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Philippine tribal music antedates the first Filipino musicians
trained in western music, most probably in the 17th century. The 19th century produced
Marcelo Adonay, trained by the Agustinian Order, and composer of full orchestral
accompaniments to the Grand Mass, Te Deum, Benedictus, among others. Jose Estrella
composed stage music at the turn of the century, and wrote several operas and the first
complete symphony, aside from waltzes and musical plays.
A type of contemporary music that relates to the tribal music
with its stringed instruments, and to Western music as well, is the Rondalla, a native
string band which again best typifies the blending of many influences that go into the
cultivation of an indigenous art form.
Great Philippine Classics is a collection of Philippine classical
music published by the National Philharmonic Society of the Philippines through the
initiative of its founder Redentor L. Romero. It is a collection of works of great
Filipino masters, such as Bonifacio Abdon, Nicanor Abelardo, Constacio de Guzman, Felipe
P. de Leon, Antonio J. Molina, Hilarion Rubio, Leopoldo Silos, Santiago Suarez, Ernesto
Vallejo, Manuel Velez and Ben Zubiri. Of the 14 pieces , only five, however, are original
violin works: Cavatina, Abelardo ; Habanera Filipina No. 2, Vallejo; Kundiman, F. P de
Leon; Hating-gabi, Molina; and Salamisim, Rubio. The rest were written mainly for voice
and piano. And of these five composers only Ernesto Vallejo was a violinist.
This includes: Bayan Ko; Cavatina, Habanera Filipina No. 2;
Hating-gabi; Katakataka; Kundiman (B. Abdon); Kundiman (F. P. de Leon); Lagi Kitang
Naaalala; Matud Nila; Mutya ng Pasig; No Du Duaem Pay; Sa Kabukiran; Salamisim; and Sarung
Redentor L. Romero's conducting career is unparalleled in
Philippine music history. He is the country's first and only international conductor whose
appearances span five continents. He is also one of the few Asian conductors hailed
worldwide by critics. He has conducted such renowned orchestras as the USSR State
Orchestra and Moscow Symphony at the Bolshoi and Tchaikovsky Halls, The American Symphony
at Carnegie Hall, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic and almost all of the orchestras
in the USR (in 15 tours) and socialist countries, Europe, New Zealand, Australia and South
Amarica. Many of the world's leading artists have appeared under his baton.
"Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal" (How Much Do I Love You) by
Ernani Cuenco, is one of the 14 pieces of works arrangements and orchestrations by
Redentor L. Romero entitled "Damdaming Pinoy". With the renowned Moscow
Philharmonic Orchestra and Prof. Romero conducting, "Damdaming Pinoy" was
recorded and played. These classic local compositions are 1) Sapagkat Kami'y Tao Lamang by
T. Maiquez; Katakataka by S. Suarez; Kapantay ay Langit by G. Canseco; Ikaw by M. Velarde;
Yakapin Mo Ako by L. Ocampo; Anak Fantasie by F. Aguilar; Maalaala Mo Kaya by C. de
Guzman; Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal by E. Cuenco; Dahil Sa Iyo by M. Velarde; Walay Angay by
Folk; Bakya Mo Neneng by S. Suarez; Usahay by Folk; Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko by T. Arevalo; and
Saan Ka Man Naroroon by Resty Umali.