Fresh from the triumph of their 2007 Prom appearance, this is the album everyone has been waiting for! Gustavo Dudamel and his Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela have stunned audiences worldwide with their explosive Latin-American showpieces; now they bring this repertoire into the recording studio. A unique album: no other conductor or orchestra in the world could deliver a recording like this. Passion and excitement are guaranteed!
“A disc devoted to works by Venezuelan, Mexican and Argentinian composers (along with the Latin American-inspired Mambo from Bernstein’s West Side Story) might seem too much of a good thing, but the spirit of the performances is infectious and the music will appeal to a much wider audience than just concert-goers. The highlight here is the Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera’s brilliantly orchestrated Dances from the Ballet, Estancia (Ranch), a sort of Latin American response to Copland’s Rodeo. The Bernstein rounds off the “fiesta” in rollicking style. The verve and enthusiasm of these remarkable young musicians more than compensate for some less than inspired scores and rough edges in the playing.” Sunday Times, 22nd June 2008 ***
“I am not sure anything quite like Gustavo Dudamel and his extraordinary group of young musicians have ever hit the Proms before. Whatever you have read about the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra can't convey the brilliance and disarming exuberance of their playing” Andrew Clements, The Guardian
“There is, as expected, plenty of energy on display, from the young musicians as much as from the music itself, but there is also repose and atmosphere. Ultimately, though, it is the festive that wins out. The whole disc...is a celebration of youthful talent.” The Telegraph, 5th July 2008
“One happy consequence of the Bolívar Orchestra's ascendancy is that Latin American repertoire previously known to connoisseurs has gained circulation… the one widely acknowledged masterpiece, Sensemayá by Silvestre Revueltas, which emulates The Rise of Spring in its sound but has its own Mexican character. Dudamel paces it beautifully, slow enough for the energetic strings and forthright brass to have maximum effect as it builds up.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2008 ****
“As music writers, we often twist ourselves into a pretzel trying to define what makes one interpretation superior to the next, but there's something about this performance that just is. …it's the infectious hardcore Latin spirit that, once sampled, stayed embedded in your imagination.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2008