MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Featuring the works of National Artists, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), through the Sentro Rizal, launched ALPAS: Awit at Letra ng mga Pambansang Alagad ng Sining. The album is performed by the Philippine Madrigal Singers and is available for streaming on Spotify.
The release of the album coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Order of the National Artists. ALPAS celebrates the marriage of music and letters by giving a second life to literary masterpieces in the form of musical renditions.
The album was launched at the Metropolitan Theater of Manila on July 14. Present at the launch was National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario who lauded the project on the opportunity it give artists to collaborate.
“Ang isang bagay din na maganda dito ay naipapakita natin ang kolaborasyon ng mga Nattional Artist.” (One good thing that came out here is the chance to showcase collaboration between National Artists.)
He added that by transforming their works, “Ang literatura ay nagkakaron ng bagong bisyon, bagong paraan ng pag-appreciate.” (Literature finds a new way to have a vision, a new way to be appreciated.)
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Almario’s very own “Sambayan” is in the album along with 11 other pieces by National Artist for Music Francisco Feliciano, National Artist for Theater and Literature Rolando Tinio, National Artist for Music and Literature Levi Celerio, National Artist for Music Antonio Molina, National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist for Music Ernani Cuenco, National Artist for Music Lucresia Kasilag, National Artist for Music Lucio San Pedro, National Artist Felipe de Leon, National Artist for Music Dr. Ramon Santos, and National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab.
Among the recognizable tracks in the album are “Paraiso,” “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan,” “Payapang Daigdig,” and folk song “Bahay Kubo.” The album also features a medley from “Noli Me Tangere, the Musical.”
The Philippine Madrigal Singers is recognized as UNESCO Artists for Peace. They advocate for the preservation, protection, and promotion of Philippine music; and encourage the creation of new musical compositions and ushered the birth of new composers or arrangers. As the nation’s premiere choral group, they also work to serve as a living repository of masterpieces composed by eminent artists of the nation.