SM116: Alwa by Esteban Benzecry

Alwa - for solo harp by Esteban Benzecry
Commande de l'Association pour la Création et la Diffusion Artistique (ACDA)

Cover ImageAlwa - commissioned for the 2008 Junior Section of Concours de harpe Lily Laskine by ACDA and dedicated to Marielle Nordmann. This is a stunning modern composition which will, we believe, become a choice concert and competition piece for harpists.


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ALWA means “dawn” in the language of the Aymará, a pre-Columbian culture that extended through Peru, Bolivia northern Chile and northwestern Argentina. The work begins with a musical invocation of the Aymará culture by means of simple themes in pentatonic scales, which in the two following sections will be further developed in the rhythms of this ancient culture. First is the rhythm of the baguala, a style characteristic of northern Argentina; it is a howl of loneliness or a protest against one’s destiny or condition. Later, a carnavalito (joyous dance) with a modified rhythm. This work is not a re-creation of the pre-Hispanic music in South America, but rather a modern development of old roots which, through the expressive and technical resources of the noble instrument that is the harp, give a current vision of a past still little known.

Sound Sample

Benjamin Creighton Griffiths, winner of the 2008 Concours Junior de Harpe Lily Laskine, was sent a recording of his performance at the competition by another competitor, this clip is now on You Tube. We apologise for the background noises on the tape!


Sample page from the book

Sample page

Score Information

Work: Alwa  for solo harp
Composer/Arranger: Esteban Benzecry
Instrumentation: Pedal Harp
Level: Advanced
Duration: 5 mins
Format: Spiral bound
Size: 260 x 330 mm
Pages of music: 7 (190 bars)
Our Ref: SM116
Publisher: Filarmonika
Edition/Year: First Edition September 2008
Origin: USA