2021 Goya for Clarinet and String Quartet

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This work was Commissioned by Bernardino Assunçao Sales for the Final work Master. I just finished the process and it is based on the next five Paintings of Goya.

  1. Corral de locos
  2. Vuelo de brujas
  3. El aquejare
  4. El Coloso
  5. Saturno devorando a su hijo

The work is in the final stretch, soon you can see a lot of information about this work, notes, form, etc.

The general structure of the work

Relationship of movements

The third is the axis, the form is based on a false mirror where the (original) elements are presented by opposite movement forming a false palindrome.

The elements thematic of the movements are related, the elements of the first movement reappear in the fifth movement and the elements of the second movement are related in the fourth.



Use of rhythmics

The predominant rhythm in the first movement is based on a four-beat measure and in the second movement is based on a three-beat measure. These features are even more present in the fourth and the fifth movement.

In the third movement (who does the axis of the work) the primary theme is structured over the ternary measure plus a quaternary measure 3/4 + 4/4 and the secondary theme over a quaternary measure plus a ternary measure 4/4 + 3/4.

Program notes

First Movement

Corral de Locos

The first movement starts describing the characters of the painting “Corral de Locos”. The string represents the sick and the clarinet the keeper.

In the first section, the language used is formed on the octatonic scale. The second section represents the feelings of the participants, the feelings of the protagonists are described. Nostalgia, longing for freedom, longing, etc.


Second Movement

Vuelo de Brujas

The occult has always been present, like those who don’t want to see, or those who simply don’t want to hear and of course, their own ignorance couldn’t be absent

Sometimes I like to be helped by famous sentences to find inspiration.

For the first section, I have related the painting of goya with the sentence of Frankling D. Roosevelt We have nothing to fear except fear itself

The theme is created over a fourth augmented interval (devil symbol) and is performed by the clarinet and the cello in contrary motion.

As if it were a procession, the witches with their hoods inspire enough confidence so that everyone is calm.

For the second section, I helped myself with the sentence of William Shakespeare There is no darkness but ignorance.

This secondary theme represents ignorance through dance, it represents the fun in front of reality.

Third Movement


For the movement “Aquelarre” I have decided to confront the idea of the goat dictating the fate of those around him (Theme a) with the idea of people as mere puppeteers (Theme b). For this theme b, I use the clarinet in its most burlesque register.

Although the form of the movement is a sonata form, the opposite order in the inputs of the different themes makes the sonata form as such only the common thread of the different sections.



Fourth Movement

El Coloso

To each scenario possible it is worse, doesn’t matter if Goya thought in the barbarism of Napoleon or in the incompetence of Fernando VII. Every situation drives into the same scenario. Maybe Goya gives us the war metaphor looting, rape, destruction, murder

The fourth movement can be summarized in just one word DISAPPOINTMENT

Fifth movement

Saturno devorando a su hijo

Madness, violence, dark, aberration.

Is there something worse than the sacrifice of the son for the father?

Additional information


String quartet version, Piano reduction version, Clarinet sample


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