Llanto Por Cristina Gomez

Marc Satterwhite
Catalog numbers: 

SMC R131FS/ HL 3772274

Duration (minutes): 
Detailed Instrumentation: 
Concert Band
This four-movement work was written following the experience of the composer's two years as principal bassist with the National Symphony in El Salvador during the late 1970s, where he witnessed politcal turmoil and poverty daily.  It is a llanto (lament) for Cristina Gomez, a young school teacher and activist, who was abducted from her school - in front of her students - by the Salvadoran military.  Her body was found later, thrown out on the street, bearing the signs of brutal torture.  The title is a paraphrase of the title of famous work by the great Spanish poet, Federico Garcia Lorca, entitled "Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias," but while main title and movement titles are taken from the text, there is no other direct connection with the poem.  Movement titles: I. La cogida y la muerte (capture and death), II. La sangre derramada (the spilled blood), III. Cuerpo presente (body present), IV. Alma ausente (soul absent).  The 2nd and 4th movements both quote the Bach chorale, "Ach Got, vom Himmel sieh' darein" ("Oh God, from Heaven look therein and be merciful"), and the four movements overall may be accurately described as "three screams followed by a prayer, a prayer that Cristina Gomez, and all others whose lives are brutally cut short by forces beyond their power, has found peace denied her in her short life."  This work was written for the Lamar University Symphonic Band, Dr. Barry Johnson, conductor, who gave its premiere on October 5, 1992.  The composition was supported by a Lamar University Research Enhancement Grant.  It is dedicated to the victims of the Salvadoran Civil War, and the score bears and epigraph from the final section of Garcia Lorca's great poem: "No te conece nadie.  No.  Pero yo te canto."  ("No one knows you.  No.  But I sing of you.")