Do you know that composer, arranger and conductor Agripino “Nonoy” Diestro is said to 2 Nationwide Artists particularly Maestro Lucio San Pedro (Music) and Carlos “Botong” Francisco (Visible Arts)?
In celebration of Maestro San Pedro’s centennial yr again in 2013, I interviewed Diestro, for my classical radio program, Tradition Carousel aired in DZFE-fm, the Grasp’s Contact, earlier than the centennial live performance held on the Cultural Heart of the Philippines in April 2013.
Might you describe to us what was it like rising up with Maestro San Pedro in Angono, Rizal? What was a typical day for him?
Nicely, he could be in his trousers and he would simply drink espresso with you or have breakfast with you. Simply inform him why you might be visiting him, or if some artist will carry out his music, and if you’re borrowing his composition for that artist. He’ll search for the particular composition that you just want. It’s so simple to speak to him, he’s not “madamot.” “Sabihin mo lang, Maestro maganda ang work ninyo and gusto ko lang tugtugin.” For him, simply listening to you say that’s sufficient, he’s not materialistic.
How do you name Maestro San Pedro?
I name him Daddy Lucio — even my brothers name him that. We don’t name him Lolo Lucio as a result of by blood, he’s my grand uncle.
What memorable expertise in regards to the music of Maestro San Pedro that you just can’t overlook?
I’ve many experiences with him, not solely together with his music. After I was going to check in College of the Philippines (UP), he was the one who accompanied me to the Faculty of Music. He additionally informed me what course to take, and that will be Composition. I took the doorway examination and I handed. Maestro didn’t endorse me. After I was in 1st yr, there was a rehearsal of his work “Lupang Mahal ng Araw,” commissioned by the First Girl Imelda Marcos. The piece is about Ulot, Leyte within the Visayas.
I believe, the First Girl introduced him there to have a really feel of the neighborhood after which after that, he composed “Lupang Mahal ng Araw” which was for soprano and full orchestra. I did it in 2010 within the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra Live performance Sequence. He gave me a replica of the piano vocal rating. However he had notations like what instrument is taking part in like oboe, strings.
So, you carried out the orchestra for that piece and also you had been nonetheless in highschool?
No, it was a band. I used to be a member of the band. I used to play the saxophone, then the clarinet. After I entered UP, I joined the Philippine Youth Orchestra and I performed the oboe as a result of there was no oboe participant. Even Mam Andrea Veneracion, founding father of the Philippine Madrigal Singers or MADZ, requested me to develop into their member as a result of I had a composition which the MADZ had been going to carry out.
Nonetheless, I already informed her that I used to be a member of the Philippine Youth Orchestra. Earlier than the final piece was performed — it was a German march — Maestro Lucio referred to as me and mentioned that I’ll conduct the final piece. I didn’t have any rehearsal, it was impromptu. I knew I may do it, however in fact I used to be stunned!
What advise did Maestro San Pedro offer you that you just nonetheless apply?
Truly, he informed theoretical issues for musicians like shifting from dominant to tonic, he defined that to me. Additionally, how one can modulate from diminish seven 4’s, and he mentioned there have been eight methods in doing it. Theories like that. If you’re a composition main, you’ll perceive.
One other factor he confirmed me is when he’s conducting the band, all people is alert. There may be self-discipline. He will get upset, whereas he’s rehearsing with the band or orchestra if there’s a mistake. One time, there was a boy from a San Mateo band who attended and rehearsed with our Angono Band. Then somebody performed the improper notice within the trumpet part. As I mentioned earlier, this boy was not an Angono band member, he was simply attending to get the texture of it. And Maestro was very mad, stopped and look angrily on the new boy. The then boy didn’t know that you just by no means reply again when the Mastro was offended. And the boy pointed to his seatmate and mentioned “siya po ang ng kamali. Hindi po ako, siya po.” And all people was laughing, as a result of all of us knew that it’s best to maintain quiet when the Maestro is upset.
There was one other incident which concerned his cousin, Nicolas Diestro. He was taking part in the euphonium. It is just Nicolas who may joke with him. If Nicolas would make a mistake, Daddy Lucio would say “Eto ang pamasahe, mali ang tugtug mo, umuwi ka na.”And Nicolas would reply him “Pare ko hindi tumatama ang kumpas mo.”
One other is once we had been rehearsing and there was plenty of gamu-gamo flying round, ensuing to Nicolas making a mistake. Maestro mentioned “right here is a few transportation cash go house as a result of you aren’t hitting the best notice.” Nicolas then replied, “Brod, the moth coated the notice so I performed one other notice!” And all people within the band laughed.
Nonoy, are you able to focus on the symphonic band music that Maestro performs?
Truly, he tries to make the sound of the band like a symphonic orchestra. The clarinet very a lot sustained, just like the strings in an orchestra. As a result of whenever you play the violin and different string devices, you virtually don’t breathe. I imply, in fact it’s essential to breathe. There’s a method referred to as round respiratory utilized by winged gamers.
It really works this fashion, you breathe by way of your nostril and inhale by way of your mouth. That’s round respiratory. In many of the cities we carry out in, the folks would say that the Angono band sounds totally different and that was in the course of the Maestro’s time within the ‘60s and ‘70s. The Maestro actually desires his Angono Band to sound like symphonic orchestra. He rehearses lengthy hours, not like within the orchestra, it takes a daily orchestra to rehearse for under three hours. However when we’ve got engagements, the band rehearses morning and afternoon. There are additionally good bands in Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal.
What’s the legacy that Maestro San Pedro left with the Angono band which they nonetheless use?
After all his compositions. He has plenty of marches. His “Lahing Kayumangi” was actually composed for the band. That composition received him the Cultural Heritage Award in 1962. He has plenty of preparations for the band. Generally different band members would have a replica of certainly one of his compositions, and the Maestro wouldn’t have a replica of it becasue as I mentioned earlier, Maestro was very beneficiant. Should you borrow certainly one of his compositions and say that you just prefer it a lot and that it is going to be performed by one other band, he’ll lend it to you and won’t ask for compensation.
Generally, he would joke and say “Ang lagay eh…” however he wouldn’t insist. He won’t not additionally ask for royalty for his composition. He’s actually very beneficiant.
Amongst all of his compositions which is your favourite and why?
Troublesome query. For me as a composer, I ought to be capable to surpass his music. However it’s troublesome for me, as a result of his compositions are superb. However as a conductor, my favourite is “Lahing Kayumangi” as a result of it’s in regards to the Filipino. It is sort of a the “Bahay Kubo,” easy, which is the image of the widespread folks. I like conducting the piece. There’s a portion the place the french horns and clarinets play, it’s majestic and it offers me goose bumps after I hear it and after I conduct the orchestra. “Lahing Kayumangi” is absolutely in regards to the Filipino folks.