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Evencio Castellanos belonged to the generation of Venezuelan composers who established a new nationalistic style in the first half of the 20th century. One of his best known works, Santa Cruz de Pacairigua pays homage to the construction of a church in Guatire, near Caracas, quoting popular dance rhythms and melodies, as well as a Venezuelan medieval carol. El Río de las Siete Estrellas (The River of the Seven Stars), inspired by a poem about the Orinoco River, describes events of pre-colonial Venezuelan history leading up to the country’s independence in 1821. The Suite Avileña, a compilation of scenes alluding to the coastal mountain of El Ávila, borrows from popular songs and Christmas carols, and features the cuatro (a four-stringed version of the European classical guitar) and maracas, two of the most typical Venezuelan folk instruments.
Evencio Castellanos: Santa Cruz de Pacairigua
Santa Cruz de Pacairigua
Evencio Castellanos: El rio de las siete estrellas
El rio de las siete estrellas
Evencio Castellanos: Avilena Suite
II. La ronda de ninos
IV. Amanecer de Navidad
“The orchestra has all the chops, character, and panache required...Wagner and the orchestra are signed up for two more Naxos discs of Venezuelan music, and my question is: why only two?”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.