Author Topic: Ginastera's Garden  (Read 25058 times)

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Offline edward

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Ginastera's Garden
« on: August 24, 2009, 04:08:40 PM »
There appears to be no thread on this composer; I guess in part as he seems to have largely fallen out of favour in the 25-odd years since his death.

I know I'm not the only person here to have enjoyed the string quartets; I've also been enjoying many of the later works with their fusion of serial technique, Bartokian motor rhythms and brightly coloured sonorities. Maybe they're not the most subtle thing ever written, but I'm finding a lot of fun in them.

Anyone else been enjoying his works too?
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ChamberNut

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2009, 04:20:50 PM »
Just got his set of string quartets a month ago.  totally bought them without knowing anything about the composer.

I LOVE them!  Well....SQ#1 and #2 that is.  Can't really say I like the 3rd one with soprano, but that's probably just because I like my string quartets sans voix.

I really love the flavour of these quartets, and the propulsive rhythms.  They have a tremendous energy to them.  Exciting works!  :)

snyprrr

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2009, 07:04:58 AM »
Perhaps Guido will have something to say about the 2 Cello Concertos?

I had his Harp Cto. on Chandos at one time...uh...

Same with the SQs, though I'm looking forward to reacquainting myself with them.

I remember him being one of those "grumbly old men" who, for some reason, I remember for his misogyny more than his music...huh??? Either way, I dooo hear good things about the Cello Ctos. (Violin Cto., too???)

He is best known for his ballet music Estancia, full of South American cowboy rhythms. There is also a piece called Palambra???

Perhaps he is considered a poor man's Villa-Lobos. Either way, this thread reminds me that the SQs have been the only real international/mid-century hole in the library. Curious to hear any interesting insights from others.

karlhenning

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2009, 07:09:20 AM »
I love the Harp Concerto, and the Variaciones concertantes; won't hear a word against them.

Franco

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2009, 07:18:01 AM »
Quote
Perhaps he is considered a poor man's Villa-Lobos.

Villa-Lobos was never as stringent as Ginastera, and Ginastera never as warm as Villa-Lobos.  There is a difference between Argentina and Brazil in culture and temperament, and these two composers highlight that difference in their music.

The String Quartets are really good music, but I do not care for the incorporation of the soprano voice, in the 3rd (I think).

karlhenning

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2009, 07:21:45 AM »
He is best known for his ballet music Estancia, full of South American cowboy rhythms. There is also a piece called Palambra???

Panambí.  The ballets are lovely;  there's a good account of the ballets complete on Naxos: LSO and Gisèle Ben-Dor (which, come to think of it, must likely be a reissue of a Koch title).

Quote from: snyprrr
Perhaps he is considered a poor man's Villa-Lobos. Either way, this thread reminds me that the SQs have been the only real international/mid-century hole in the library. Curious to hear any interesting insights from others.

Now and then our neighbors here laud them;  I have a feeling I will enjoy them, whenever I get to know 'em.

Offline jurajjak

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2009, 04:54:54 PM »
Hi,

I've been a big fan of Ginastera for many years; his output is not huge, but just about everything is worthwhile. A work worth searching out is his blistering orchestral work Popul Vuh, which Leonard Slatkin has recorded alongside Stravinsky's Rite. His Piano Concerto #1 is better-known, and its final toccata, like the final toccata of Ginastera's Piano Sonata #1, is a highlight of 20th century piano repertoire.

I've recently become familiar with his atonal opera "Bomarzo," which is somewhat difficult but impressive. His later opera "Beatrice Cenci" is well-regarded by those who've heard it, but it doesn't seem available on CD.

I never really thought of putting Villa-Lobos and Ginastera in the same category; in his later years, Ginastera advanced into serialist and 12-tone territory that is very unlike VL's more Hollywoodish idioms (though Ginastera's best-known works are his earlier, nationalist ones).


andrew

karlhenning

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2009, 02:35:34 AM »
Quote
I love the Harp Concerto, and the Variaciones concertantes; won't hear a word against them.

Loaded these onto the Sansa Fuze player last night.

gomro

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2009, 07:08:27 PM »
Loaded these onto the Sansa Fuze player last night.

What performance of the Variaciones do you have? I was warned off one not too long ago, and I love the piece; it would be great to get a good version of it.

karlhenning

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2009, 05:05:55 AM »
What performance of the Variaciones do you have?

Josep Pons, Orquesta Ciudad Granada

Offline Guido

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2009, 06:03:13 AM »
The cello sonata is absolutely wonderful, and I really like the first two string quartets too (the third has eluded my attempts to get to know it thus far.) The two cello concertos are rather discursive and hard on the ear - Nothing to immediately excite but I wouldn't want to write them off completely as I haven't listened to them that many times.
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Tapkaara

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2009, 10:02:26 AM »
I first heard Emerson Lake and Palmer's take on the the Toccata on Brain Salad Surgury. This lead my to pick up a recording of the 1st and 2nd Piano Concerti. There are in a very modern idiom, but not unaccessible.

The two ballets Panambi and Estancia are wonderful.

gomro

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2009, 02:47:55 AM »
Josep Pons, Orquesta Ciudad Granada

Thanks! Found one on Amazon (oddly, it wasn't at Arkivmusic) and ordered it this morning. Set me back 25 bucks, but that isn't the most I've ever paid for an album, by any means.  I don't have the Creole Faust Overture on CD either, so this kills two macaws with one pebble, so to speak. And, as with Stockhausen and Refrain, if you like Ginastera you just have to accept you're gonna end up with a zillion Estancia suites. Call that collateral damage collecting, if you will.  ; )

Offline Benji

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2009, 07:18:33 AM »
I love Panambí, and Estancia. I have the old Koch disc, reissued on Naxos last year.

Panambí is an early work IIRC, and owes much (very much) to Stravinsky, Bartók and Ravel (the beginning sunrise/sunset is clearly modelled on Daphnis). However, if I can liken it to a cocktail, Ginastera mixes his spirits well and the fruity South American flavour he adds makes it all very tasty. And moreish! Ginastera conjours some wonderful sonorities from the brass imparticular, and puts percussion and chirpy woodwinds to great use to remind us we're in the jungle. What I like most particularly are the aforementioned Ravelian bookends to the ballet, which are powerful and very beautiful in their own right and may result in goosebumps (pretty reliably for me at least). 

Estancia is very different to Panambí in that the exotic flavour is lost (it's just not fruity), but they certainly share the same emphasis on rhythm and the influences are fully digested by this point I feel (though I can't remember exaclty how much later this ballet came). It has a great speaking (more accurately shouting) part for Baritone, I believe (correct me if i'm wrong), which generates much excitement and drama. And it all ends with a fiery, toe-tappingly infectious danza.

Now it's on Naxos you should all treat yourselves to some credit-crunch friendly listening (though I take no responsibility for any subsequent holidays to South America that are hastily booked as a result...)

As for other Ginastera, I have a few other discs, one with Piano Concertos, one with Harp Concerto. I do like the harp concerto, but I find it a little dry, as I do the piano concertos. After those beautifully coloured early works it seems Ginastera boarded the expressionism train, and that move effectively derailed my interest.

karlhenning

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2009, 07:22:01 AM »
A Ben sighting!  :)

Offline lescamil

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2010, 09:02:00 PM »
I am a big Ginastera lover, and, as a Latin American myself, feel a certain connection with it. I own most of his recorded works, but am always looking for more. That said, does anyone know if his Turbae ad passionem gregoriam will be recorded soon, if it has not already been recorded? I think it is his only major large scale work that has not been recorded yet. Given what information I have seen on it on the Boosey website, I think it could be one of his most significant works with a recording.

Also, has anyone else gotten that new Naxos recording with Ben-Dor conducting the Panambí and Estancia suites, Popol Vuh, Ollantay, and the Suite de Danzas Criollas? Another amazing recording from the great Gisèle, if you ask me.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2010, 05:41:05 PM »
I am a big Ginastera lover, and, as a Latin American myself, feel a certain connection with it. I own most of his recorded works, but am always looking for more. That said, does anyone know if his Turbae ad passionem gregoriam will be recorded soon, if it has not already been recorded? I think it is his only major large scale work that has not been recorded yet. Given what information I have seen on it on the Boosey website, I think it could be one of his most significant works with a recording.

Also, has anyone else gotten that new Naxos recording with Ben-Dor conducting the Panambí and Estancia suites, Popol Vuh, Ollantay, and the Suite de Danzas Criollas? Another amazing recording from the great Gisèle, if you ask me.

You must be my brotha from anotha motha!!! Just kidding. I'm not Latin American myself, but I do feel a strong affinity for many Latin American composers and Ginastera is one of my favorites hence my avatar. :D
 
Anyway, I have not heard Giselle Ben-Dor's new Ginastera recording, but I do own both of her recordings on Naxos (originally released on Koch). I, too, think Ben-Dor is a fantastic conductor and she has done some great things for Latin American music. Her Villa-Lobos and Revueltas recordings are also top-notch. That new Ginastera recording is one my "to get" list. Unfortunately, it doesn't come out in the States until June 29, so I'll have to wait.
 
One of the things that I love about Ginastera is his strong sense of rhythmic continuity in his compositions. His orchestrations are always great and the textures he pulls from all of the sections of orchestra are amazing. The first work I heard by Ginastera was his "Estancia Suite," obviouly not the full ballet, but these are the dances pulled from this ballet and they are just so savage. Such an incredible array of colors and texture. He's almost like an Argentinian Bartok in a way. Two of my favorite works of his are "Variaciones Concertantes" and "Pampeana No.3." But I've loved everything I've heard of his music so far. I plan on getting his concerti next.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2010, 06:42:55 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline edward

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2010, 06:38:59 PM »
I'm definitely liking Popol Vuh now, though I've yet to make much time for the other works on this disc.

I'd love to see Ben-Dor put together a new set of the piano concerti to replace the distinctly unsatisfactory recording currently on Naxos. I've a feeling the second concerto would emerge as a really major statement given a superior recording.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2010, 06:45:07 PM »
I'm definitely liking Popol Vuh now, though I've yet to make much time for the other works on this disc.

I'd love to see Ben-Dor put together a new set of the piano concerti to replace the distinctly unsatisfactory recording currently on Naxos. I've a feeling the second concerto would emerge as a really major statement given a superior recording.

I was wondering about that Naxos recording of his piano concerti, but now I think I will pass on it until a superior recording comes out. It's strange usually the Slovak Radio Symphony Orch. are fantastic, but every orchestra has their off days of course. That said, they're Villa-Lobos recordings with Roberto Duarte conducting are fantastic. There are four releases in all. You should try to hear these recordings, that is, if you like Villa-Lobos.
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Offline edward

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Re: Ginastera's Garden
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2010, 06:48:14 PM »

I was wondering about that Naxos recording of his piano concerti, but now I think I will pass on it until a superior recording comes out. It's strange usually the Slovak Radio Symphony Orch. are fantastic, but every orchestra has their off days of course. That said, they're Villa-Lobos recordings with Roberto Duarte conducting are fantastic. There are four releases in all. You should try to hear these recordings, that is, if you like Villa-Lobos.
I think the problem is as much the pianist as the orchestra. If you compare the recording of the first concerto with Oscar Tarrego's reading on ASV, it's pretty obvious that Naxos' soloist is very much playing it safe--and that just isn't good enough. Ginastera needs that wildness.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music