Drac Penat, for solo trombone and chamber orchestra. Dedicated and commissioned by José Vicente Faubel, member of Palau de les Arts Symphony Orchestra.
Year of Composition
00:00 – 1. Little Dragon
06:36 – 2. Meditation in the Battlefield
10:02 – 3. Winged Roll
For solo trombone and chamber orchestra.
Flute, oboe, clarinet in Bb, bassoon, horn, trumpet in Bb, percussion (glockenspiel, timpani, wind chimes, suspended cymbal, vibraphone, xylophone, tubular bells and snare drum), piano, violin I, violin II, viola, cello and contrabass.
The exploits and legends related to Jaime I the Conqueror are collected in the Libre dels feits, one of the four most famous chronicles known from the Crown of Aragon. Although the authorship of this work is a mystery to this day, tradition tells us that this text was dictated by Jaime I himself because, curiously, he did not know how to write and must have needed the help of a copyist to tell his story.
It is in one of these stories that the legend of the Rat Penat (bat in Spanish) is included and as a result of which this composition arises: Drac Penat. Legend has it that, during Jaume I’s siege of the city of Valencia, a bat nested on his shop. According to the same legend, the Arabs domesticated bats and used them to eliminate mosquito pests from marshy lands, such as the marshes and the beautiful Albufera, near the city of Valencia. For this reason, an Arab prophet predicted that as long as the bat of the owner of the city could fly every night, the city would remain Muslim. However, and as a sign of good luck, the bat arrived at the Christian camp, in the suburb of Ruzafa, outside the city wall, being cared for from that moment on by the Aragonese troops, who did their best. On the night that the Muslims tried to attack the camp, the bat gave notice to the Conquering King’s troops by beating its wings against a drum, in addition to throwing various weapons, thus ensuring that the Christian army was not caught unexpectedly, although They were close, and I could win. Although at first it was not known who raised the alarm, they later discovered that it was the bat itself. As a reward, Jaime I placed the Rat Penat on top of his helmet and his royal shield, becoming, since then, a symbol for the city of Valencia.
The piece is divided into three movements that programmatically recount the events that occurred in said legend: the first movement called Little Dragon (Drac Penat in Valencian) presents us with this small being with an irregular flight that flies over different landscapes around Valencia, among others, from the Albufera; the second movement, Meditation in the Battlefield, narrates the night before the battle with the bat perched on Jaime I’s tent; and finally, in the third movement (Winged Roll; in Spanish Redoble Alado) it is related how our protagonist woke up the army of Jaime I thanks to the redoubling of his wings on one of the drums of the Aragonese troop.