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La Vida es Bella

A Spiritual Merengue

Composer: Darwin Aquino

Arranger: Not Applicable

Publication: No Information Available at this Time


Duration: 7:41

Program Notes:

World Premiere Performance by the Women's HOPE Chorale

Based on Gabriella Mistral's poem "Decalogue of the Artist"

"La Vida es Bella" (Life is Beautiful) was specially composed to celebrate love, women, beauty and art. Inspired in the invigorating rhythm of the Merengue (the national dance of my country, the Dominican Republic), this music brings to life Mistral's sensitive texts concerning the existence of an Artist.

The piece starts with an extremely calm and flexible atmosphere announced by the Triangle, where the Piano extends our perception of time, accompanying an expressive Violincello solo with sustained sonorities. Two mezzo soprano solos open a soft dialogue with the poem main words, as a preamble to the first "a cappella" intervention of the Chorus.

From here the music builds continuously in excitement, passion and energy, incorporating some Caribbean percussion instruments like the Claves and Pandero con Parche (Tambourine). A ravishing "Jaleo" (main section of a Merengue) brings us to the culmination of this dance, now revealing the original song in which the work is inspired. It is the Merengue I danced with my beloved wife Benedetta Orsi on the day of our wedding in the Dominican Republic. This music is dedicated to her honoring all the beauty that she has brought to my life.

- notes by Darwin Aquino





Score Sample:



SSAA with Soloists


Piano, Cello, and Interactive Percussion


​Love, Compassion, Beauty



Gabriella Mistral

Life is Beautiful

The beauty you create

shall rise

as compassion

The beauty from your heart in song

The beauty you create

shall be known as compassion

and shall console the hearts of men.

You shall create beauty

not to excite the senses

but to give sustenance

to the soul

You shall love beauty

shall rise from your heart in song.

You shall love, you shall rise

Beauty shall rise from you

you shall love beauty in song

I just know

that you are beauty.


La Vida es Bella

Belleza, amaras la belleza


subira de tu corazon al canto

Creando belleza

para los sentidos

y como alimento

del alma

Tu belleza

subira de tu corazon

consolara el corazon.

Tu belleza subira

de tu corazon al canto

Yo solo se que tu,

se que tu eres belleza.

Mucha gracia!

La Vida es BellaDarwin Aquino
00:00 / 07:41
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