Juan Bautista Plaza and Musical Nationalism in Venezuela

By Marie Elizabeth Labonville

Juan Bautista Plaza (1898-1965) was once the most very important musicians within the background of Venezuela. as well as composing in a number of genres and kinds, he used to be the prime determine in Venezuelan tune schooling and musicology at a time while his compatriots have been trying to solidify their cultural identification. Plaza's compositions within the rising nationalist type and his efforts to enhance musical associations in his domestic nation parallel the paintings of contemporaneous Latin American musicians together with Carlos Chávez of Mexico, Amadeo Roldán of Cuba, and Camargo Guarnieri of Brazil.

Plaza's existence and tune are little studied, and Labonville's bold booklet is the 1st in English to be in keeping with his huge writings and compositions. As those and different records exhibit, Plaza crammed quite a few roles in Venezuela's musical infrastructure together with researcher, performer, instructor, composer, promoter, critic, chapel grasp, and director of nationwide tradition. Labonville examines Plaza's many jobs in an try to check how the nationalist spirit affected artwork song tradition in Venezuela, and what alterations it delivered to Venezuela's musical landscape.

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Looking back, those items represented a significant step towards the improvement of a mundane nationalist choral repertory. Plaza’s best-known a cappella paintings for Holy Week is a Miserere for four-part men’s choir, premiered in the course of 1924. He thought of that piece to be between his most sensible productions16 and played it each year through the Office of Tenebrae. the outlet measures are proven in instance 6. 1. The Requiem Mass of 1933 Plaza’s favourite sacred works of his personal composition have been unquestionably the 9 lots and 7 different items that he conscientiously copied right into a certain quantity round 1963, approximately fifteen years after he retired from the cathedral. 17 The first paintings within the compilation is his Misa de Réquiem, composed in 1933 presently after the loss of life of his mom. close to the time while he copied those compositions, a reporter talked to him approximately his quite a few liturgical works. Modestly and dismissively Plaza remarked that he had written such a lot of “not simply because i would have had a different vocation, yet simply because that used to be my job,” singling out in basic terms the Misa de Réquiem, “which I composed with all feeling and devotion since it handled a reminiscence of my mom. ” 18 He extra that “the Requiem is, and i've stated this to all my relatives, the one paintings of mine which I hope shouldn't be misplaced. ”19 The Misa de Réquiem is Plaza’s simply sacred composition to were released. It used to be premiered no longer on the cathedral yet on the church of St. Francis, on June 28, 1934, at a Mass commemorating the one-year anniversary of his mother’s passing. It used to be played on the cathedral on later 66 / Plaza’s lifestyles and Works instance 6. 1. Plaza, Miserere, mm. 1–11. utilized by permission of the Fundación Juan Bautista Plaza. Paid to Compose / sixty seven events; for instance, in 1935 in the course of solemn funeral providers for Dr. Manuel I. Rus, and in 1939 at a Mass commemorating the dying of Pope Pius XI. Plaza scored the Misa de Réquiem for three-part men’s choir (TTB), even though sometimes the bass line splits to create a four-part texture. The accompaniment exists in models for organ and for orchestra. instance 6. 2, from the “Responsorium,” illustrates Plaza’s sensitivity to the textual content. At “Dies illa, dies irae” (“That day, that day of wrath”), the pace, dynamics, and lengthy word values within the refrain underscore the drama of the phrases. At “calamitatis et miseriæ” (“of calamity and misery”), a contrapuntal passage presents aid prior to the feel turns into homophonic back at “dies magna” (“great day”). At “et amara valde” (“and intensely bitter”), Plaza calls consciousness to the phrases via decreasing either pace and dynamics. Plaza and the Organ Plaza’s tasks as chapel grasp incorporated serving as cathedral organist, even if he used to be capable of anticipate aid from assistants. He performed the tool correctly, for in Rome he have been capable of disguise 4 years of organ learn in 3. In Rome, too, he had thrilled in listening to fine organs at his tuition, in live performance halls, and in church buildings. not anything in Caracas may possibly evaluate. His letters from Rome demonstrate his enthusiasm for the organ and his dismay that there has been no reliable specimen in his local urban.

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