United Nation Association 


« MUSICA PARA UN CODICE SALMANTINO », was written in 1955, to celebrate with splendour the 700th anniversary of the Spanish Salamanca University, the oldest university in the Occidental world, where Christopher Columbus in person presented his plans to find a new route to the Indies. The Spanish government at the time commissioned Joaquin Rodrigo for this purpose.  Rodrigo, a celebrated composer, was blind since childhood.  He died in December last year, at the age of 97. Rodrigo chose to put to music a flamboyant text by Miguel de Unamuno, celebrated philosopher and Spanish poet from the beginning of the century. Unamuno was Rector of Salamanca University for many years.  Here is his last work, his testament and vibrant homage to this legendary University that he loved so much, and where he was so content : 


Tall grove of towers that, as he goes down
back of the trees that embellish cloudscape,
the Father Sun of Castille doth touch with
   his golden rays ;

great forest of stones that drew out the History
from the recesses of Mother Earth
backwater of quietud, I bless thee
my Salamanca !

On one side, beyond the slow river Tormes
thou doth see the dark foliage of the trees
which, like the foliage of thy stones, is motionless,
dense and perennial.

On the other side, by barren Armuna
ripples the wheat that is gold like thy stone,
and as the evening dies, between the furrows
   of sleeping peace.

Tranquility sleeps and hope too is sleeping
of other harvest and sweet afternoons.
The hours leave their trace on the earth as
   they hurry by.

At foot of thy blocks of stone, Salamanca,
sleeps the memory of the golden harvest
of tranquil thought that in thy halls grew ripe
   year after year.

Memory sleeps and hope too is sleeping
While the course of life flows tranquilly on,
As slowly as the growing of thy trees,
   Slowly, securely.

Oh Salamanca, mids thy golden stones,
the students in their youth did learn of Love,
whilst the surrounding fields, that take thee in,
   gave juicy fruits.

I keep thy vigourous soul in the depths
of my heart ; oh my golden Salamanca,
keep thou then, when my last days shall have come,
   keep thou my memory.

And when the Sun, as it sinks to its rest,
kindies the age of gold that adorns thee
in the tongue of eternal herald tell
   that I have been.

Miguel de Unamuno, translation L.Turnbull

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