With a length of approximately 32 minutes, this work represents a period of optimism and light during the last years of the composition of Muniz’s opera Germinal, a grand opera in three acts portraying the social drama of a mining town in Northern Spain and the personal drama of an abused woman. In contrast, this Triple Concerto for violin, cello, piano, and orchestra brings a beam of light and a smile. This concerto could have the subtitle of “Apollo and the Muses.” Several works have been composed around this theme, particularly Apollon musagete, by Stravinsky. According to the Greek mythology, all nine muses are daughters of Zeus, the king of the gods and Mnemosine, goddess of memory. It was believed that muses inspired artists, being each muse in charge of a particular art form. In this concerto, the composer present Polyhymnia (muse of sacred poetry), Melpomene (muse of tragedy), Erato (muse of love poetry) and finally Terpsichore (muse of dance). The muses sat around the throne of Zeus and sang of his accomplishments, the origin of the world and its inhabitants, as well as the deeds of heroes.
Designed in five movements, the concerto follows the form of theme and variations. The orchestra, which represents Apollo, presents the theme in the first movement, majestic and expansive. After this presentation, each instrument has its moment of fame in each one of the four variations. In the first variation, presenting Polyhymnia, the music describes her as sober and centered, in contrast with the aggressive next variation, representing Melpomene. Perhaps the most expressive moments of the work come in the fourth movement (Variation III), where Erato speaks to the other muses. It is in this movement that we hear the voice of the trio without the orchestra, with an intimate and emotive color. With great joviality and brightness, the works ends with a final dance lead by Terpsichore, the muse of dance.