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Jorge Muñiz, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman & Jennifer Muñiz | Cantos del Emigrante, and More Songs for Tenor & Piano

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Classical: Art songs World: Western European Moods: Type: Vocal
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Cantos del Emigrante, and More Songs for Tenor & Piano

by Jorge Muñiz, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman & Jennifer Muñiz

A collection of Spanish art songs for tenor voice by Asturian (Spanish) composer Jorge Muñiz, featuring the debut of Romanian tenor Emanuel-Cristian Caraman, Jennifer and Jorge Muñiz , accompanying on piano, with special guest cellist Si-Yan Darren Li.
Genre: Classical: Art songs
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Cantos del Emigrante: I. De los Caballos
Jorge Muñiz, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman & Jennifer Muñiz
3:02 $0.99
2. Cantos del Emigrante: II. Prioritaria Alcordanza Persistente
Jorge Muñiz, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman & Jennifer Muñiz
3:23 $0.99
3. Cantos del Emigrante: III. We Have the Blues
Jorge Muñiz, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman & Jennifer Muñiz
3:11 $0.99
4. Cantos del Emigrante: IV. Con Pallabrinas D'amor
Jorge Muñiz, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman & Jennifer Muñiz
3:29 $0.99
5. Cantos del Emigrante: V. Nana
Jorge Muñiz, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman, Jennifer Muñiz & Si-Yan Darren Li
4:11 $0.99
6. Cantos del Emigrante: VI. Manes
Jorge Muñiz, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman & Jennifer Muñiz
3:13 $0.99
7. Cantos del Emigrante: VII. Alcordanza
Jorge Muñiz, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman & Jennifer Muñiz
2:20 $0.99
8. Cantos del Emigrant: VIII. Depués, Nada
Jorge Muñiz, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman, Jennifer Muñiz & Si-Yan Darren Li
4:24 $0.99
9. Tres Apuntes: I. Revelación
Jorge Muñiz & Emanuel-Cristian Caraman
4:21 $0.99
10. Tres Apuntes: II. Vals del Atardecer
Jorge Muñiz & Emanuel-Cristian Caraman
2:26 $0.99
11. Tres Apuntes: III. Oda a la Noche o Letra para Tango
Jorge Muñiz & Emanuel-Cristian Caraman
3:46 $0.99
12. O Primeiro Madrigal
Jorge Muñiz, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman & Jennifer Muñiz
3:41 $0.99
13. Oda a Covadonga
Jorge Muñiz, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman & Jennifer Muñiz
5:28 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

“Cantos del Emigrante (Songs of the Emigrant) and More Spanish Songs for Tenor & Piano” [Afinat Records AR1801] is a complete (to date) collection of art songs and song cycles in Spanish for tenor voice and piano, composed by Asturian Spanish composer Jorge Muñiz, who came to the United States as a graduate student and later immigrated permanently when he married fellow doctoral student, American pianist Jennifer Muñiz, who appears as accompanist on the majority of the album. All songs on the album are sung by Romanian tenor Emanuel-Cristian Caraman in his professional recording debut.

The album opens with the album’s title work, the substantial eight-song, 25-minute song cycle “Cantos del Emigrante” (2006), which also features cello on two of the eight songs (performed by a special guest, Asian-American cellist Si-Yan Darren Li). Jorge Muñiz’s three-song cycle follows, “Tres apuntes (Three Pieces)” for Tenor and Piano (2002), with the composer himself performing as pianist. The album closes with two of the composer’s single songs, each in their own way representing “firsts” for the composer: “O primeiro madrigal (The First Madrigal)” (2001) was the first song he wrote for tenor voice and piano, and the album’s gentle but magnificent closer, “Oda a Covadonga (Ode to Covadonga)” (2005) is the song’s first professional recording.

“Cantos del Emigrante” is being released timely, in anticipation of the world premiere of Muñiz’s first commissioned opera, “Fuenteovejuna”, September 9-15, 2018 at Opera Oviedo, the first mainstage opera commissioned by the company in its history. Muñiz says, “This album of my tenor works with piano has been four years in the making, since 2014. I have been extremely fortunate to be writing so many new pieces since we started. Most notably, the new opera which is being produced by one of the top national companies in Spain. The opera and these works are in languages from Spain (Spanish, Asturian, and Galician). These songs span a five-year creative period and were all written as homages to Spain (and Asturias) in some way. I think it is interesting that they are being sung by a fresh voice, tenor Emanuel-Cristian Caraman, a Romanian emigrant to the United States, also my wife, a native-born American pianist, and a superb cellist and friend with Chinese heritage. This album ties into what people are talking about in America with immigration struggles in politics. We are artists from different nations and cultures, making music for everyone in the world, but from America! The songs in my title work on the album approach emigration from the very human point of view, what it means to an emigrant to leave and live life in a foreign land. The timing of the album in tandem with the opera’s premiere in September is what my executive producer and friend Lee Streby (CEO of Afinat Records) calls ‘perfect timing!’”

Romanian-born tenor Emanuel-Cristian Caraman, who makes his solo and label debut with this album, says, “The songs on this album speak to me in a very personal way, as my journey in my own life allowed me to experience what it means to be an emigrant. Performing Jorge’s music brings out all the colors in a tenor’s voice. His songs are as beautiful as they are vocally challenging, which makes them deeply powerful.”

Pianist Jennifer Muñiz, an accomplished professional pianist, happens to be the composer’s wife as well. She says, “I have known Jorge for many years, and I am still struck by how intimate and immediate his vocal writing is. These songs are such a window into the world of a thoughtful, passionate person, who experiences the world and then expresses himself most truthfully through music.”


“Cantos del Emigrante (Songs of the Emigrant)” (2006) which opens the album, is the most recent and most substantial song cycle in the collection, combined with three additional pieces that collectively offer 13 songs. The album offers a varied and colorful window into the composer’s style, and it reveals a growing depth and maturity over the span of five years, 2001-2006. The “Cantos” cycle sets eight poems written by three beloved Asturian female poets: Taresa Lorences, Nené Losada Rico, and Vanessa Gutiérrez, who blend extremely well together in the cycle to tell the story of an emigrant’s life through the lens of emotion, memory, and experience. The texts span the timeframe from the emigrant’s excited anticipation of life in the new country to deep nostalgic reflection prior to his or her final days of life.

The work’s musical content interprets the texts in a deeply evocative manner. The texts from the three poets begin with Lorences’ poem on the initial excitement and anticipation of experiences in the new land, perhaps imagining their new country as place where horses roam free (“De los caballos (About Horses)”), to the culture shock of arrival (“Prioritaria alcordanza persistente (Prioritary and persistent remembrance)”, to the challenges of adjusting to new cultures and traditions (“We have the blues”), to falling in love and contemplating family memories (“Con pallabrinas d’amor (With Loving Words)”. The opening four songs lead into one peak at the center of the cycle; its fifth song, “Nana” is a lullaby to a child, complete with a sweetly tinkling ‘music box’ theme in the piano’s upper register, and a lyrical vocal line that is magnified by special counterpoint from a solo cello. There is a growing emotional weight in the cycle, deepening even more in songs six through eight. The protagonist Emigrant begins to struggle to recall more and more their famiy members, friends, and traditions with “Manes (Hands)”. As old age approaches, memories start to become more distant and faded (“Alcordanza” or “Remembrance”). In its penultimate song, (“Depués, nada” or “Afterward, Nothing”), the poet confronts the Emigrant’s approaching death, which Muñiz interprets in texture by placing it in the bass range of the piano and voice, and creates slowly descending melodic lines, but later as nostalgic memories return suddenly, the song climbs to cries of emotional pain that are almost palpable. In both of the cycle’s two most captivating songs (“Nana” and “Depués, nada”), Muñiz interpolates the special solo cello part (performed by featured guest Si-Yan Darren Li) into the opening of both songs, becoming almost a narrator introducing the songs in these milestones of the Emigrant’s life story. As the tenor begins to sing, the cello melds into a duet role, masterfully countering the voice, emphasizing phrases in the text in a way that both songs might sound like mere shells of their beauty without it.

Muñiz says, “‘Cantos del Emigrante’ is really an autobiographic work. I wrote it when I had been in the United States for about eight years, so there were already many emotions and experiences to reflect upon in the music. I wrote “Cantos” while at a residency at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York. I had just found out that my wife and I would have our first child, too, so I decided to include the lullaby (“Nana”) as the fifth song, which I dedicated to my then-unborn son. The poetry chosen very much connects with me, because it is written in the language of my home in Asturias. Joaquín Pixán gave me many possibilities to choose from, but as I was reflecting on my own life as an emigrant in a new country, the piece revealed itself through the selection of these eight poems.”

Following “Cantos” is the first multi-song cycle that Joaquin Pixán commissioned from the composer in 2002, a three-song cycle entitled “Tres apuntes (Three Pieces)” for tenor and piano. The composer comments, “Tres apuntes was my homage to one of the greatest Asturian poets, Ángel González, who unfortunately passed away a few years ago. Like me, he also was an emigrant who lived in the United States for many years as a professor at the University of New Mexico. As an interesting trivia, he is also from Oviedo (my hometown in Spain) and his second last name is the same as mine: Muñiz!” The composer himself joins Caraman as accompanist on piano in a contrasting reverential but also lighthearted cycle about qualities of music itself. The opening song “Revelación (Revelation)” finds the existence of the divine by proclaiming “God exists in music!” at first calmly, but again at the end, rather emphatically at its refrain. The mood relaxes with the more playful “Vals del atardecer (Waltz of Sunset)” in which various instruments dance together, and concludes with “Oda a la Noche o letra para tango (Ode to the Night or Lyric for a Tango)” in which the Argentinian dance is personified as “Night”, a character of old age waxing nostalgically about youth.

“O primeiro madrigal” was the first commissioned song that Muñiz wrote for tenor and piano, in 2001, which began the journey that led to “Cantos del Emigrante” and larger orchestrated works composed by commissions from Joaquín Pixán. The songs is a setting of a poem by respected Galician poet Ramón Cabanilles (1876-1959). Muñiz says, “Unlike the other songs, this first song for tenor and piano is special to me because it was written in Galician. Galicia is next to Asturias in the north of Spain. At that time, I was very intrigued by classic mythology. This poem speaks of the origin of the first love song (called the first madrigal) and it is full of imagery and expression about the joys (and pains) of love through a story about Cupid.”

The album closes with Muñiz’s expansive ballad “Oda a Covadonga” (2005), a gorgeous homage to the landscape of the composer’s native land. At five and a half minutes, the work demonstrates the composer’s growing maturity, exploring more of the tonality that was developed even more in “Cantos del Emigrante”, completed the next year. Muñiz says “The origin of this song is quite unusual because it is not a setting of a poem. It is actually a writing from a history of Spain by one of our most important historians, Álvaro Sánchez de Albornoz. It is written in prose, but it is a powerful statement full of imagery of the beautiful mountains and grotto of Covadonga, Asturias. I have many wonderful memories of my travels and stays at that site. It is truly an unforgettable experience!” Caraman’s performance represents the world premiere recording.



The music of Jorge Muñiz has been performed in Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Singapore, Australia, and the United States. Orchestras and ensembles include the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Seville Symphony Orchestra, Malaga Symphony Orchestra, Asturias Symphony Orchestra, Oviedo Filarmonía, South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Das Scardanelli Quartett, Euclid Quartet, Avalon Quartet, Cámara XXI, Duo Ahlert & Schwab, Cuarteto Quiroga, Cuarteto Quattro, Duo Saxperience, Vesper Chorale and Chamber Orchestra, and Duo Sonidos.

Opera Oviedo commissioned Muñiz to compose a three-act opera, entitled “Fuenteovejuna” (based on the play by Lope de Vega with a new libretto by Javier Almuzara) for the opening of the house's 71st anniversary season in 2018-2019. The opera was the first mainstage production to be commissioned by the company in its history.

In October 2010, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra presented the world premiere of “Requiem for the Innocent”, written in remembrance of victims of terrorism around the world, featuring baritone soloist Ivan Griffin and five choruses. Jack Walton of the The South Bend Tribune called the work “a magnificent oratorio… a creation that is profound, mature and well-proportioned.” The South Bend Symphony Orchestra also premiered his Piano Concerto No. 2, “American Nights” in 2014, with pianist Ilia Ulianitsky.

Recent premieres of commissioned works include “Stabat Mater Speciosa” (written to benefit Hannah’s House women’s home of Mishawaka, IN) with the South Bend Chamber Singers; a new concerto for alto sax and orchestra, Motown Dreams, for GRAMMY® winner, saxophonist Timothy McAllister; and “Portraits from the Heartland” for award-winning classical guitarist Adam Levin. Other recent premieres include his Piano Quintet No. 2, The Mississippi for Cuarteto Quiroga and pianist Javier Perianes, and his Piccolo Sonata: “Homage to Francis Poulenc”, for flutist Roberto Álvarez, premiered at the 2013 Australian Flute Festival.

Most recently, Muñiz’s solo cello work, “Behold the Lamb of God”, was released on “Crossings: New Music for Cello” [Furious Artisans, 2015] by cellist Kate Dillingham and “La Nueche de San Xuan” on “La Noche: 21st Century Music for Flute & Harp” [Independent, 2011] by Roberto Álvarez, flute, and Katryna Tan, harp.

Jorge Muñiz received his master’s in music composition from Carnegie Mellon University where he studied with Leonardo Balada and his doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music with Richard Danielpour. Dr. Muñiz is currently Professor of Music – Composition and Theory, at the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts at Indiana University South Bend.


Romanian tenor Emanuel-Cristian Caraman has appeared with opera companies and symphony orchestras in Europe, South America and North America. Caraman has performed with Los Angeles Opera, George Enescu International Music Festival in Bucharest, Miami Lyric Opera, Die Deutsche Kammerphilarmonie, CBA Symphony, Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis, South Bend Symphony Orchestra and New Philharmonic Orchestra. Operatic highlights include Edgardo in "Lucia di Lammermoor", Pinkerton in "Madama Butterfly", Nemorino in "L’elisir d’amore", Rodolfo in "La bohéme", Alfredo in "La traviata", Don José in "Carmen", Fritz in "L’amico Fritz", Riccardo in "Un ballo in maschera", Ernesto in "Don Pasquale", Ferrando in "Cosí fan tutte" and Tamino in "Die Zauberflöte". As a distinguished concert artist, Caraman has performed the tenor solos in Rossini’s "Stabat Mater", Mozart’s "Great" Mass in C Minor, Bach’s B Minor Mass, Ramirez’s "Misa Criolla", Handel’s "Messiah", Haydn’s "Creation", Bruckner's "Te Deum" and Stravinsky's "Pulcinella". Caraman is the recipient of the “Michiana 40 Under 40” recognition award, conferred by South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce. In May 2018, Caraman received the American Prize Oratorio Award, for outstanding vocal symphonic artist.


Pianist Jennifer Muñiz, D.M.A., has performed in Spain, Italy, Mexico and the United States. Muñiz has garnered numerous honors since her concerto debut at age eleven, including her New York solo debut at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, performances at the United Nations, Steinway Hall, and the Polish Embassy in Chicago, and recitals at the Auditorio Principe Felipe in Oviedo, Spain. Muñiz has been published in "Clavier Companion", "American Music Teacher" and has recorded solo piano music of American Romantic composer Arne Oldberg (1874-1962). Muñiz performs as a solo and collaborative pianist, and is a founding member and pianist for Ensemble CONCEPT/21, a new music ensemble that has performed at venues such as the Chicago Latino Music Festival. Muñiz completed her Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from Manhattan School of Music; and joined the IU South Bend faculty in 2013 as Assistant Professor of Music.


Cellist Si-Yan Darren Li has appeared in solo and chamber music performances at many renowned concert venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, the 92nd Street Y, Suntory Hall, Izumi Hall, National Concert Hall in Taipei, Victoria Concert Hall in Singapore and the Basilica de San Lorenzo. He has also performed at the Ravinia Festival, the Kronberg Festival, and the Verbier Festival. Li is a prizewinner in numerous prestigious competitions, including the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. He is also a recipient of the “American Masterpieces” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Li holds degrees from The Juilliard School and the Peabody Institute. For many years, he has served as a jury member of the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and the New World Symphony Auditions. Li is a former member of the Cavani and Euclid Quartets and has taught as a professor at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the University of Central Florida, and Indiana University South Bend.



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