Estampas (Portraits) is a composition for tenor, mixed chorus, and piano based on three poems by the great Asturian poet Ángel González. They present three portraits, three photographs of the feelings of a young man for his beloved. These wonderful texts are bound in one movement without pause between them. The work, articulated in three sections has a very organic fabric, both in the motivic and harmonic structure as well as tonality. The role of the choir is to provide a vehicle of expression to the desires of the young man.
“Al alba” (At Dawn) represents a state of mind where the young man experiences his desires as a dream. The choir represents this dream, while the tenor tries to discern if it all was a dream or it was real.
“Las naranjas y la mar” (The Oranges and the Sea) is a song that reflects, not in a dream, but in the subconscious thoughts of the young man, clearly of sexual context. The choir does not participate in this section, letting the tenor express the images that the young man creates in his mind.
“La liga verde” (The Green Garter) is the final section of the composition. The choir returns to conclude the work in a very exuberant and festive mood. Choir and soloist respond to each other, this time in a very extroverted way, to the desires of the young man to get to know his beloved.