Sagrados son los que vienen a ver sus muertos: An exploration of Gabriela Lena Frank’s Conquest Requiem
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Sagrados son los que vienen a ver sus muertos: An exploration of Gabriela Lena Frank’s Conquest Requiem

  • Author(s): Newberry, Kelly Sharee
  • Advisor(s): Bayrakdarian, Isabel
  • et al.
Abstract

ABSTRACT

Sagrados son los que vienen a ver sus muertos:An exploration of Gabriela Lena Frank’s Conquest Requiem

By Kelly S. Newberry

The purpose of this DMA document is to provide contextual, biographical, and historical information as a resource for those interested in performing and learning about the Conquest Requiem by Gabriela Lena Frank. The composition of the Conquest Requiem was the culmination of Gabriela Lena Frank’s tenure as the Houston Symphony Orchestra's resident composer in 2017. It is scored for full orchestra, chorus, baritone soloist, and soprano soloist.Chapter one describes the artistic team that created the piece: Frank and her librettist Nilo Cruz. Chapter two gives a historical overview of Mexico's conquest, focusing on the history of the Aztecs and the main subjects of the piece: La Malinche, Hernán Cortés and their son Martín. Chapter three contains information about the process of creating the Conquest Requiem, as well as an exploration of the libretto’s relation to the music. Chapter four is about the politicization of requiems, using Britten’s War Requiem as a key piece for comparison, and how performing the Conquest Requiem celebrates the concept of mestizaje. I hope that this paper will help performers to generate more nuanced performances of the Conquest Requiem by providing context and insights from the composer, from the historical context of the piece’s subject, and from the perspective of a professional musician.

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