The word "toque" in Spanish means "touch" and is used not just for physical touch, but also to signify playing an instrument, playing a game, sounding an alarm, or giving something a finishing touch. This composition is inspired by a famous Cuban dance tune (or danzon) called "Almendra," which means almond in English. "Almendra" was composed in 1938 by the Cuban band leader Abelardito Valdes. León explains that this tune is so well-known that a Cuban needs to hear only two notes of it to recognize the piece. Danzon is the official dance music of Cuba, and is based on European ballroom dancing. It is elegant and virtuosic and generally has a light and sprightly feel.
This film was recorded at the Southbank Centre as part of a new series of films celebrating landmark pieces of contemporary classical music.
Tania León Toque (2006)
Jonathan Berman conductor
Damarys Farres Toyo & Idalberto Alcala Rodriguez Artists / Danzon choreography
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