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  • Castellanos: Santa Cruz de Pacairigua / El Rio de las Siete Estrellas / Suite Avilena
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Castellanos: Santa Cruz de Pacairigua / El Rio de las Siete Estrellas / Suite Avilena

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Audio CD, January 31, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

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 Gu


Product Details

  • Orchestra: Orquestra Sinfonia de Venezuela
  • Conductor: Jan Wagner
  • Composer: Evencio Castellanos
  • Audio CD (January 31, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B006BBVLQY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,719 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dean Frey on February 14, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Most classical music fans know Venezuela as the home of the extraordinary music education scheme El Sistema, which helped to create today's biggest classical music rock-star, the conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Now we're learning more about the mid-20th century classical music traditions in Venezuela upon which El Sistema was based.

Two of the three great Venezuelan composers born between 1915 and 1917 are fairly well known: the guitarist Antonio Lauro and composer/conductor Antonio Estévez, who wrote the famous Cantata Criolla. A third is Evencio Castellanos, a pianist and teacher, and, from the evidence on this new Naxos disc, a writer of impressive orchestral music.

Santa Cruz de Pacairigua from 1954 is a work jammed full of "local colur": folk dances, a medieval church tune, and plenty of percussion, all following a program about the building of a church. The Suite Avilena, written in 1947, contains a series of characteristic pieces representing various locations between Caracas and the sea.

The best work on the disc, though, is the 1946 work El Rio de las Siete Estrellas (The River of the Seven Stars). As often happens with music inspired by a river (Villa-Lobos's Amazon or Smetana's Moldau, for example) the representation of a strong current provides a structure for programmatic incidents that might otherwise seem unconnected.

I know the conductor Jan Wagner from a Bridge disc of orchestral music by Villa-Lobos, which coincidentally shares many characteristics with this one. The Bridge CD featured the Odense Symphony, which he led before and after the turn of the century. In this new Naxos disc he conducts the excellent Orqeusta Sinfonica de Venezuela, who play quite spendidly for their Danish leader.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andy on April 19, 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am from Venezuela, and knew Mr. Evencio Castellanos personally. (His son, Pablo castellanos Jr was my Organ teacher). Since I left my country in 2004 I am trying to get recordings of his works, and was very happy to find this one with his two most famous symphonic poems and the 'Suite Avilena'.
I still will miss the performances conducted by Pablo Castellanos (supervised by his father Evencio)- they were stunning, but they are not commercially available, it seems. This one, however, is very good. Evencio Castellanos, together with Antonio Lauro, Antonio Estevez, and their teacher Vicente Emilio Sojo conformed the Nationalistic School that preserved Venezuelan folk tunes and made use of them in a series of orchestral works that are worth to listen to. Very recommended.
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Castellanos: Santa Cruz de Pacairigua / El Rio de las Siete Estrellas / Suite Avilena
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