Poll

Who is your favorite Latin American composer?

Revueltas
3 (13.6%)
Chavez
3 (13.6%)
Ginastera
4 (18.2%)
Villa-Lobos
12 (54.5%)

Total Members Voted: 18

Author Topic: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?  (Read 8505 times)

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Sid

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Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
« Reply #60 on: August 31, 2010, 09:08:03 PM »
Yes, I've got an LP of his guitar concerto played by John Williams (coupled with the Rodrigo), made in the '70's. But what we were getting at is that since the last 10-15 years, more new recordings of V-L's music have been made, and much more variety. That said, probably only a small fraction of his vast output is only available, but anecdotally at least, I can see much more stuff of his on the shelves in shops here in Sydney now than I did 20 years ago, which was just about zero back then...

Online Cato

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Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
« Reply #61 on: September 01, 2010, 06:58:02 AM »
Mexican composer Julian Carrillo experimented with microtonal music in the early 20th Century.

Two great works in a quarter-tone system must be mentioned:

The Christopher Columbus Prelude, a work of ethereal beauty, and an a capella Mass for Pope John XXIII.

An old CRI recording of the Mass sung "on target"  by a choir of French professors ought to be reissued.
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snyprrr

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Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
« Reply #62 on: September 01, 2010, 08:56:23 AM »
Mexican composer Julian Carrillo experimented with microtonal music in the early 20th Century.

Two great works in a quarter-tone system must be mentioned:

The Christopher Columbus Prelude, a work of ethereal beauty, and an a capella Mass for Pope John XXIII.

An old CRI recording of the Mass sung "on target"  by a choir of French professors ought to be reissued.

Yea, that Columbus Prelude is in the best "ancient" evocative/ritual mold. I have it on that Microtonal Chamber disc w/Scelsi etc (all interesting pieces).

Love to hear his microtonal SQ.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
« Reply #63 on: February 18, 2011, 07:46:20 PM »
Nationalism was never a good idea.

Besides, what about the sounds on this disc is NOT Latin American? Maybe you're defining "Latin American" too narrowly, eh? (What IS "the Latin American sound"? Some people on this thread, including Mirror, have been at some pains to point out how different the four names on his list are from each other. Different, not similar.)

To answer this post (rather late), allow me to explain the differences between the four composers I have listed in the poll and why they were important for their respective countries:

Revueltas: A Mexican Stravinsky of sorts. He was ingenious in the way he could meld together very desperate styles of music into something totally cohesive. Not all that different from what American composers like Ives or Copland were doing. Revueltas and Chavez were good friends until they had an argument and split ways. Revueltas wasn't as noted as a conductor as Chavez was, but he was crucial in getting Mexican music recognized to American audiences, which, in turn, made international waves. Revueltas also wrote many scores for Mexican films which also helped him gain widespread acclaim in his country.

Chavez: One of the most important composers to come out of Mexico. Chavez's own composing style is a mesh mash of different influences: Stravinsky, Schoenberg, and the folk music of Mexico. Where Chavez differs from someone like Revueltas, is he constantly experimented with rhythm and musical structure. He was also known to have quite a Romantic streak in him, which is displayed in his Symphony No. 4. As I pointed out earlier in the thread, Chavez founded the Mexican Symphonic Orchestra (known today as the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico), which he also directed, and he was also noted for his tireless efforts in promoting Mexican music in the United States. He even made good friends with Aaron Copland who remained a supporter of his music. You can't deny that he wasn't a major force in Mexican music and one that continues to influence Mexican composers to this day.

Villa-Lobos: The most important and influential composer to come out of Brazil period. This is not opinion, this is a fact. Villa-Lobos' importance rests in the music education system in Brazil (which he single-handedly changed forever), but also in the music he created and distilled upon the millions that have heard his music. VL's compositional technique is a combination of many things: an attention to orchestration that he learned from studying in Paris, the exoticism of the sounds from his country (i. e. the usage of native instruments from Brazil, the folk melodies/rhythms from Brazil), and his absorbing different elements from European musical styles like Neoclassicism and the Impressionism of Debussy and Ravel. It is with all of this knowledge, he formed his own style.

Ginastera: Although Piazzolla, one of Ginastera's students, is well acknowledged by musicians and fans as an important Argentinean composer (he recreated the tango for modern audiences), it is Ginastera that remains the "father" if you will of Argentinean classical music. In fact, it was Ginastera that told Piazzolla to go to Paris and take lessons from Nadia Boulanger, who, in turn, encouraged Piazzolla to find his own compositional voice. Ginastera's own style is a combination of Stravinsky and Bartokian counterpoint combined with a deep understanding of the rhythms and folk music of Argentina. Besides his own very distinctive musical style, Ginastera was an important educator and founded the Julian Aguirre Conservatory of Music.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2011, 08:09:57 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline some guy

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Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
« Reply #64 on: February 18, 2011, 08:23:22 PM »
his music doesn't get much airtime or performance in the concert halls

the millions that have heard his music.

One or the other but not both.

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
« Reply #65 on: February 19, 2011, 12:08:37 AM »
Where's the banana/other/exotic fruit option? My choice would be Juan de Araujo.

Although not on the list, I pick Xavier Cugat.  Here's one of his most famous quotes:
"I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve."

Nice!  ;D

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
« Reply #66 on: February 20, 2011, 06:12:58 AM »
Although not on the list, I pick Xavier Cugat.  Here's one of his most famous quotes:

"I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve."



Yes, especially when you have Charo with you at poolside.
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Sid

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Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
« Reply #67 on: March 22, 2011, 04:52:58 PM »
Honestly it would have to be Piazzolla, even if he is not as "great" as Villa Lobos. I would feel a greater sense of loss if I could never hear Piazzolla again than if I could never hear the others on this list again.

I reckon Piazzolla should be on the poll. I'm not sure if he'd "win" this poll, but as far as the larger classical (& non classical) listening public out there is concerned, he's probably the most popular Latin American composer out there...

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
« Reply #68 on: March 22, 2011, 05:12:42 PM »
I reckon Piazzolla should be on the poll. I'm not sure if he'd "win" this poll, but as far as the larger classical (& non classical) listening public out there is concerned, he's probably the most popular Latin American composer out there...

Well I'm not talking about the non-classical listening public, Sid. I really doesn't matter to me what a non-classical listener thinks of Villa-Lobos or Chavez. This isn't a popularity contest, but merely a way of bringing more discussion about Latin American classical composers to the forum. This said, I like Piazzolla a lot and think he composed some very fine music, but let's be honest here, Latin American composers aren't exactly burned into the classical listeners' subconscious and this area of music continues to be neglected no thanks to stodgy orchestra boards that continue to think that another performance of Beethoven's 9th is in order.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 05:15:04 PM by Mirror Image »
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Sid

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Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
« Reply #69 on: March 22, 2011, 05:42:14 PM »
Well I'm not talking about the non-classical listening public, Sid. I really doesn't matter to me what a non-classical listener thinks of Villa-Lobos or Chavez. This isn't a popularity contest, but merely a way of bringing more discussion about Latin American classical composers to the forum.

I was just reflecting on how a lot of the people I know - whether or not they like classical music - tend to like Piazzolla. He seems to appeal to everybody equally. But my mother only likes his slow songs, she thinks his more upbeat songs are too dissonant!  :o So you can't please everybody, I guess.

This said, I like Piazzolla a lot and think he composed some very fine music, but let's be honest here, Latin American composers aren't exactly burned into the classical listeners' subconscious and this area of music continues to be neglected no thanks to stodgy orchestra boards that continue to think that another performance of Beethoven's 9th is in order.

Well speaking for my city - Sydney, Australia - Latin American composers have featured to various degrees in chamber recitals. For example the Australian Chamber Orchestra & Macquarie Trio (& it's "new" incarnation Trioz) have played some of the works of these composers, and recorded them. Even a period instrument outfit, the Sydney Consort, has done a number of concerts of Piazzolla & other Latin American composers tangos - on original instruments like the harpsichord!!! Even the HIP crowd here love this music it seems. Sadly, I missed that concert last year because the bus didn't turn up :( . Would have been interesting to see how it went down.

I can't really judge whether or not the world's symphony orchestras are playing this repertoire, and to what degree. I did hear the last night of the Proms concert in 2009 (Villa-Lobos' anniversary year) & they played a piece by him. This might have been tokenism, or maybe they did play a number of his works throughout the season. As far as I can tell, the Sydney Symphony don't play much of this repertoire at all, but they don't play much beyond the better known works in the repertoire, so I tend not to bother with their concerts anyway...

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
« Reply #70 on: March 22, 2011, 05:55:17 PM »
I was just reflecting on how a lot of the people I know - whether or not they like classical music - tend to like Piazzolla. He seems to appeal to everybody equally. But my mother only likes his slow songs, she thinks his more upbeat songs are too dissonant!  :o So you can't please everybody, I guess.

Well speaking for my city - Sydney, Australia - Latin American composers have featured to various degrees in chamber recitals. For example the Australian Chamber Orchestra & Macquarie Trio (& it's "new" incarnation Trioz) have played some of the works of these composers, and recorded them. Even a period instrument outfit, the Sydney Consort, has done a number of concerts of Piazzolla & other Latin American composers tangos - on original instruments like the harpsichord!!! Even the HIP crowd here love this music it seems. Sadly, I missed that concert last year because the bus didn't turn up :( . Would have been interesting to see how it went down.

I can't really judge whether or not the world's symphony orchestras are playing this repertoire, and to what degree. I did hear the last night of the Proms concert in 2009 (Villa-Lobos' anniversary year) & they played a piece by him. This might have been tokenism, or maybe they did play a number of his works throughout the season. As far as I can tell, the Sydney Symphony don't play much of this repertoire at all, but they don't play much beyond the better known works in the repertoire, so I tend not to bother with their concerts anyway...

One of my favorite Piazzolla compositions in a classical vein was his Bandoneon Concerto. What a splendid work this is! I'm not sure if you've heard it or not, Sid, but you would find music enjoyment in it I think. I also liked his work inspired by Vivaldi's Four Seasons. You should definitely checkout this recording:


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Sid

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Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
« Reply #71 on: March 22, 2011, 07:43:06 PM »
I've recently purchased the disc below which includes piano trio arrangements of many songs, including the complete Four Seasons of Beunos Aires which you mention. This recording was made about 5 years ago, the Macquarie Trio has since folded, but pianist Kathryn Selby has now formed a new group called Trioz which frequently play this repertoire. I'm looking forward to seeing them later in the year play this very work. The arrangements on this disc were done by two other composers who I'm not familiar with (I'm not at home now so I'll post it later if you're interested). I also have a recording made by Piazzolla himself, with synthesisers and acoustic instruments & him playing bandeon. These recordings have a more "fusion" kind of feel. It would be interesting to hear him in an orchestral setting, since I have only heard chamber arrangements of his works. I assume they started out as pieces he just played, but then arranged for other forces, or "ghost" arranged them through others...