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Barcarola Latinoamericana

Gabriela Lena Frank
5 min

Barcarola Latinoamericana (2007) for solo piano is a folkloric piece inspired by the vital folk-fusion musical culture in Latin America today. It is not uncommon nowadays to encounter Andean panpipe ensembles infused with the drumbeats of Colombian cumbia, Central American marimba music spiced with South American sesquiáltera ("changing sixes") rhythms, or Mexican mariachi bands that also play Venezuelan joropos, albeit with a rather brassy flare. It is in this spirit that Barcarola Latinoamerica was composed, drawing on harmonies, rhythms, and tremolos common to the various guitar-playing genres of Latin America. The characteristic lyricism of vocal music is also evoked, such as in the use of sudden changes in dynamics and registers.

Performance note: All single notes with the tremolo marking should be done as quick repeated notes done with 3-2-1 or 4-3-2-1 fingering. Chords with tremolo markings should be done with an equally quick rotation of the hand.

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