AUNQUE ES DE NOCHE

(Although it is Night)

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St. John of the Cross has wrote this ‘Villancico’ when he was in jail in the Toledo prison (1578). Immerse in the dark and arid night, the torment and the anguish of the dungeon, he contemplates and reflects on that mystery so precious for himself: the mystery of the Holy Trinity. One and multiple at the same time, the image of the ‘water’ (that flows and runs…) is the best that comes to her mind in this meditation in which the highest and more abstract perspectives of the faith becomes so close and takes flesh, so to speak, in the touching simplicity of this primary element, element of the life itself.

San Juan de la Cruz compuso este “Cantar” en la prisión de Toledo (1578). En la noche oscura, el tomento y la angustia de la celda, Juan de la Cruz medita aquí sobre aquel misterio que le era tan preciado: La Santísima Trinidad. Una y múltiple a la vez, la imagen del agua “que mana y corre…” es la que se le presenta mejor en esta meditación donde las perspectivas más sublimes y abstractas de su fe cristiana vienen a encarnarse en la conmovedora simplicidad de este elemento primario de la vida misma.

¡Qué bien sé yo la fonte que mana y corre,
aunque es de noche!

 

Aquella eterna fonte está ascondida

¡Que bien sé yo do tiene su manida, aunque es de noche!

 

Su origen no lo sé pues no le tiene

mas sé que todo origen della viene, aunque es de noche.

 

Sé que no puede ser cosa tan bella,

y que cielos y tierra beben della, aunque es de noche.

 

Bien sé que suelo en ella no se halla

y que ninguno puede vadealla, aunque es de noche.

 

Su claridad nunca es oscurecida

y sé que toda luz de ella es venida, aunque es de noche.

 

Sé ser tan caudalosos sus corrientes,

que infiernos cielos riegan y a las gentes, aunque es de noche.

 

El corriente que nace desta fuente

bien sé que es tan capaz y omnipotente, aunque es de noche.

 

Aquí se está llamando a las criaturas

y de esta agua se hartan, aunque a oscuras, porque es de noche,

 

Aquesta eterna fonte está ascondida

en este vivo pan por darnos vida, aunque es de noche.

 

Aquesta viva fonte que deseo

en este pan de vida yo la veo, aunque es de noche.


San Juan de la Cruz

It For I know well the spring that flows and runs,

although it is night.

 

That eternal spring is hidden,

for I know well where it has its rise, although it is night.

 

I do not know its origin, nor has it one,

but I know that every origin has come from it, although it is night.

 

I know that nothing else is so beautiful,

and that the heavens and the earth drink there, although it is night.

 

I know well that it is bottomless

and no one is able to cross it, although it is night.

 

Its clarity is never darkened,

and I know that every light has come from it, although it is night.

 

I know that its streams are so brimming

they water the lands of hell, the heavens, and earth, although it is night.

 

I know well the stream that flows from this spring

is mighty in compass and power, although it is night.

 

It is here calling out to creatures;

and they satisfy their thirst, although in darkness, because it is night.

 

This eternal spring is hidden

in this living bread for our life's sake, although it is night.

 

This living spring that I long for,

I see in this bread of life, although it is night.


English translation

Sample MIDI Realization (Version  Choir & String Quintet)

Members of the Jury:   Agustín González García de Acilu, Jesús María Echeverría Jaime, Carlos Cruz de Castro, Teresa Catalán Sánchez, Josep Cabré Cercos

with Josep Cabré

 

 

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Double version:
 a Capella or with String Quintet
 Poem by de San Juan de la Cruz Composed on 2003 Durata circa: 9' min 155 measures / 23 pages (Total 30) Awarded Score 'Premio Luis Morondo'
at the IV° Concurso de Composición Coral Coro de Cámara de Pamplona / Navarra, SPAIN, 2009

AUDIO Sample - version with Strimg Quintet