Judging from the amount of traffic generated by my first post about Kundiman, I am infinitely fired up to do more! To be honest, I was quite surprised that a lot of my readers are generally interested about this subject. To keep the momentum going, let’s continue this well-received series by featuring another kundiman, this time, from popular composer Nicanor Abelardo. He was a well-known classical composer who was taught the rudiments of music: form, harmony and western concepts of composition. Some of his works however show a strong German art song influence especially in the handling of harmony.
Professor Jun de Leon, a respected musicologist here in the Philippines, believes that this technique shows the composer’s range of styles, expressions and individuality which contribute much in the composition of a classical kundiman. He adds that Abelardo strove for more elaborations–trills and runs, drama and tension in his compositions. Professor Jun emphasizes that the classical type is much easier to interpret because the composer has indicated almost everything on the notation. Since classical kundiman is influenced much by German art songs, the performer should be careful not to interpret the song as a conventional operatic aria. Feelings should be prioritized over technique, Professor Jun explains.
Let us listen to one of Abelardo’s best-loved classical kundiman, Nasaan Ka Irog interpreted by tenor Jonathan Badon.
How about you, what is your favorite kundiman?
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