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  • Latin American Fiesta (Bernstein Century)
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Latin American Fiesta (Bernstein Century)

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Audio CD, September 29, 1998
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Product Details

  • Performer: Netania Davrath
  • Orchestra: New York Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Composer: Aaron Copland, Oscar Lorenzo Fernandez, Camargo Guarnieri, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Silvestre Revueltas, et al.
  • Audio CD (September 29, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000C297
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #299,761 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Danzón cubano
2. El salón México
3. Batuque
4. Dansa brasileira
5. Bachiana Brasileira No. 5,: I. Aria (Cantilena). Adagio
6. Bachiana Brasileira No. 5: II. Dansa (Martelo), Allegretto
7. Sensemayá
8. Sinfonía india

Editorial Reviews

Maestro Lenny was at his best in this extroverted, highly rhythmic music. The Batuque by Brazilian composer Oscar Lorenzo Fernandez will be a discovery for most people, a tremendously exciting orchestral showpiece. There's lots more excitement in the pieces by Guarnieri, Revueltas (a stunning performance of the great Sensemayá), and two pieces by the tourist Aaron Copland. (This version of El Salón México is Bernstein's stereo recording; Sony has already reissued his earlier mono one.) The late Netania Davrath sings beautifully in the familiar Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5. Sony's remastering is really first- rate. But there should have been more than 53 minutes of music, even on this mid-priced reissue. --Leslie Gerber

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 24, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The re-mastering of this CD is amazing, and these recordings deserved the technical wizardry. It's the kind of music Leonard Bernstein was at his most incredibly brilliant at...rhythmic, emotional, and full of energy.
His interpretation of Copland has always been known as the "definitive" one, and in these two pieces, you can see why. The next three selections are by Brazilian composers, the most well known being Villa-Lobos' "Bachiana Brasileira # 5", here sung so beautifully by Netania Davrath.
Silvestre Revueltas' "Sensemayá" is fabulous. Reminiscent of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" in parts, though 100 % Mexican in feeling. It throbs with vitality, and the intensity of its rhythms is's also a hard act to follow, which is Carlos Chavez' lot here with his beautiful "Sinfonia India". This piece may take a few hearings to fully appreciate, as there's a lot going on in it, like complex counterpoint, etc.
In my student years, I found a way (not telling how !) to hear the N.Y. Philharmonic rehearse, and would sit in total awe of Maestro Lenny...his genius and his humanity. He was my first hero, and though I never met him, my "father figure". This CD just exudes his's a special treat for anyone who ever saw him "make music" in person, and experienced the magic of it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By W. Soll on May 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
With the exception of the Copland pieces, these are the works of Latin American composers looking for--and finding--their own voice within the tradition of 20th century orchestral music. Four pieces are particularly noteworthy: the justly beloved Bachianas Brasileiras #5 (superbly sung by Natania Devrath), the propulsive Batuque, Sensemaya (a Mesoamerican "Rite of Spring"), and Chavez' "Sinfonia India." This last is not "misplaced geographically" (contrary to an earlier, otherwise helpful review); Chavez, writing in 1936, used the word "Indian" to refer to the native inhabitants of Mexico. He wrote that he and his colleagues in Mexico had to "free ourselves from the stuffy conservatory tradition, the worst kind of academic stagnation. We have found ourselves by going back to the cultural traditions of the Indian racial stock that still accounts for four-fifths of the people."

When I was a lad I went to a Young People's Concert in Manhattan. Bernstein trotted onto the podium and launched into Batuque, followed by many of the works on this disc. This recording was made right at that time of this concert and captures its joy, its sense of exploration, its energy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By cruisewhiz on January 24, 2001
Format: Audio CD
In addition to the review mentioned above, the recording of the Bachianas is the star here. Soprano Netania Davrath recorded this right after a performance with Bernstein in New York during one of her tours. This recording pops up in many anthologies which is great as that way it can be shared with more music lovers. Davrath is best known for her complete recording of Songs of the Auvergne on Vanguard. Enjoy Davrath along with these fine works from composers from south of the border. You will be glad you did.
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