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Ginastera & Boïeldieu: Harp Concertos
This disc explores that rarity of the classical repertoire, the harp concerto. The musical characteristics of the harp can provide somewhat of a challenge for the composer if writing a concerto for the instrument, but this disc boasts two wonderful examples that show seemingly endless possibilities.
Frenchman François-Adrien Boïeldieu (1775--1834) was probably best-known for his 40 operas, but after developing a close friendship with Sébastien Érard, the piano maker -- who was investigating and implementing improvements to the harp mechanism -- Boïeldieu began to write pieces for the harp. With the lyricism of the instrument showcased in the second movement Andante, over slow-moving strings, and fast finger-work dominating the Allegro agitato finale, Boïeldieu's concerto stands in marked contrast to that of Alberta Ginastera's. Here, after a fiery, almost aggressive opening few bars, the music gradually progresses towards the eerie chromaticism in the second movement. An extended virtuosic solo cadenza then marks the beginning of the finale, in which a series of tense chords hail the abrupt ending of the piece.
The concertos are performed by Jutta Zoff, who was at the peak of her glittering career at the time of recording. The German harpist had been a favourite soloist of the Staatskapelle Dresden since 1967 and enjoyed tours of Europe, the USA and the Middle East. The orchestra is conducted by Siegfried Kurz.
Scheduled for release on 10 June 2013. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.
Ginastera - Complete String Quartets
Alberto Ginastera (1916–83) the foremost 20th century Argentinean composer began composing in 1930, but destroyed many of his early works. The one work to survive from this period was the ballet ‘Panambi’, which catapulted him to fame, and resulted in a commission for another ballet ‘Estancia’ based on rural Argentinean life. Aside from his stage and orchestral music, chamber music played a big role in his creative output. The string quartets span the various stages of his musical development, and can be clearly assigned to these periods.
Ginastera’s music up to the first quartet is nationalistic, and evokes the Argentine ‘gaucho’ tradition of the pampas. The one exception is ‘Panambi’ which depicts primitive Indian rites. The second quartet presents a rather Bartok like visage, with microtones and a ghostly scherzo played at the edge of sound. This represents Giasteras’ serial period, which would lead to the third and final of his string quartets. This work dates from 1973, and the inspiration was Schoenberg’s second quartet – they both have a part for a soprano of the utmost virtuosity. Ginasteras’ use of the serial 12 note form of writing is more closely allied to that of Berg and Schoenbrg rather than the austere style of Webern. The third quartet alludes to the horrors of war, and the singer is asked to ‘sing with madness’. As in the second quartet, the scherzo is the movement that remains in the mind of the listener. It is a fantastic hallucinatory bergian moment.
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Latin American Classics
El Sistema” (the music education program in Venezuela, founded in 1975 by economist and musician Jose Antonio Abreu, under the name “Social Action for Music”) has produced an incredible amount of young, talented and enthusiastic musicians, forming (youth) orchestras of amazing quality (f.i. the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Dudamel).
The Orchestra Sinfonica de Venezuela is the State orchestra under the inspiring baton of maestro Theodore Kuchar, playing with an infectious energy and fire, which can be heard and experienced in this colourful and vibrant selection of compositions of Latin American composers: Revueltas, Moncayo, Marquez, Romero. More than one hour musical festival of blazing sun, sea, landscapes, rhythm and colour! New recording. Stretching from Mexico to Argentina and covering miles of lush, idyllic landscape, Latin America has long been a source of inspiration for all manner of artists. This engaging release details a wonderful collection of music by composers native to the continent, all of whom have sought to capture its identity in their work.
Beginning with Moncayo’s famous Huapango, a vibrant showpiece written in 1941 and which incorporates three of Mexico’s popular dances, the compilation traverses an array of distinctive, regional rhythms that have been integrated into traditional and formal structures. From Hung’s Kanaima – a Venezuelan evocation of the rainforest’s majesty – to Fernández’s Afro-Brazilian dance ‘Batuque’, taken from his nationalistic opera Malazarte, the collection also highlights the importance of Western influence in Latin American music: not only was Romero’s Tocatta Bachiana inspired by the famous D minor Toccata and Fugue BWV565 by J.S. Bach, but Revueltas’ work demonstrates a clear affinity for the harmonic language of European modernists such as Stravinsky. Spanning over 50 years of composition, this release reveals Latin America’s great cultural diversity and is the perfect starting-point for anyone wishing to explore the continent’s rich artistic landscape. With the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra delivering awe-inspiring performances under their esteemed director Theodore Kuchar, it’s a must-buy.
“This is as good as a Latin American hits collection gets. The Venezuela Symphony Orchestra is on superb form, at least as good and as spirited as the more famous Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra; their American director, Theodore Kuchar, leads energetic performances that really get into the music’s ethnic spirit...It’s all a boatload of fun. Played with swagger and excitement, conducted totally idiomatically, recorded well, and sold for dirt cheap.” MusicWeb International, April 2013
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