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Postcards from Erica April 2023

Trying to find unaccompanied cello music by Hispanic and Latino/Latina composers? Look no further. I created my online “just-the-facts-ma’am”-style digital postcards to introduce listeners to new-to-you cello music and to help cellists, orchestra directors, cello teachers, and students seeking new repertoire, contest pieces, and supplemental literature.

Postcards from Erica April 2023

This month I’m sending you the second installment in my new series of postcards on unaccompanied works for cello by Hispanic and Latino/Latina composers. Miss the first installment? No worries – you can find it here.

These monthly postcards give you the information you need to help you choose a piece that’s right for you. I also include links to make it easy for you to locate and purchase the sheet music you want. I hope you enjoy exploring these pieces as much as I did selecting them.

Click here for a quick round-up of my postcards featuring works by Black composers, here for my works featuring women composers, or revisit all of my postcards.

April Postcard #1: Cántico de soledad by José Miguel Moreno Sabio

Contemporary composer and music scholar José Miguel Moreno Sabio specializes in historical plucked instruments, particularly the vihuela, lute, therobo, and guitar. A graduate of the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid y Universidad Autónoma in Madrid, since 1989, he has been an instructor in the fundamentals of composition at the Cuerpo Nacional de Profesores de Música y Artes Escénicas (National Body of Teachers of Music and Performing Arts) in Castille-La Mancha, Spain.

  • Title: Cántico de soledad
  • Composer: José Miguel Moreno Sabio
  • Year Composed: 1989 (published in 2000)
  • Instrumentation: unaccompanied cello
  • Movements: 1
  • Duration of Work: 4:20
  • Number of Measures: 102
  • Number of Pages: 3
  • Tempo: quarter = 66
  • Difficulty Level: late intermediate/early advanced
  • Highest Position Reached: 7th
  • Technique Employed: bass and tenor clefs; 1/8, 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time signatures; double stops, false harmonics, ricochet
  • Publisher: composer
  • Where to Purchase: IMSLP
  • Cost of Sheet Music*: free


Cántico de soledad performance


This fun and mischievous piece is a joy to play. The wide and jarring double stops and intervals (which provide a sense of drama) are interspersed with charming bouncy 16th note fragments and a minor second “theme” which appears throughout the work.

By and large, the piece is not terribly difficult. However, the frequently changing meter may prove challenging to those who are not used to going back and forth between 4/4, 2/4, and 1/4 and from 3/4 to 3/8 to 2/4. Additionally, a couple of bars are a bit intricate for the left hand.

April Postcard #2: La Alborada de la Esperanza by José L. Elizondo

Mexican American composer and scientist José L. Elizondo is an alumnus of MIT, where he studied music and electrical engineering. Recently, Elizondo was commissioned by cellist Benedict Klöckner to write several pieces for the International Music Festival Koblenz. When he is not composing, he pursues multiple scientific and engineering interests, including projects focused on language-related technology that combine his interests in linguistics, computer science and artificial intelligence.

  • Title: La Alborada de la Esperanza
  • Composer: José L. Elizondo
  • Instrumentation: unaccompanied cello
  • Movements: 1
  • Duration of Work: 3:18
  • Number of Measures: 50
  • Number of Pages: 2
  • Tempo: quarter = 72
  • Difficulty Level: late intermediate
  • Highest Position Reached: either 7th position or thumb position for two bars
  • Technique Employed: bass, tenor, and treble clefs; 4/4 time signature; double, triple, and quadruple stops; grace notes, pizzicato
  • Publisher: composer
  • Where to Get the Score:
  • Cost of Score: free



“The Dawn of Hope” is a composition about the journey from darkness to light. Just as the light of the rising sun dissipates the darkness of the night, and fills us with the promise of a bright and beautiful new day, hope and compassion give light to life’s challenges and remind us that we can overcome adversity and focuses on the hope of a better future.” – composer


Tired of playing The Swan? This gorgeous short work is slow, tonal, lyrical, and romantic, just like its famous counterpart, and I can see this being the perfect choice for an intimate wedding processional.

For those looking to work on tenor clef reading, this may be your piece. Over half of La Alborada de la Esperanza is written in tenor clef. Unusually, the tenor clef portion ranges from the open G to the C an octave above middle, covering the entirety of the tenor clef range. Additionally, there are numerous triple stops to prepare you for all of the Bach Suites you will be or are playing!

April Postcard #3: First Spanish Suite by Rogelio Huguet y Tagell

More is known about the works of Catalan cellist and composer Rogelio Huguet y Tagell than about his personal circumstances. He studied at the Escola Municipal de Barcelona with Professor Josep Soler. After performing a concert tour abroad, he devoted himself entirely to composition. His many works include the suite Andalusian Scenes (for orchestra), the Nerina Overture, several sonatas and concert pieces for cello, and two operettas.

  • Title: First Spanish Suite
  • Composer: Rogelio Huguet y Tagell (20 October 1882 – 23 December 1956)
  • Instrumentation: unaccompanied cello
  • Year Published: 1938
  • Movements: 3
  • Duration of Work: 3:09, 2:52; 3:03
  • Number of Measures: Aragonesa (136), Zarabanda (28), Flamenco (70)
  • Number of Pages: 8
  • Tempo: dotted half = 66, quarter = 46, eighth = 152
  • Difficulty Level: advanced
  • Highest Position Reached: thumb
  • Technique Employed:bass, tenor, and treble clefs; 3/8 and 3/4 time signatures; double, triple, and quadruple stops; pizzicato, left hand pizzicato, grace notes
  • Publisher: Salabert (ISBN / ISMN: 9790048060463)
  • Where to Purchase:
    • Entire Suite – Sheet Music Plus:
Product Cover
look inside
Première Suite Espagnole
Composed by R. Tagell and Rogelio Huguet y Tagell. Book Only. Composed 2014. 8 pages. Editions Salabert #SLB 00593400. Published by Editions Salabert (BT.SLB-00593400).
    • Flamenco only – Sheet Music Plus:
Product Cover
look inside
From Suite espagnole No. 1. Composed by Rogelio Huguet y Tagell. This edition: Sheet music. Cello Library. Downloadable. Duration 2′ 55. Schott Music – Digital #Q7151. Published by Schott Music – Digital (S9.Q7151).
  • Cost of Sheet Music*: $19.95 (hard copy); $10.99 (digital download)




“Published in 1938, Rogelio Huguet y Tagell’s First Spanish Suite for Violoncello solo consists of three dance movements: Argonesa, Zarabanda, and Flamenco. The Argonesa, from the Argon region is a couples dance . . . the Sarabande evolved from a Spanish dance with Arab influences, danced by a lively double line of couples with castanets. A dance called zarabanda is first mentioned in 1539 in Central America in the poem Vida y tiempo de Maricastaña, written in Panama by Fernando de Guzmán Mejía . . . Flamenco, in its strictest sense, is an art form based on the various folkloric music traditions of southern Spain, developed within the gitano subculture of the region of Andalusia, and also having historical presence in Extremadura and Murcia. In a wider sense, the term is used to refer to a variety of both contemporary and traditional musical styles typical of southern Spain. Flamenco is closely associated to the gitanos of the Romani ethnicity who have contributed significantly to its origination and professionalization. However, its style is uniquely Andalusian and flamenco artists have historically included Spaniards of both gitano and non-gitano heritage.” – Wikipedia


If you haven’t already heard this work, do yourself a favor and listen- it truly is enchanting. Though not terribly well-known, it has gained popularity in recent years.

At first glance, the Suite seems quite readable, that is until you actually sightread it.

The first movement contains sudden, sporadic bow rocking interspersed with vertical left-hand flourishes, which, in theory, should sound effortless.

The Sardana is filled with thumb position double stops moving up and down the cello, and 3rds in the lower positions thrown in for good measure.

The final movement is laden with double, triple, and quadruple stops, frequently while dancing lightly on the string.

Each section could really serve as a small etude. Kudos to those who make this appear easy!

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