Paul Bowles - The wind remains (Garcia Lorca)

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2Voc. Fl. Ob. Klar. Fag. Hrn. Trp. Trb. Hrp. Perc. Vl. Cb.
Theodore Presser Company, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010, USA
This composition has been played by the Ebony Band

In 1941 Bowles received a commission from the Guggenheim Foundation to compose an opera to a libretto by William Soroyan. He left New York to begin writing in Mexico, but after several months he came to the conclusion that he could not work with the libretto. Instead, he turned to the Spanish poet Frederico Garcia Lorca, choosing one of his most mysterious, surrealistic works Asi que pasen cinco años ('When five years have passed"), the unrealistic character of which appealed to him. The libretto that Bowles made from it is a dreamy, anti-dramatic fantasy; in his own words: "It meant nothing and it went nowhere".
The Wind Remains, as he called the piece, contains all the elements of the traditional Spanish Zarzuela: spoken text, song, dance, instrumental interludes and a mise en scène. On its Spanish character Bowles said: "It was not part of my desire to write music that sounded Spanish; it seemed to me that if the music were like the text it would end up being Spanish in the way I wanted it to be".
The New York press reacted enthusiastically to the premiere in 1943, in which the dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham collaborated. According to the New York Times, the musical direction of this world premiere was in the hands of "a young, still unknown, but highly gifted pianist and conductor: Leonard Bernstein". On the absence of a plot the press was less enthusiastic.