Jacket Notes. • La musica de Lecuona . Panart LP 3100. n.d. . Musica de Lecuona en tiempo bailable . With the Havana Casino Orchestra. Kubaney MT-133. n.d

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• Rosa la China. With Felix Guerrero conducting the Orquesta de Camara de Madrid and Chorus Montilla FM 75. n.d. • Tributo a Lecuona . With Cesar Morales, piano. Modiner NG 234. n.d. Lluis, Rolando. Violinist, Miami, Florida. Interview. 27 March 1979. MacGaffey, Wyatt and Barnett, Clifford R. Cuba . New Haven: Hraf Press, 1962. Martin, Esteban. "Ernesto Lecuona y su empresario." Diario Las Americas (Miami) . n.d. " ~~ The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians , 1980 ed. S.v. "Cuba," by Gerard Behague and Carlos Borbolla. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians , 1980 ed. S.v. "Sainete," by Lionel Salter. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians , 1980 ed. S.v. "Zarzuela," by Jack Sage and Lionel Salter. Parker, William Belmont, ed. Hispanic Notes and Monographs . New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1919. "Presencia permanente de Lecuona." Diario Las Americas (Miami), 28 May 1970, p. 5. Ramirez, Arturo. Lecuona. Manuscript acquired by La Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid, 28 January 1961. Reed, Peter Hugh. Record Jacket Notes in Lecuona : Andalucia, Danzas Af ro-Cubanas , Danzas Cubanas . Jose Echaniz, Piano. Westminster WL5343. 1954. Rodriguez, Roberto. Lecuona 's impresario, Miami, Florida. Interview. 26 March 1979. Rosell, Rosendo. "Ernesto Lecuona: vie j as postales de los buenos tiempos." Booklet acquired from Roberto Rodriguez in 1979. Rosello, Arturo Alfonso. "Ernesto Lecuona y sus melodias embruj adoras . " Carteles (Cuba), 3 March 1935. Sargeant, Winthrop. "Cuba's Tin Pan Alley. Life , 6 October 1947, pp. 145-157. Slonimsky, Nicolas. Music of Latin America . New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1945. Sperry, John, Executor of Lecuona 's estate. Letter to Gloria Jacobson. New York. 19 August 1981.

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189 "Bibliographic Notes on Ernesto Lecuona." New York, 20 September 1973. Zeitung, Bill. Record Jacket Notes in Lecuona. Lecuona Plays Lecuona. RCA CPM 1055. 1955

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Gloria Castiel Jacobson was born in Santiago de Cuba, province of Oriente, Cuba, on December 26, 1951. She left her native land in 1964, becoming a U.S. citizen and residing in Miami, Florida, until 1969. She attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where she received her Bachelor's (1973) and Master's (1975) degrees in Music Education. Ms. Jacobson has done extensive teaching in the Suzuki violin method, both for children and adults, during the past four years. She presently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, where she has her own studio. 190

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x uei.t_j.ry mat i have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. / M 7 ni^^riM^-^^ Gordon D. Lawrence, Chairman Professor of Curriculum and Instruction I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. t/'fl-, A^wutAy David Z.^TCushner Professor of Music I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. S. Phillip/Kpase Professor t5t Mi I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
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This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Division of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education and to the Graduate Council, and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. August, 1982 Dean for Graduate Studies and Research

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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 3 1262 08666 288 8