Los Astros  (The Stars)

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Secular text in Spanish by Rosalia de Castro
Duration: eight minutes
Difficulty rating (1-5): 4

I. Dicen que no Hablan las Plantas

II.  Hay canas
III. Los Astros (The Stars)

Premiered  by Vox Caelestis Women’s Chorus, Downers Grove, IL, directed by Paul Carey

I found the text for the first movement of this piece in a Spanish poetry compilation. I was thrilled to find that it was really only one-third of a longer poem by de Castro, therefore I had more material to work with and basically created a three movement work based on the three sections of the poem. Rosalia de Castro wrote poetry of great sadness and transcendence, reflecting a poet’s soul whose personal life was full of sadness and disappointment. In some ways, she could almost be considered the 19th century Spanish counterpart to Emily Dickenson.

Complete perusal score available upon request.



I. Dicen que no hablan las plantas
Dicen que no hablan las plantas, ni las fuentes, ni los pájaros,
Ni el onda con sus rumores, ni con su brillo los astros,
Lo dicen, pero no es cierto, pues siempre cuando yo paso,
De mí murmuran y exclaman: - Ahí va loca soñando
Con la eterna primavera de la vida y de los campos,
Y ya bien pronto, bien pronto, tendrá los cabellos canos,
Y ve temblando, aterida, que cubre la escarcha el prado.
II. Hay canas en mi cabeza
Hay canas en me cabeza, hay en los prados escarcha,
Mas yo prosigo soñando, pobre, incurable sonambula,
Con la eterna primavera de la vida que se apaga
Y la perenne frescura de los campos y las almas,
Aunque los unos se agostan y aunque las otras se abrasar.
III. Los Astros
Astros y fuentes y flores, no murmureis de mis sueños,
Sin ellos, ¿cómo admiraros ni cómo vivir sin ellos?
I. They say the plants do not speak
They say the plants, streams, and birds do not speak,
Nor do the murmuring waves or the brilliant stars,
So they say, but it is not true, whenever I pass,
They whisper about me and exclaim: - There she goes, the madwoman,
Dreaming of life’s eternal spring and of open fields,
But all too soon her hair will turn white,
And, trembling with cold, she will see the frost covering the meadow.
II. There is gray in my hair
There is gray in my hair like the frost in the meadow,
But I, incurable sleepwalker, keep on dreaming
Of life’s eternal springtime that is fading,
Of fresh fields and young souls,
Though the fields become scorched and souls consumed with passion.
III. The Stars
Stars, streams, flowers! Do not fault my dreams –
Without them, how could I admire you, or even live?




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