Canto General

Canto General is Pablo Neruda’s tenth book of poems. It was first published in Mexico in 1950, by Talleres Gráficos de la Nación. Neruda began to compose it in 1938.

“Canto General” (“General Song”) consists of 15 sections, 231 poems, and more than 15,000 lines. This work attempts to be a history or encyclopedia of the entire American Western Hemisphere, or New World, from a Hispanic American perspective.

The best-known musical setting is by Mikis Theodorakis. He completed four movements in 1973, recording these the following year. In 1975 and 1981, he expanded the work to seven and thirteen movements, respectively, recording the complete “oratorio” live in Munich in 1981. Vocals, in Spanish, on the incomplete 1974 recording are by Maria Farantouri and Petros Pandis. Source

Website Anti War Songs: Canto General

The paintings in the related post are from the Chilean mural artist Paula Tikay. Her philosophies about nature, freedom and liberation, suppression, fit very well among the Canto General poems, and Mikis Theodorakis’ view on it. Paula Tikay has a strong connection with Palestine as well.


Tikay (11)


The poems of the Canto General oratorio: