Manuel Penella Moreno was a prolific Spanish composer. Much of his music is forgotten today, but this may be his best-known work. Found in one of his 54 operas, it is commonly performed in concerts and festivals in Spain and throughout the Spanish-speaking world. It is also often used in ballroom dancing competitions. It is among the best known pasodobles (two-step Spanish marches) worldwide.
In Penella's opera El Gato Montes which premiered in 1916 or 1917 depending on who you believe, the tragic hero Rafael (tenor) is promoted from apprentice to full matador and thus emboldened publicly professes his love for the gypsy girl Solea (soprano). Shortly the murderer Juanillo called El Gato Montes (The Wildcat) (baritone) emerges from his wilderness seclusion and tells the gathered crowd that he is in fact Solea's true love, and that his crime was committed in defense of her honor.
In the climactic close of the of the second act, Matador Rafael triumphantly enters the bull ring of Seville to heroically face his burden of honor, to defeat six bulls and then face off against the villain-redeemed-by-love Juanillo to win the hand of Solea or die trying. The majestic and inspiring "Pasodoble Torero" is heard as he enters the ring.
An optional opening solo trumpet cadenza accompanied by marimbas and castanets is included. It is original material and does not come from any of Penella's works.
Traditionally Spanish audiences shout "Ole!" at the conclusion of the four ascending phrases of the chorus which musically depict the passes of the bull, played in this arrangement by low voice instruments. With a little coaching the audience could follow the lead of the band. The appropriate places are marked in the parts where players mouths are not occupied by instruments. Ole! could also be shouted at the end of the piece by the band.
This tragic opera depicts the brave and noble jilted matador Rafael gored to death by a bull shortly after entering the ring at the end of the second act, and Juanillo (El Gato Montes) killed at his request by one of his compadres as the police arrive to arrest him and haul him off for execution at the end of the third act. Solea is left weeping.
It is our hope that your performance of this piece ends on a more positive note.
This setting is for a full concert band and includes these parts:
Flute 1 & 2
Clarinet 2 & 3
Alto Saxophone 1 & 2
Trumpet 2 & 3
F Horn 1 & 2
F Horn 3 & 4
Trombone 1 & 2 (BC)
Trombone 3 (Bass)
Snare and Bass Drum (2 players)
Castanets and Crash Cymbal (1 player)
Marimba 1 & 2 (1 or 2 players)
EL GATO MONTES, pasodoble torero from the opera of the same name by Manuel Penello Moreno, arranged by Tom Kirkland for smyphonic winds and percussion comes in a pdf file of 696K, with a ten-page score, twenty-one one-page parts, one two-page part, one three-page part and a license page, thirty-seven pages in all. Performance time should be about 3:25.