Duration – 9:00
A) Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Chamber Orchestra (2008)
B) Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano (2008)
A habanera is a Cuban dance and song named after its capital, Havana. It was first popular in the western world at the beginning of the 19th century and later became popular in Europe, especially in Spain. The habanera is possibly the most universal of all Cuban musical forms. There are various theories regarding its origin, ranging from Cuban Pre-Columbian music or even the music of the Incas, to a similarity between the habanera and the zortzico Basque air of Spain.
Mr. Royer added Danza to the Habanera title to denote a freer use of form from the traditional habanera. Four solo woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon) are featured in various groupings, each of which is featured in a short solo cadenza. The Danza Habanera starts with a plaintive air in the key of C Minor and gradually evolves into a happier but dreamier piece in the key of F Major. With a variation of the opening habanera rhythm, the composition (now in G Minor) builds in intensity to reach the climax in an intense orchestra tutti before returning to the beginning plaintive atmosphere.
The Danza Habanera was first performed in 2008 and was commissioned by the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra with the assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts. This work is dedicated to John Barnum and the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra.