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Sheet music for Ramon Delgado Palacios
- "Isabel". 1880. Polka en fa mayor. 1 p.
- "Gentileza". 1882; 1894. Vals en mi mayor. Valses venezolanos. S.N. Llamozas & Ca. Editores: Röder, Leipsique, p. 10-11; Revista Shell, 1957, 22:9
- "Virginia" 1884. Polka mazurca en do mayor. 2 p.
- "Adela". 1892. Schottisch en do mayor. 3 p.
- "El cielo y tú". 1896. Polka en re mayor. El Cojo Ilustrado, 117:841
- "La dulzura de tu rostro". 1896. Vals en do sostenido menor. Armonías del Avila, 2da. ed. 1898, p. 16-17;
- "Delicias". 1896. Vals en re mayor Armonías del Avila, 2da. ed. 1898, p. 14-15
- "Mi aplauso". 1898. Gran vals para piano [re mayor]. Salvador N. Llamozas & Ca.: Impr. M. Dreissig, Hamburgo, L N 11647, 6 p.
- "Confidencias del corazon". 1905. Vals en mi mayor. 4 p.
- "Copos de espuma". 1905. Vals en mi menor. 4 p.
- "Graziella!". 1905. Vals en fa sostenido menor. 4 p.
- "Muñoz Tebar". Danza en mi menor. C.G. Röder, Leipsique.
Venezuelan pianist and composer. He was Chopin’s second generation student in Paris, around 1884-1886. His printed scores mentioned he was a Paris Conservatoire student. RDP performed from Thalberg "Gran Fantasia sobre la Norma". That was in Caracas. (Hector Perez Marchelli would like to know the original title of this composition. address: 7555 Blackhawk Rd, Middleton WI 53562-4344, USA.)
Lucila, one of his students.
Lucila Luciani’s unpublished diary written when she was seventy years
old in 1952. Edited by Hector Perez Marchelli. Translation by Tanya
I have reached now one of my most intensely lived times. Until then I
had had a piano teacher, Narciso L. Salicrup, one of the most brilliant
pianists at that period. But his dexterity was much better than his
teaching. The latter, in fact, did not pass a certain level of
virtuosity. Furthermore, my father did not appreciate the teacher’s
tardiness when giving his classes. So thus my father considered changing
professors, substituting Salicrup for Ramon Delgado Palacios, another
notable pianist who was moreover a renowned teacher. He had studied in
Paris with a pupil of Chopin. And besides playing the piano, he also
played the organ with so much mastery that the Caraquenas attended in
great number the 10 a.m. mass at San Francisco Church, just to hear his
He was also a composer and author of Venezuelan waltzes for two hands
imitating four hands. His reputation was great. When it was considered
to entrust him my education as a pianist, my mother was told that it
wouldn’t be strange that he would decline, since he was an odd man, full
of whims. Among his known eccentricities was that when he was about to
give lessons to a pupil, if her chaperon or even the same pupil did not
please his tastes, he would quit the lessons. Despite such foresights,
my father insisted that he give me classes and he accepted. Moreover,
when he felt intimate enough with us, he confessed that he had managed
to have one of our neighbors, Maria E. Boccardo, to whom he dedicated
the waltz "Copos de espuma", excel intentionally so that when we would
see her progresses, my parents would beg him to give me lessons.
According to him, Maria didn’t have much talent for the piano yet, with
his teaching methods, he had lead her to a remarkable degree of
Thus, my lessons began with the new teacher... I had told my neighbor
and friend Maria, who bragged about practicing piano for hours and hours
at a time, studying, that he would never convince me to do the same.
However, just after beginning classes, I found myself studying six hours
of piano plus two of violin, of which I also studied then with Andres
Anton (a violinist and also a contralto singer). A miracle of the
Chopinianne "mechanism", or a miracle of love? Find out for yourself.
The truth is that Delgado possessed a unique teaching method. The pupil,
from one class to another, could appreciate his own improvement. Delgado
had mechanism exercises that challenged all levels of difficulty. When
we saw a musical piece for the first time, he would make me note the
difficult passages and showed me the ways to fully play them.
Delgado was really a renowned pianist. At the time he was my teacher, he
described himself already as a "burnt down rocket". But one had to hear
him when he felt like playing: he possessed an incredible strength in
his small, woman-like hands; and a clearness, and admirable preciseness,
in his technique. And he produced excellent effects with the use of the
pedal. In short, he was what one called at that time a real artist. He
composed for me a waltz entitled "Lucila", each one of its parts was a
reproduction of each of the syllables in my name. Extremely beautiful
and equally as difficult. He also dedicated to me a precious dance "Wo
bist du?", describing the great wittiness (rather that my own
simplicity) of a Creole girl. Finally, he also composed another waltz
for a brass band, with my name, which also was played in Bolivar Square,
with big applauses and encores and whose originals, after the author’s
death, got misplaced. A great shame since it was a remarkable
composition which he offered to me in a letter written to my parents of
which he said was "the best he had ever composed in his life".
Another one of his letters, directed to me and which I preciously
conserved, got misplaced, which afflicted me greatly: in this letter he
thanked me for having dedicated to him a French composition "Le bapteme
du musicien" and he said that I seemed to have imagined the baptism of
Chopin. And in my opinion his baptism also, since he was the true artist
that was characterized in that romantic era: noble, generous, delicate,
of high sentiments, and exquisite sensitivity, almost unhealthful, like
the author of "Nocturnes" that George Sand described as "a soaring of a
fly, a folding of a rose petal, made him bleed." I saw him like this,
even though he was small, thin, even with an insignificant aspect, with
nervous movements and behavior, with a white spacious forehead, which
was his most noticeable feature, and tiny lively black eyes.
I loved him, why deny it? With all the ardor and the illusion of a first
love, and which I always will love like I love my parents, my children
and grandchildren, that is, passionately. He was in love with me and he
came to see me with the aureole of his talent, of his exquisite
delicacy, of his perturbing music. I lived incredible days, more in my
imagination than in reality, since I only saw him during lesson hours
and because my mother was always present, we hardly spoke. However, he
would give me indirect declarations, out loudly, in front of my mother
and I felt too timid to respond. The days of my lesson were very
nerve-wracking while waiting for the hour to come. As the minutes
approached I felt such a big anguish, fearing that the teacher couldn’t
come for whatever inconvenience. And from my room that overlooked the
street, I heard his approaching steps, together with the beatings of my
heart. This idyll, if one can call it this, was truncated, firstly from
his marriage to a former girlfriend whom he no longer love, according to
his own confession, but who insisted that he keep his promise. Secondly,
he was already very sick, committing excessive alcoholism and his
willpower was too weak to resist it. With much sorrow in my soul, I
wrote the following necrology:
To my lost piano teacher and inspired artist Ramon Delgado Palacios.
Unique professor, I would like to knit you a crown, not any more of
ephemeral and beautiful roses of which Febo’s ardent kiss whithers away
or Zephyr’s blow would defoliate the leaves...
My crown should be immortal like your genius and undying like your
memory, because it is made of tears: tears for the nation, tears for the
music, tears for the friendship.
Caracas, June 27, 1902.
It is an unforgettable souvenir that I cherish as one of my most
I had forgotten to mention that the day of the 1900 earthquake (October
28th), after the first frightful shake that disturbed the city, my
family and I, when we were sitting with much fear in the courtyard,
someone knocked at the door. It was Delgado, to find out about us, about
his pupil. He belonged to a very well known family famous for its wisdom
and talent. One of the brothers was a famous physician and chemist;
another, a University professor, a man of great knowledge, and the third
brother, equally as intelligent, a priest, who was a catholic priest for
many years at San Juan Church.
All in all, I should say that Delgado, in the brief period of a year and
a half or two years, he gave me lessons, and who made me improve more
than I have ever done during all my years of study, since the first time
I placed my hands on a piano, at the age of eight. I succeeded in
playing well, putting my modesty aside, nevertheless, now that I can
compare myself to these modern times, I feel it’s a lie and in all
truthfulness, I think I never was that "artist" that my contemporaries
would have wished I be.
Lucila Luciani (1882-1971) didn’t persue her musical abilities after the
tragic death of one of her brothers in 1913. She married a phisician and
had eight children. With her husband’s last name, she became Lucila de
Perez Diaz, and published a book about Francisco de Miranda, and Paginas
sueltas (1971). In this last book there is a summary of the present
memoires. She fought in favor of women rights and tought in grammar
school. In 1939 she joined the Academy of National History. Her daughter
Lucila Perez de Castillo kindly gave permission to reproduce her
Delgado Palacios married Rosario Silva Simonovis, a pianist and a
composer. The wedding was on December 30, 1901, after a deadly sickness.
The widow, few days after he died, dedicated a picture of her husband to
Lucila Luciani. Evencio Castellanos played and recorded ‘Rayo de Luna’,
now reedited by Fundacion Vicente Emilio Sojo, in 1997.