La Fortuna is a marimba and piano duet that celebrates the power of music and its ability to unite people from all different parts of the world, despite their cultural differences. The piece is an ode to the incredible collaboration turned life-long friendship between the University of Costa Rica and the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities.
The title is inspired by the waterfall located in San Carlos, Costa Rica. La Fortuna is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country and is known as “the gateway” to a massive arenal volcano site. The piece uses two contrasting themes representing the volcano and the waterfall. These two themes are juxtaposed symbolically to represent the elements of fire and water existing in one contingent environment. The first theme developed is the volcano in the A section of the piece. It is represented with fast, articulate passages that evoke a bombastic, military, march-like expression. Throughout the A section, interjections of the waterfall theme are present, specifically at measure 14. The full waterfall theme is established during the development section starting at measure 34. Contrary to the volcano theme, the waterfall is represented by smooth legato passages. The waterfall section is molto espressivo and phrasing should reciprocate common characteristics to the flow of water. The original volcano theme is brought back during the recapitulation of the piece at measure 69. The final section of the piece emphasizes the sheer power of the volcano. This section includes the thickest texture of the piece. This section is technically advanced for both the pianist and the marimba player.