Alegría means Joy, which truly defines this rhythmically exillarting concert overture.
Sinfonía no. 4
This symphony was commissioned the Sphinx organization is part of an onging cycle of symphonies. The rhythms of the Caribbean as well as the melancholic bolero create an unique mix of elements in a work that speaks about the present, but that at the same time looks towards the future. Listen to the first movement.
Comissioned by the National Symphony Orcchestra of Washing DC, Fandangos has become one of the most often performed works of the last decade, with more than 200 performance to date. This orchestral fantasy, built on the Fandango for harpsichord by the barroque Spanish composer Antonio Soler, is an exciting concert opener that has proven to be a favorite of audiences in Europe, Asia and the USA.
Concierto para orquesta
Concierto para orquesta (Concerto for orchestra) has three main movements, following a fast-slow-fast scheme, with two intervening cadenzas. In Dibujos (Drawings) I wanted to use the orchestra as a canvas on which I would freely draw my musical images. The work was commissioned by the Koussevtzky Music Foundation and premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Sonfonía no. 3
This symphony is a studey on salsa, danza and other Afro-Caribbean genres. Tumbao is the Salsa movement of this Caribbean Symphony.
Folias was written for and premiered by Manuel Barrueco, who has been a close collaborator of Roberto Sierra for decades. The single movement concerto builds up on the "La Folía" theme.
Concerto for viola
This concerto explores the expressive and intimate sound qualities of the viola, as well as the virtuosic and powerful aspects that can be obtained when the instrument is in the hands of a virtuoso. Latin rhythms permeate the concerto, not as direct quotes, but rather as distilled musical ideas.
Concierto para órgano y orquesta
This concerto, in four movements, starts with a virtuosic Toccata, where the orchestral timbres stand in contrast, but at the same time complement, the rich sound palette of the solo instrument. Concierto para órgano y orquesta was commissioned by the American Guild of Organists for the Biennial National Convention in Nashville, TN, 2012.
Chamber Ensemble Works
Fuego de ángel
The inspiration for Fuego de ángel was a place (Angel Fire, New Mexico) that, although I have never visited, triggered my imagination. The idea of an angel in conjunction with fire reminded me of images from renaissance and early baroque religious paintings; in particular some of the Latin American early colonial works which, in fantastic and unusual ways, depict celestial battles between good and evil— such as the many representations of the archangel Michael defeating the devil.
La visión del ángel
Written for a "sinfonietta" ensemble cuenmtos explores the sonic and rhythmic possibilities of the ensemble. Listen to Lenguas deconocidas ("Unknown Languages'):
Recordando una melodía olvidada
The concept of memory as a process guides the form of this work (“Remembering a Forgotten Melody”). The initial melodic statement captures the act of remembering an old tune, one perhaps heard many years ago. As the melody is interrupted by new ideas, new fragments are added/remembered, as old ones are transformed or are lost altogether.
Turner is one of two chamber works inspired by painters (the other piece is Kandinsky for piano, violin, viola, and cello). As the titles of the movements indicate, each one takes inspiration from a particular painting. The movements are reflections, where Turner’s use of color and space influence my harmonic, melodic and rhythmic language.
Sun Setting Over a Lake.
Songs from the Diaspora
For these settings of ancient sephardic verses I chose those that conveyed a sense of longing of being away. Caminí por altas torres ("I Wandered by the High Towers") conjures the images of the 1492 Judeo Spanish Diaspora.
Caminí por altas torres
Beyond the Silence of Sorrow
When a composer writes a song-cycle, the point of departure is always the poetic text. I was immediately struck by N. Scott Momaday’s poems, which seemed timeless, but also very relevant to my own life experiences. Having lived through the second half of the turbulent 20th century and now the 21st, his plea “Forever land, O heal my heart” seemed to be the appropriate words in these troubled times.
Forever land, O heal my heart
Sonata for clarinet and piano
The Sonata for Clarinet and piano (2005-06) forms part of a group of works that I have written for the clarinet since the 1980’s. Common threads in all these works are the rhythmic and register (timbre) explorations in conjunction with the highly agile and expressive qualities of the clarinet.
Sonata for violin and piano
The first movement of this sonata is based loosely on a Mahlerian model; rather than thinking on thematic material regulated by tonal areas, this sonata unfolds with themes that resemble more the characters in a novel. They enter the narrative and follow their own development, their own path (as characters in novel would do).
Sonata for cello and piano
The last movement of this sonata is a toccata where the cello and piano play as equal partners. Elements of tonality mix with non tonal structures to creat an unique sound.