The Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, conducted by Maximiano Valdes, perform popular Latin American works: Tracks 1 - 3: Three Dances for Orchestra, by Mozart Camargo Guarnieri; Track 4: Encantamento, by Guarnieri; Track 5: Overture to a Creole Faust, by Alberto Ginastera; Track 6: The Wandering Tadpole, by Silvestre Revueltas; Track 7: Margaritena, by Inocente Carreno; Track 8: Fuga Romantica, by Juan Bautista Plaza; Track 9: Huapango, by Jose Pablo Moncayo.
This is a charming disc of popular Latin American music. The disc opens with a suite of dances by the Brazilian composer Mozart Camargo Guarnieri. They are characteristic dances bearing the titles Brazilian Dance, Savage Dance and Negro Dance, which sounds like it could have been written by Elmer Bernstein. They were composed over a twenty-year period and were originally written for piano. The orchestral textures are rich and colorful. Guarnieri studied in Paris with Charles Koechlin and was a guest conductor at the Boston Symphony. Guarnieri composed Encantamento in 1941. The music comes close to his the evocative music teacher Koechlin. It begins with an atmospheric melody evocative of nature, but the music quickly builds into languid dance and then to the percussive rhythms of Brazilian folk music. The first hypnotic melody returns and the work ends quietly.
The short piece by Alberto Ginastera - Overture to the creole Faust - was based on the story by Estanislao del Campo and dates from 1943. The overture has begins with a sinister melody that quickly turns into a dance, somewhat reminiscent of Estancia. The music settles into a reflective melody, developing into a more dramatic melody to close the work. The short piece, The Wandering Tadpole of Silvestre Revueltas, is not well known. This is a dance from a larger ballet for children. The music has a nice sense of humor with various instruments darting back and forth with bits of melody, and there are echoes of a mariachi band.
Venezuelan composer Inocente Carreno's Margaritena receives a spirited performance. The music is centered on a folk song Margarita es una lagrima, which Carreno skillfully weaves into a rhapsody.Read more ›
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Eduardo Mata began this collection with a very serious attitude. Unfortunately, it has not been understood by the Dorian staff. This selection has the spirit of its title, and it makes no sense to offer "Latin American Lollipops" when there has not been a meal before. The CD market is hungry of non-mainstream information, and Latin America is almost totally absent. Here, Maximiano Valdés makes a good job, even if he has not the extraordinary level of Mata when he recorded "Sensemayá" for Dorian. The selection is useful with the light pieces by minor composers like Camargo-Guarnieri, Carreño, Plaza and Moncayo (his nationalistic post-card "Huapango") or with the minor piece by the better Ginastera (whose discography is so scarce), and necessary with the marvelous and so short "El renacuajo paseador" by the great Silvestre Revueltas, the major composer from the Americas, the deepest, the most serious of all.
After serendipitously hearing Huapango on Sirius, I just had to have it! This CD presents an interesting mix of composers -- some more significant than others -- and other reviewers have addressed the strength of some of these pieces over others. But the joyful ebullience of Huapango is something I find myself turning to time and time again. The last cut on the disc, Huapango alone is worth the effort it took to find it. I would have bought this CD if Huapango had been the only piece on it!
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