Micháns, Carlos

“I am a Dutch composer born, raised and educated in Argentina”, is Carlos Micháns’ favourite answer when asked about his nationality. Born in Buenos Aires in 1950 into a family ...

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Divertimento (Nr. 3) : (Variations on a Tamil lyric), for eight strings, 2000 / Carlos Micháns

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, 2000
Publisher's number: 10116
Genre: Chamber music
Subgenre: Other combinations of string
Instruments: 4vl 2vla 2vc
Remarks: Voor 4 violen, 2 altviolen en 2 cello's. - Met voorw. - In opdracht van het Reizend Muziekgezelschap en het Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst. - Opgedragen aan Christian Bor. - Cop. MuziekGroep Nederland, 2000. - Tijdsduur: ca. 14'
Duration: 14'00"
Number of players: 8
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Program note (English): Tamil lyrics represent one of the oldest and most traditional forms of Christian singing in Tamil Nadu (South India) and Sri Lanka. They generally consists of simple melodies, with sometimes basic, sometimes complex rhythmic patterns. Although Christianity entered South India from the very beginning (St. Thomas Apostle's grave is believed to be in Chennai, the former Madras), it would be wise to associate the origin of Tamil lyrics with the work of European missionaries several centuries later. However, it is not always easy to trace the exact provenance of these hundreds, if not thousands of tunes, let alone the name of the composers. In fact, many lyrics are adaptations of ancient Hindu ragas, whereas others may derive from European hymns and profane, even sailor's songs, next to Tamil Nudu's own folk music. Also, it is not strictly church music, but rather songs to be sung by Christians on different occasions, whether religious or not, usually without any accompaniment. The
tune introduced in the second movement of this Divertimento, for instance, is actually the first part of a lengthier lyric heard mainly at weddings, which explains its joyful character. The structure is a plain A-B-A, with all three sections being repeated. Apart from this musical quote, no other Indian-like motives, sounds or references whatsoever should be looked for in the composition, which is for the rest purely abstract and in any case western in both spirit and conception. - CARLOS MICHÁNS

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