About Manuel Maria PONCE’s “Sonatina Meridional” – ORIGINAL SOURCE for the 2nd theme of the 1st movement

I have recently published on my YouTube channel a recording of the Castilian folksong “En lo alto de aquella montaña”, quoted by Manuel María Ponce in the second theme of the first movement of his Sonatina Meridional, the last piece of this form that the Mexican composer wrote for Andrés Segovia.

The Sonatina Meridional was published by Schott in 1939, although the piece dates back to 1930, as you can see from the last page of the composer autograph here below:

“En lo alto de aquella montaña” is a children song from the city of Valladolid. Its quotation appears in the tonality of A major at the upbeat of measure 52 till bar 62 and it is cut all of a sudden just before the final cadence. The first motif is then repeated a semitone higher in a dream-like fashion, marked più lento (“somewhat slower”).

Autograph, bars 48-67

Have a listen at my recording of the movement on my SoundCloud page at 00:48:

The same passage appears in D major / E-flat major at the reprise section.
The song has been also used as a theme amongst the Canciones Castellanas by Regino Sainz de la Maza:

Besides, the song was re-arranged by the Spanish Basque composer Jesús Guridi under the name of “Alla arriba en aquella montaña“. It is a beautiful and charming rendition of the song, in which the original sparlking theme is transformed into a sort of lamentation, sustained by a sumptous harmonic accompaniment by the piano.

Apparently the different title can be explained by its origins in the oral tradition, in an environment where songs passed from generation to generation without being ever written down.


En lo alto de aquella montaña
yo corto una caña,
yo corto una flor,
para el labrador,
labrador ha de ser.
Yo quiero un labradorcillo
que coja la mula
y se vaya a arar
y a la media noche me venga a rondar,
y a la media noche me venga a rondar.
Con las castañuelas
y con l’almirez
con la pandereta
que retumba bien,
con la pandereta
que retumba bien.


High up on that mountain
I cut a cane,
I cut a flower,
for the farmer,
farmer must be.
I want a little farmer
who takes the mule
and go plow
and at midnight comes to hang around,
and at midnight comes to hang around.
With castanets
and with a mortar
with the tambourine
that rumbles well,
with the tambourine
that rumbles well.

Originally downloaded from http://www.staff.uni-mainz.de/lustig/…

All credits and copyright goes to Mainz University and their staff.

LINK ▶ http://bit.ly/PonceOriginalSource

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