SPAIN – Solemn, grand and exciting. This is the anthem of the Benidorm Fest, entitled “Vita est” which has been composed by the musician Pepe Herrero and performed by the RTVE Orchestra and Choir.
A symphonic piece inspired by classic themes – like “O Fortuna” by Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, combining it with great modern compositions by composers like Hans Zimmer. An epic soundtrack whose objective is to cross borders and generations.
“Symphonic music was the mother of all current music, and it has a special energy and power to reach the hearts of all audiences, of all tastes and ages,” says the composer.
The lyrics highlight the value of music to unite peoples and how through art and culture we can be free. “Music is life, art our light. Singing sets us free. United by a destiny. Our hearts hold hope”, read some of the verses.
“In addition, he talks about dreams, overcoming and the values of the Eurovision Song Contest itself,” he adds. Herrero has composed the Benidorm Fest anthem in Latin, since it is the origin of “many modern languages of Europe and because it has a precious sound in choral music”.
The 129 professionals that make up the RTVE Orchestra and Choir recorded “Vita est” on December 20 at the Monumental Theater in Madrid under the baton of Herrero.
Pepe Herrero says that, despite the tight deadlines, he created five hymns and among them he chose the one that best reflected the idea and values of the festival.
After ‘finding’ the harmony, he made the symphonic arrangements and wrote the scores to be performed by more than 100 musicians, including string, wood, brass and percussion instrumentalists; and the voices of sopranos, alto, tenors and basses.
In addition, the melody includes a piano base and percussion sounds digitally programmed by a computer.
“The most difficult part of the creation phase is deciding which instrument to play each note and with what technique. But the really complicated part of the process comes now: getting the public to like it and make it last over time,” he says.
Starting from the main theme, the author has produced 15 versions of the hymn, of different duration and instrumental templates, for the setting of different parts of the programs or promotions.
Among the variations, there is the ‘Adagio’, a slower and more emotional version without percussion, without brass, without wood, without piano and without lyrics, only with string instruments and the voices of the choir.
This is the fourth time that the composer and the RTVE group have worked together. The first collaboration was in 2015 with the symphonic version of “Amanecer”, Edurne’s theme for Eurovision.
In 2016, Herrero made the symphonic arrangements of the song “Living like this is dying of love” that Mónica Naranjo sang at RTVE’s 60th anniversary Gala; and in 2018 they participated together in the album Camilo Sinfónico, by Camilo Sesto, which achieved the Gold Record.
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an oikotimes original text