On the 400th anniversary in 2016 of the death of Cervantes, we recall that Joaquín Rodrigo composed the symphonic poem Ausencias de Dulcinea in 1948 for the 400th anniversary of the writer’s birth.
AUSENCIAS DE DULCINEA It is based on the poem "Trees, herbs and plants" which Don Quijote wrote while he was in the Sierra Morena doing penance in order to be more deserving of the love of his Dulcinea "Dulcinea del Toboso".
In the words of the composer: "I decided to make use of four voices surrounding that of Don Quijote and thus establish the contrasts between knighthood, all that is idealized, and the burlesque. While Don Quijote sings always in all seriousness, the orchestra marks the humourous side, and thus the total spirit of the poetry comes through. The moving words "It is here that Don Quijote wept for the absence of Dulcinea" lead immediately to the voices of the four soprano soloists, who symbolize the vain illusion that the figure of his lover will always be for the knight. The extraordinary use of no less than four sopranos in the work is explained by the fact that no where - north, south, east or west - will Don Quijote ever find that phantom which is his Dulcinea."