Sharp, La Llarona For String Orchestra

Sharp, La Llarona For String Orchestra


“La Llorona” is a 6-minute programmatic piece for a high school string orchestra with optional percussion. It tells a story based on a Spanish/Mexican legend of La Malinche, a noble Aztec girl sold into slavery to Mayan merchants. The music starts with an Entrada, signalling the arrival of the Spanish fleet led by Cortés, who colonized Mexico.

La Malinche was a translator and mistress to the conqueror Cortés. She had twin boys with him, but when he was convinced to return to Spain with a Spanish aristocrat, La Malinche realized the hopelessness of her situation and drowned herself and her children in a nearby river.

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La Llarona for String Orchestra- Keith Sharp

La Llorona is a musical composition created for a high school string orchestra, with the option of adding percussion instruments. The piece is programmatic, meaning it tells a story through music. It is based on a Spanish/Mexican legend and lasts approximately 6 minutes. The legend tells the story of a girl child named La Malinche, born into a noble Aztec family but sold into slavery to Mayan merchants. The music begins with an Entrada, representing the Spanish fleet’s grand arrival. The Spaniards, led by Cortés, started to colonize Mexico.

Tango: La Malinche works as a translator for the conqueror and soon becomes his mistress. 

Serenata: La Malinche is happy and in love with Cortés. She gives birth to his twin boys.

Fandango: Cortés continues his conquests. The King and Queen of Spain, fearing that Cortés has betrayed them and is building his empire, repeatedly request his return to Spain. He refuses, arguing that they will lose their new territories if he leaves Mexico. The King and Queen send a beautiful Spanish lady of noble birth to help change his mind.

Bolero: The Spanish aristocrat seduces Cortés and convinces him to return to Spain with his two sons. Cortés tells La Malinche of his decision to depart for Spain with his children and new love. Emotions run high, and a sense of impending doom prevails.

Vivo Accelerando: La Malinche, now realizing her role in helping Cortés massacre her people and the hopelessness of her plight, prays to her gods for help. One of the gods appears to her, sternly advising: “Do not let him take your children, for one of them will return to destroy your people.” The night before Cortés’ departure, La Malinche escapes with the babies and tragically drowns herself and the children in a nearby river.

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