Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal (How Much I Love You) - Ernani Cuenco (1936-1988) Arranged by Jose Valdez
It is a ballad that was composed in 1979 with lyrics by Levi Celerio. The ballad won best musical direction in the Urian Award as theme of the 1980 movie of the same title starring Lito Lapid.
“Having left its mark on local movie music and on the Filipino music world in general, the song, which expresses genuine and undying love and faithfulness, is considered as a true Filipino classic.”
(From the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art, vol. 6, p. 236)
Sa Batis ng Ligaya (The Stream of Happiness) - Angel Matias Peña (1921-2014)
The kundiman was composed during Angel Peña’s stint with pianist Bobby Enriquez in the island of Maui. He felt homesick and sad especially when his dear wife Josefina left for Honolulu after visiting him. At that point, he thought of writing a kundiman and dedicates it to his beloved wife. As he composed the piece and wrote its lyrics, a feeling of relief embraced him making him realize the significant role Josefina has played in his life since they first met. This song also expresses his sincere love for her and the gratitude he has for God for giving him a wife such as Jo.
Sa Kabukiran (In the Farmlands) - Manuel Velez Arranged by Jose Valdez
Sa Kabukiran (In the Farmlands) was originally written for soprano and first introduced in Cebu in 1928. Its gay and happy melodies reflect life in the farms without sadness. (www.himig.com.ph)
Sa Kabukiran was a Spanish song that was translated to Cebuano. The Tagalog lyrics was written by the National Artist for Music and Literature Levi Celerio and was popularized in a recording by Sylvia La Torre in 1940s that it became a movie in 1947.
Kundiman ng Langit (Heaven’s Love Song) - Augusto Espino (b. 1957)Arranged for Iqui by Jose Valdez
Augusto “Agot” Espino earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from the University of the Philippines as a scholar. He is a pianist, pedagogue, Christian songwriter, choral conductor, arranger, and a composer.
In the Philippines, the term Kundiman comes from the Tagalog phrase “kung hindi man” or “if it were not so”. Kundiman is a type of love song that had existed since early 19th century but had developed to into art song in the early 20th century.
Lyrics of the song:
KUNDIMAN NG LANGIT
May isang kundimang naiiba,
Daloy ay kay haba, waring hindi magwawakas;
Nilikha buhat sa langit, ng Amang tapat umibig;
Awitin, kundiman ng langit.
Himig ay sinulat ng Kanyang dugo,
Titik ay hinugot sa pusong ‘di magtatampo,
Ang hatid ay kaligtasan, at ang ating kalayaan;
Dinggin, kundimang ito.
Kay hiwaga ng pag-ibig na dulot Mo,
Kasalanan ko’y nilimot nang totoo;
Sa kabila ng ginawa ko; ako’y mahal na mahal Mo,
May hihigit pa ba sa pag-ibig Mo?
Sana’y tugunan ang haranang ito
Na binuhay ng kamatayang pinangtubos,
Sugat ay paghihilumin. Dungis nati’y lilinisin;
Damhin, pagsuyong ito.
May hihigit pa ba sa kundimang ito?
Konsiertino sa Gitara (Conciertino for Guitar) - Leonardo Silos (1826-1910)
Transcribed by Jose Valdez
Leonardo Silos was born in Sampaloc, Manila on 6th of November 1826. He passed away in 27th of December 1910. Philippine music history mentions Leonardo was one of the Rondalla pioneers of the 20th century. He befriended a private music teacher and this teacher taught him how to play the guitar. After mastering a book on the guitar, he gave guitar lessons. When the bandurria, the mandolin, and the laud were introduced in the Philippines and later became popular, he also taught playing these instruments until 1909. (www.silosfamily.com)
Dilaab (Kindred Spirits) - Kim Nimrod Cruz (b.1990)
Commissioned by Iqui Vinculado
Kindred Spirits ("Dilaab") toys with the idea of interconnectedness of unique individuals in their own right. The composer, Kim Nimrod Cruz, wishes to embody that humanistic sense of belongingness that is innate in every core of the idea of being human. True to the meaning of the Cebuano term "Dilaab" which loosely translates to "Blaze" in a language more foreign, it identifies to how individuals burn more brightly when they are ignited as twin flames, a state of being "kindred". The composer restrained from using recent idiomatic techniques in writing this particular piece to allow a more personal but disciplined approach on tone and ironic individuality in terms of style.
Cruz allowed himself to be as far removed from the dogmatic control of what traditional notation would suggest, the composer would like to think of the word "unbound" instead of using "open" as to the manner of how it was written and performed. This work may undeniably be the most personal or even the most intimate work that Cruz had written, it was conceived in his native country Philippines, resumed in Singapore and concluded in Indonesia within a 4 month period in 2017, or maybe longer. It is with great pleasure that Cruz usher his listeners to an abstract location in the most visceral way with Dilaab, without forcing them to abandon their current circumstances
Batang Laro (Child Play) - Bayani Mendoza de Leon (1942-2013)
Batang Laro, a child play suite for solo guitar, was inspired by animated scenes of children playing native Philippine games in the composer's imagination. The rhythmic motifs were drawn essentially from Philippine folk dances ranging from the tuppaya-patung of the Igorots (Northern Philippine tribe), the habanera, polka, balitaw, jota, and moro-moro of rural folks in Central Luzon and the Visayas, and the inagung and tinambul of Mindanao. The composer made liberal use of these rhythms, incorporating them into his own original dance-like melodies. As such, the various pieces in this suite can lend themselves to choreographic inventions that can be performed with the music, along the lines of Philippine children's games specified in each number.
This work was commissioned by Angelito Agcaoili and Manuel Soriano.
Hindi Kailanman Malayo (Never Far) - Julianne Tarroja (b. 1983)
Arranged by Iqui Vinculado
Never Far is a song from Julianne’s album Ashes to Beauty and it’s the most vulnerable song she has written thus far.
Julianne Tarroja is a captivating, critically acclaimed award winning singer songwriter from the Manila, Philippines. Julianne’s music is a wonderful blend of technical artistry & melodic accessibility that provides an alluring invitation to stay and dwell a little longer. She creates a musical atmosphere that is uniquely her own: moving, soothing, and, authentic.
With messages of hope, love, faith, beauty & courage behind the music, she has been pegged as one of the most inspirational artists of today's generation. Her stories through song have spoken in volumes to the youth & women both in the Philippines & around the world.
— Iqui Vinculado