CHAMBER WORKS

Composer for Avant-Garde Chamber Work

Bayani successfully initiated mainstream audiences into works that reflect his Philippine Asian heritage. His “Okir,” (1979), an avant-garde chamber work for flute, harp and contrabass, which utilizes Maranao and Magindanao motifs in a complex interweaving texture of various musical elements, enjoyed prestigious performances at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego on January 21, 1981 and at Schoenberg Hall, Los Angeles, on May 22, 1981.

 

 

 

His “Eliksiya,” for voices and movements, was premiered at the California Institute of Arts on February 5, 1982. His zarzuela, “Villa Mariquita,” drew standing room ovations in its two-day run at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles on September 7 and 8, 1985. In the East Coast, he had successful premieres of his “Silay-Parnaso,” a rhapsody for violin and orchestra, performed by the Children’s Orchestra Society under the baton of Michael Dadap at Merkin Hall, New York, on December 5, 1989, and his “Mga Sugatang Perlas,” a music-dance theater staged on April 2 and 3, 1992 in Broadway’s Town Hall in Manhattan.

 

Below are collections of select arrangements and performances.

Bayani speaking at a concert in Georgia

Bayani speaking at a concert in Cleveland, Ohio

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Chamber Works

The following arrangements and compositions by Bayani Mendoza de Leon are concert adaptations of Philippine folk songs and original pieces.

Pandagguhan (Dancing the Fandango) - Trio for Flute, Cello, & Piano

The Fandango is a courtship dance native to Spain and Mexico and supposedly means "go and dance." It is considered to be "the prototype of all Spanish dances." Filipinos developed their own variant of this rousing dance. Bayani's guitar setting is notable for its fresh contemporary treatment that retains the traditional sections of the dance but also injects exciting layers of melodic ramification, rhythmic invention, and harmonic color.

Bayani Mendoza de Leon, composer; Kate Caswell, flute; Sarighani de Leon-Reist, cello; Linda Harmon, piano

Lulay - Strings & Piano Arrangement

This is a concert adaptation of a Philippine Visayan folk song that describes the hardships and trials that suitors must hurdle in wooing a virtuous, demure maiden named Lulay.

Bayani Mendoza de Leon, arranger; Asa Mendoza, violin 1; Krislan Mendoza, violin 2; Sarighani de Leon Reist, cello; Cynthia Guerrero de Leon, piano.

Ahay Tuburan (Oh Clear Spring) - Nocturne for Strings & Piano

The Philippine folk song that inspired this work rhapsodizes on the sense of wonder and tranquility experienced by a boy as he watches a clear spring streaming down a rock amidst the ravines under a silvery moon.

Bayani Mendoza de Leon, composer; Asa Mendoza, violin 1; Krislan Mendoza, violin 2; Sarighani de Leon Reist, cello; Cynthia Guerrero de Leon, piano

Lawiswis Kawayan (Rustling Bamboo) - Nocturne for Strings & Piano

The composer provided a fresh approach to this beautiful traditional song from the central Philippine islands. The song tells of a bird named Pikoy enticed by a bamboo plant to perch and make its nest on the plant's supple branches.

Bayani Mendoza de Leon, arranger; Kate Caswell, flute; Sarighani de Leon Reist, cello; Linda Harmon, piano

Silay Parnaso (Glimpse of Parnassus) - Rhapsody for Violin & Piano 

Intended by the composer to be appealing and accessible, but without sacrificing seriousness of content, this piece blends dark pathos and poignant lyricism in the first section, invoking the kumintang (considered the "cante hondo" or deep song of the Filipinos), and conveys the lilting robustness of the balitaw motif (balitaw is a Philippine song form akin to the European waltz) in the second section in the form of three descending melodic figures undergoing constant variations

Bayani Mendoza de Leon, composer; Junko Ota, violin; Cynthia Guerrero, piano

Perlas (Pearls) - Poem for Cello & Piano

The slow and romantic Perlas was influenced by the kumintang, a pre 16th century Philippine song form. Originally a war chant, the kumintang has, by the 19th century, evolved into a love song. Perlas is the second movement in a larger work entitled Perlas Sonata. A languorous, restrained romanticism pervades this work. There is almost an unceasing melodic undulation from beginning to end, varying in intensity, gathering power and strength like the cresting of sea waves, only to abate and dim off into a soothing, wistful tone that lingers sweetly in the last measure.

Bayani Mendoza de Leon, composer; Sarighani de Leon Reist, cello; Paul Schwartz, piano

Pambungad - Strings & Piano Arrangement

Pambungad was the overture in one of the most successful Philippine zarzuelas in the 1930s, "Alamat ng Nayon" (zarzuela is a type of musical theatre of Spanish extraction). Because of this piece's refreshing and thoughtful meld of traditional melodies, it has been adapted for various musical groups such as the orchestra, symphonic band, and rondalla. This chamber version is the latest "redressing" of this charming overture.

Bayani Mendoza de Leon, arranger; Asa Mendoza, violin 1; Krislan Mendoza, violin 2; Sarighani de Leon Reist, cello; Cynthia Guerrero de Leon, piano.

Kimkim (Unexpressed Emotion) - Solo Piano

Against a drone-like swirl of minor and major 2nds, the brooding dirge motif (abstracted from Dal-lot, a mourning chant from the Ilocos region in northern Philippines) weaves in and out gracefully and expands the tonal canvas from measure to measure. This motif reasserts itself in a burst of virtuosic brilliance towards the end. Kimkim was the compulsory contest piece in the 1979 Philippine National Music Competitions for Young Artists under the Advanced Piano category.

Bayani Mendoza de Leon, composer; Cynthia Guerrero de Leon, piano

Overture to Mga Sugatang Perlas (Wounded Pearls) and Dance of the Archetypal Feminine

These two contiguous chamber pieces opened the composer's "Mga Sugatang Perlas," a portrait theater for singers, dancers, and players premiered on April 2, 1992 at Broadway's Town Hall in Manhattan.

Bayani Mendoza de Leon, composer; Rich Kelly, trumpet; Yeou Cheng Ma & Banghee Lee, violins; Bonni Scholl, clarinet; Sarighani de Leon Reist, cello; Cynthia Guerrero de Leon, piano; Thomas Vassalotti, contrabass; Greg Landes, percussion