Analysis of Pieza Para Violín Solo and Trio Conversations by Colombian Composer Juan Antonio Cuéllar

April 1, 2019

ABSTRACT

This article analyses two pieces by Colombian composer Juan Antonio Cuéllar. The first piece, Pieza para Violín Solo (Piece for Violin Solo), is a short piece using centered pitch harmonic motions. Pieza para Violín Solo is based on porro, a folk dance from the Caribbean region of Colombia. The second piece is trio Conversations for violin, cello, and piano, written as a theme and variations. Cuéllar transformed a motet he wrote in 1987 into the original theme for this trio. Each variation is inspired by the different composers that significantly influenced Cuéllar’s musical interests. For the last variations, Cuéllar uses folk material from currulao caucano, a dance from the Pacific region of Colombia. These dances (porro and currulao) are characterized by a strong rhythmic presence, which is an essential element in the folk music of these coastal regions where a significant number of afro descendants are located. In these works, Cuéllar exposes folk Colombian music combined with modal, tonal, and atonal harmonies and develops finely-crafted motivic material to create unique sonorities.

Donald Henriques

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