The cantata Oda a Jovellanos is based on the poem with the same title by Antonio Gamoneda. With a duration of about 30 minutes, it is composed for solo tenor, mixed chorus and orchestra. The work is divided in three movements, and it explores the life of the remarkable politician, writer and enlightened man of the end of the 18th Century and beginning of the 19th. The text has a biographical character, but the music is designed so it provides a dramatic arc through its three movements: Jovellanos, the nonconformist, the man who struggles against the tide, and the man who never lost his love for his beloved homeland, Asturias. The tenor narrates aspects of his life, his strength and his character. At the same time, the chorus reflects on Jovellanos’ role in the Spanish history. At the end of the third movement, we hear the voice of Jovellanos himself by a bass from the chorus. Jovellanos speaks to us from the past, about our present, but always looking into the future.
Oda a Jovellanos was recorded and released on CD and DVD in Spain only in 2012.
Reviews of Oda a Jovellanos
[Espanol] “Entre las conmemoraciones musicales del bicentenario de Jovellanos, esta composición posee una voluntad estilística propia de nuestro tiempo, y está escrita con intención de sobrevivir a los actos del bicentenario. Frente a la mera intención laudatoria que suelen inspirar estas cantatas de homenaje, se nos presenta en la ‘Oda a Jovellanos’ una semblanza más compleja del polígrafo gijonés, «clavo de oro en la conciencia lívida de España», esbozado como inconformista, rebelde, preso de sus circunstancias y amante de su tierra y de su pueblo.” — Ramón Avello, El Comercio, December 18, 2011 (CD)
[English Translation] “Among all the musical commemorations of the bicentennial of Jovellanos, [Oda a Jovellanos] possesses a stylistic will appropriate to our time and it has been written with the intention to survive beyond the bicentennial. Instead of the mere intention of praise that these homage-cantatas usually inspire, Oda a Jovellanos is a work presented with more complex imagery of the writer from Gijón, shown as non-conformist, rebel, imprisoned by the circumstances, and in love with his homeland and his people.” — Ramón Avello, El Comercio, December 18, 2011 (CD)