- Andrés Valero-Castells
This work has two more versions, one for bass clarinet (2017-AV86), and another for tuba (2019-AV86c), which was premiered by José Martínez Antón
The tonal centre of the work is E flat, which in Germanic nomenclature is written Es, the beginning of the word Escocia (Scotland). The title, St. Andrew’s Cross, is precisely the figure of that country’s flag, a figure which, due to its symmetry, offers different possibilities for retrograde and inversion, resources to which the work’s main motif is subjected, especially inversion. Meanwhile, especially in the last section, three Scottish themes are quoted: a Scottish folk song usually played with bagpipes; the main motif of the Scherzo from Symphony No. 3 op. 56 by the German composer Felix Mendelssohn (his Scottish Symphony); and finally, a brief melodic twist from the soundtrack James Horner wrote for the film Braveheart, which tells the life story of Scotland’s best-known hero, William Wallace.
The piece’s main theme is obtained by using a simple system of transforming text into sound, based on the popular board game Scrabble, which I devised years ago when writing the second movement of my Fifth Symphony. This simple system consists of applying a numerical value to each letter, which influences its height and duration.