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Published on Dec 9, 2012
Performance of "Himno a Orelie" by Guillermo Frick (1813-1905), arranged by Micah Clark. Ian Clark, baritone; Susan Clark, piano. At Huntingdon Valley Presbyterian Church, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, December 9, 2012.
In 1860, the Mapuche Indians of South America federated and created the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia. They elected Orelie-Antoine de Tounens, a French lawer, as their king. In 1862, the Republic of Chile, which thought the Mapuche lands should be part of their new country, invaded and capture the king. That same year, Guillermo Frick, a German-born Chilean composer living in the frontier city of Valdivia, Chile, thought the episode was so heroic and colorful that he wrote an operetta telling the story. This song, "Himno a Orelie" is taken from Frick's operetta and depicts the scene as the Indians acclaim Orelie-Antoine as their king. The lyrics are writen in Mapudungun, the language of the Mapuche people. The operetta was never produced and, in time, was simply forgotten. "Himno a Orelie" was published by Frick a few years before he died as part of a compilation of his life's work. Other parts of the operetta were never published are are now presumed lost. An arrangment of Himno a Orelie for brass was recorded in Belgium by Georges Barboteu and his Ars Nova brass quintet in 1984. This performance is believed to be the North American premier of Himno a Orelie and the world premier of this song as written -- for piano and voice. Videography by Eric Tompkins.