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The Music Room => General Classical Music Discussion => Topic started by: Mirror Image on August 18, 2010, 12:16:53 PM

Title: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Mirror Image on August 18, 2010, 12:16:53 PM
Who is your favorite Latin American composer out of this list? You have to accept my apologies for not including more composers, but I consider these four composers the most important to come out of Latin America.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Mirror Image on August 18, 2010, 12:18:28 PM
Villa-Lobos gets my vote. I love his music for reasons which I detailed in the Villa-Lobos composer thread.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Air on August 18, 2010, 12:18:47 PM
Easy.  Too easy.  For mere breadth it would be impossible for me to pick otherwise.  Though I suppose Ginastera is a distant second.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Bulldog on August 18, 2010, 12:26:24 PM
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." 
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Mirror Image on August 18, 2010, 12:26:46 PM
Easy.  Too easy.  For mere breadth it would be impossible for me to pick otherwise.  Though I suppose Ginastera is a distant second.

For some this may be easy, but I can understand how some people would have hard time choosing one composer over the other. They're all so different.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Air on August 18, 2010, 12:33:11 PM

For some this may be easy, but I can understand how some people would have hard time choosing one composer over the other. They're all so different.

True, this was only my personal opinion.  And the other three composers have a great catalogue of works too (though I'm not too familiar with Chavez) -Ginastera probably being the most well-known to the general public, even more than Villa-Lobos.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Mirror Image on August 18, 2010, 12:49:25 PM
True, this was only my personal opinion.  And the other three composers have a great catalogue of works too (though I'm not too familiar with Chavez) -Ginastera probably being the most well-known to the general public, even more than Villa-Lobos.

Chavez, along with Revueltas, was one of the foremost Mexican composers of the 20th Century. He helped in the development of Mexican art music. Apart of this development, besides his notable compositions, was his founding of the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, which are one of the oldest orchestras working in North, Central, and South America.
 
Two of my favorite Chavez's works are Sinfonia India and Horse Power Suite. Both of these works demonstrate his compositional prowess.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Lethevich on August 18, 2010, 01:40:10 PM
I prefer Nancarrow and Piazzolla (by a hair) to their compatriots, so I think HVL is my default vote. I would probably not change my choice of those other two were included, however. Villa-Lobos offers much more music for me than the rest, and much of it is darn fine quality.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: some guy on August 18, 2010, 01:50:08 PM
I consider these four composers the most important to come out of Latin America.
Well now. That seems to open things up to asking you some personal questions, two pertinent ones being "How many Latin American composers are you familiar with?" and "Why? Why do you consider these four the most important?"

There are also ones like "What do you mean by 'important'?," but perhaps the first two are enough for now?

Otherwise, I have two names for y'all, one a recently deceased composer, Mauricio Kagel, one a still living composer, Julio Estrada. (There are more, of course, but these two have really pushed the boundaries of music in a very real, very legally binding way.*)

*This last bit is a Python reference, and not a point for argument. Unless you're just doing it in your spare time.**

**Yes, it is.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Mirror Image on August 18, 2010, 02:07:24 PM
Well now. That seems to open things up to asking you some personal questions, two pertinent ones being "How many Latin American composers are you familiar with?" and "Why? Why do you consider these four the most important?"

There are also ones like "What do you mean by 'important'?," but perhaps the first two are enough for now?

Otherwise, I have two names for y'all, one a recently deceased composer, Mauricio Kagel, one a still living composer, Julio Estrada. (There are more, of course, but these two have really pushed the boundaries of music in a very real, very legally binding way.*)

*This last bit is a Python reference, and not a point for argument. Unless you're just doing it in your spare time.**

**Yes, it is.

Research each composer yourself and their importance will be revealed to you. I don't need to tell you why they're important to Latin America.
 
That said, I could have thrown in a bunch of names Moncayo, Estevez, Piazzolla, Castillo, Guarnieri, Roldan, Marquez, Caturia, etc., but I didn't. I simplified the list with who I considered to be the most important to the development in Latin music and I think each composer fits the bill quite nicely.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Daverz on August 18, 2010, 02:28:52 PM
Mozart
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: some guy on August 18, 2010, 10:20:14 PM
Mirror, the question your post raised and which I asked was "Why did you choose these four?" Not "Why are these four the greatest?" So asking me to do some research (I do know all four) is completely off the point. (Besides, I already do know these four--and four or twenty others--and have not come to the conclusion that each fits the bill nicely. (I hesitate to say this. The meaning of "bill" has changed at least once in the course of this thread!))

Let me put it this way, your post raises the question of your credentials. Why did you choose these four? How many Latin American composers do you know well? (Do you know Kagel and Estrada for starters? Do you know Ferreyra or Mandolini or Justel, just to name three that pop readily to mind. Readily to my mind, that is!)

My questions for you remain unanswered.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Daverz on August 18, 2010, 10:23:42 PM
Mozart

Darn, no one took the bait.  I meant Mozart Camargo Guarnieri (http://www.pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2172), of course.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Teresa on August 18, 2010, 10:49:17 PM
Darn, no one took the bait.  I meant Mozart Camargo Guarnieri (http://www.pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2172), of course.
I have Mozart Camargo Guarnieri's Brazilian Dance which is from Hi-Fi a la Española on Mercury Living Presence.

I chose Ginastera based solely on the three works I have by him Estancia, Panambi and the Overture To The Creole "Faust". 

I also really like Villa-Lobos, Chavez, Revueltas and many other latin American composers. 
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Daverz on August 18, 2010, 11:40:16 PM
I have Mozart Camargo Guarnieri's Brazilian Dance which is from Hi-Fi a la Española on Mercury Living Presence.

I think you'd like his symphonies on Bis.  The music is very tuneful, and this whole series has fabulous sound.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: 71 dB on August 19, 2010, 12:02:04 AM
Heitor Villa-Lobos is not only my favorite Latin American composer but one of my favorite composers in general.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Guido on August 19, 2010, 01:49:35 AM
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.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: petrarch on August 19, 2010, 02:54:47 AM
Otherwise, I have two names for y'all, one a recently deceased composer, Mauricio Kagel, one a still living composer, Julio Estrada.

Indeed, those are two of my favourites. I would also add Mesías Maiguashca.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: jowcol on August 19, 2010, 07:38:50 AM
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 feel that way about Piazzolla and Revueltas-- even if their contributions may be narrower.   I liked your approach- that is usually how I answer the "greatest" polls.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: karlhenning on August 19, 2010, 07:44:48 AM
I prefer Nancarrow and Piazzolla (by a hair) to their compatriots, so I think HVL is my default vote. I would probably not change my choice of those other two were included, however. Villa-Lobos offers much more music for me than the rest, and much of it is darn fine quality.

Hmm, Nancarrow was Latin American only in sense similar to Roman Polanski being Swiss ; )
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: canninator on August 19, 2010, 07:52:22 AM
Revueltas on the list then probably Agustin Barrios and Leo Brouwer off it.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Lethevich on August 19, 2010, 08:13:30 AM
Hmm, Nancarrow was Latin American only in sense similar to Roman Polanski being Swiss ; )
Hehe, I figure - what could be more Latin American: being born there and remaining, or liking the place enough to move there :P
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Sid on August 19, 2010, 04:28:14 PM
What about living Latin American composers? (As some guy suggests) There must be plenty of them. I just went to a recital a few months back here in Sydney where the octet version of Daniel Rojas' Danzas Amorosas was premiered. A brilliant piece of music fusing the tone cluster with native rhythms. He's Chilean but currently living and teaching here in Australia.

I don't really care for comparing the ones listed. It's like apples & oranges. All of these guys wrote in differing styles, from Romanticism through to Neo-classicism (the various Modernisms) and serialism/pantonality. Anyway, I think that there's been a whole lot of newer stuff coming out of that region in the past 10-20 years, especially now that these countries are no longer eclipsed by military dictatorships as they once were. So I think that the book is still very much open, there are many directions in music coming out of the region, in many styles...
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: snyprrr on August 19, 2010, 05:00:54 PM
I really really like the Mexicans. The whiff of hallucination is always in the air.

I've had that Arditti disc of Julio Estrada for what, ten years now? It is some of the most consistently trippy stuff out there. And I just ordered the Arditti disc "Mexico", after listening to the snippets for way to long. I hear the wood, and the dirt, and the sky, and the rocks, in these Composers. The Mexican terrain is very intering that way.

Brazil is totally different. Noctice how Milhaud's music sounds so much like V-L. There is a definite Brazilian sound,... Elis Regina, ahhhh!!



All these Composer's, I think, injected sooooo much freshness into Western Art Music (WAM).

Roberto Sierra,..is he Spanish, or,...??
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: jimmosk on August 19, 2010, 05:44:37 PM
As the first person to choose Chavez in the poll, I feel obligated to say a little something in support of him. I'm impressed by the variety of styles he's written good pieces in, from the Coplandisms of the Sinfonia India (Symphony #2) to the bitonal Horsepower ballet to the warm Mitteleuropean Sarabande for Strings to the amazing Energia, which is like a happy-go-lucky version of Webern!
I'm now discovering his chamber music, which include several quite complex pieces. (Obligatory disclaimer: I happen to be running an eBay auction for a disc of his chamber music at the moment).

More than the other three composers in the poll, I find Chavez to have the broadest range of styles. Let's have more votes from the Chavezphiles!

-J
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Lethevich on August 20, 2010, 02:19:31 AM
Jimmosk - thanks for advocating Chávez. I must admit, I know nothing of his music beyond his symphony cycle and a handfull of other pieces. Looks like yet another composer I need to look into :'(
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: snyprrr on August 20, 2010, 06:21:55 AM
As the first person to choose Chavez in the poll, I feel obligated to say a little something in support of him. I'm impressed by the variety of styles he's written good pieces in, from the Coplandisms of the Sinfonia India (Symphony #2) to the bitonal Horsepower ballet to the warm Mitteleuropean Sarabande for Strings to the amazing Energia, which is like a happy-go-lucky version of Webern!
I'm now discovering his chamber music, which include several quite complex pieces. (Obligatory disclaimer: I happen to be running an eBay auction for a disc of his chamber music at the moment).

More than the other three composers in the poll, I find Chavez to have the broadest range of styles. Let's have more votes from the Chavezphiles!

-J

That Dorian Chamber Music cd has been with me the whole time, but that Southwest Chamber series is great too. There's a lot of variety in those 4 cds, and his Songs are some of his most experimental music.

I have to admit though, that I was super disappointed in his SQs (available). This is the most conservative side of Chavaez, and it's pretty normal, his big SQ sounding like a very very polite Hindemith. eh.

Hmmm, I guess, compared with V-L's output, Chavez's seems almost quaint. I think we have enough available to make an honest assessment.



I personally like how Chavez looks different in each portrait on those chamber discs!
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Guido on August 20, 2010, 06:45:03 AM
As the first person to choose Chavez in the poll, I feel obligated to say a little something in support of him. I'm impressed by the variety of styles he's written good pieces in, from the Coplandisms of the Sinfonia India (Symphony #2) to the bitonal Horsepower ballet to the warm Mitteleuropean Sarabande for Strings to the amazing Energia, which is like a happy-go-lucky version of Webern!
I'm now discovering his chamber music, which include several quite complex pieces. (Obligatory disclaimer: I happen to be running an eBay auction for a disc of his chamber music at the moment).

More than the other three composers in the poll, I find Chavez to have the broadest range of styles. Let's have more votes from the Chavezphiles!

-J

It's all rather shalllow stuff though - ? Nice on the ear but little substance behind it? That's been my overarching impression...
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: bwv 1080 on August 20, 2010, 12:51:50 PM
Piazzolla or Ginastera or Ponce

Roberto Sierra is from Puerto Rico
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: karlhenning on August 20, 2010, 12:55:59 PM
My favorite Latin American composer is Sibelius.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: karlhenning on August 20, 2010, 12:56:46 PM
(Sorry; I just had to make a perfectly nonsensical post.  Back to your regularly scheduled chat.)
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Teresa on August 20, 2010, 01:10:13 PM
My favorite Latin American composer is Sibelius.
My favorite Latin American composition by a non-Latin American composer is by Morton Gould.  I first purchased his Latin American Symphonette as performed by Maurice Abravanel conducting the Utah Symphony on a Barclay-Crocker Reel to Reel tape back in the 1970's.  It has been one of my favorite compositions since then.  Having also owned the Analogue Productions LP version and the Vanguard SACD.   :) 
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Lethevich on August 20, 2010, 04:19:23 PM
Piazzolla or Ginastera or Ponce

Roberto Sierra is from Puerto Rico
Welcome back, yo.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: bwv 1080 on August 20, 2010, 04:57:44 PM
Welcome back, yo.

thanks
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: snyprrr on August 22, 2010, 08:14:46 AM
I just got the Arditti disc "Mexico", and,....mm,...let me tell ya, there is not a trace of LatinAmerica on this cd, haha! The cd could just as well have been called "Brooklyn", haha! But,...I like it!

You will comply with Modernist Ideals and sound Internationalist.
You will comply with Modernist Ideals and...

You WILL comply!
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: some guy on August 22, 2010, 10:59:30 AM
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.)
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Bulldog on August 22, 2010, 11:11:55 AM
I just got the Arditti disc "Mexico", and,....mm,...let me tell ya, there is not a trace of LatinAmerica on this cd, haha! The cd could just as well have been called "Brooklyn", haha! But,...I like it!

All Mexican composers, so the title is appropriate.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: jhar26 on August 22, 2010, 01:04:28 PM
Villa-Lobos. I love his music and I have heard more of it than from any of the others, so it's almost inevitable that I vote for him.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: some guy on August 22, 2010, 11:31:38 PM
Villa-Lobos. I love his music and I have heard more of it than from any of the others, so it's almost inevitable that I vote for him.
Hahaha. In a nutshell.

(Actually, that should be "In a nutshell."
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: jhar26 on August 22, 2010, 11:39:36 PM
Hahaha. In a nutshell.

(Actually, that should be "In a nutshell."
Well, at least I'm honest about it.  ;)
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Daverz on August 23, 2010, 07:56:07 AM
Hmm, Nancarrow was Latin American only in sense similar to Roman Polanski being Swiss ; )

As far as I know, Nancarrow was hounded out of the US for political reasons.  Are you trying to imply that it was for another reason?
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Sid on August 23, 2010, 08:40:28 PM
Another one I like is Argentinian-born Osvaldo Golijov. Saw a birthday concert of his music in Sydney a few months back, and the influences were more Jewish and gypsy than South American (so Some Guy may be right)...
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: some guy on August 24, 2010, 05:22:06 AM
Well, at least I'm honest about it.  ;)
Indeed, and in so being, hit the nail right on its proverbial. ;D
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: val on August 24, 2010, 11:30:17 PM
Villa-Lobos seems the most complete to me. Vocal music of quality, superb symphonic works with an extraordinary sense of the rhythm and color, chamber music and piano music of exceptional quality, in special Rudepoema, a masterpiece.

Sometimes I would wish more structural discipline. But the enthusiasm, the force of his inspiration are so impressive!
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: jhar26 on August 25, 2010, 01:00:28 AM
Indeed, and in so being, hit the nail right on its proverbial. ;D
The same thing can be said about all of these polls though. If you have a Bach vs Scarlatti poll and everyone has a bunch of Bach cd's while most have only one or two (or none) by Scarlatti it can never be a fair contest. Except for the fact that because everyone has a bunch of Bach cd's it probably means that they like him better while on the other hand it can be argued that they would buy more Scarlatti if they were exposed more to his music. But polls are popularity contests and if we accept them as such and don't take them too seriously I don't see anything wrong with them..
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: jhar26 on August 25, 2010, 01:05:50 AM
Another one I like is Argentinian-born Osvaldo Golijov. Saw a birthday concert of his music in Sydney a few months back, and the influences were more Jewish and gypsy than South American (so Some Guy may be right)...
I'm also a fan of Golijov's music.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: some guy on August 25, 2010, 04:11:19 AM
(... Some Guy may be right)
I am some guy, and I endorse this statement.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: snyprrr on August 25, 2010, 04:58:32 AM
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.)

The Latin American sound? The Frito Bandito, of course! What could be more stereotypical? (ok,...beerfest oompah!)

Ay-ay-ay-ay!
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Gabriel on August 26, 2010, 01:17:09 AM
As I have to promote music from my country ;D, I will choose a Chilean: Pedro Humberto Allende (1885-1959). Unfortunately, despite being one of the greatest Chilean composers, there are almost no recordings of his works (task for Chilean musicians... and perhaps for Naxos). Debussy wrote about his Cello concerto that "l'écriture en est absolument remarquable" ("its writing is absolutely remarkable").

(Unfortunately, I know almost nothing of the Chilean musical composers during the period 1750-1830! ;) )
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: DavidRoss on August 26, 2010, 08:19:36 AM
Piazzolla, Ponce, Barrios, & Brouwer, but the other four are good, too--but since I seldom listen to their music it would be hard to choose a fave.  Perhaps Villa Lobos, since I probably hear him most frequently.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Sid on August 26, 2010, 04:55:00 PM
Like some guy suggests, I agree that the reason why Villa-Lobos is so popular is that he has received the most exposure out of all the guys listed in the poll. I mean, there is hardly anyone on the planet who hasn't heard his Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 for soprano & 8 cellos at some stage in their lives. None of the other guys produced such a big hit that has similarly entered the consciousness of not only classical fans, but the public at large. But then again, not many people have heard all of the Bachianas (although many members here have) so Villa is still a kind of "exotic" composer outside Brazil...
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Mirror Image on August 26, 2010, 05:15:45 PM
Like some guy suggests, I agree that the reason why Villa-Lobos is so popular is that he has received the most exposure out of all the guys listed in the poll. I mean, there is hardly anyone on the planet who hasn't heard his Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 for soprano & 8 cellos at some stage in their lives. None of the other guys produced such a big hit that has similarly entered the consciousness of not only classical fans, but the public at large. But then again, not many people have heard all of the Bachianas (although many members here have) so Villa is still a kind of "exotic" composer outside Brazil...

Thankfully what the general public thinks never bothered me or their opinions don't matter to me, which is why I come to forums like this, because we're all in the same boat. :D
 
I think VL's star has yet to shine as with all of the composers in my poll and mentioned in this thread. Many people I've spoken with at concerts who are classical fans and frequent concert goers haven't even heard of his Bachianas Brasileiras, which as you say are claimed to be popular, but if they were so popular, then you would think major orchestras would play them more, but they don't. Outside of Latin America, Villa-Lobos is still an underrated composer and much of his music hasn't been explored much by listeners (if at all). I also think many people who have heard his Brasileiras are in for a different experience when they start exploring his music outside these works. Villa-Lobos did quite a bit experimenting with form and though his early works have this rough, almost raw feel to them, they should be noted for pushing music into a different direction or a more personal, Brazilian direction. His music can be quite dense, which makes it quite difficult to perform his music, but it also requires an orchestra of committed musicians to maintain the music's intensity. The rhythmic element of the music alone opposes great challenges.
Title: Revueltas' Belchas
Post by: snyprrr on August 27, 2010, 05:46:45 PM
I was listening to that 2-cd RCA compilation that seems to have almost everything (Mata/Stokowski/Atherton). Since his works list is very small, I say we all get to include him gratis (especially compared with V-L)!

Can his creativity be denied? He reminds me of the Sam Pekinpah of Composers, haha. There certainly is the lusty, the shadows outside barrooms at three in the morning. Lorca, whores, and trumpets! Yea, don't pull this music's finger,...wwwhew! :'( ;D

I really like his two really surreal pieces Dansas(sic) Geometricas and Planos. Some of this music reminds me of what happens in Mexico every day,...very sad and creepy.

I'm sure a lot of you have this 2-fer. Please, dig it out, and take it for a Morning Drive.

I also have his SQs, and the Chamber Music disc on Dorian,... small pickins' indeed. Though excellent, the fact is there's not much beyond this Webernesque ouevre.

Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: snyprrr on August 31, 2010, 04:35:15 AM
Well I spent all night YouTubing Villa-Lobos, and I have definitely found a friend in Uirapuru. How many Composers were writing this kind of stuff in the early century (Bloch, for one). Just after WWI, and into the early '20s, the last gasp of Ultra Late Romanticism frought forth these hothouse flowers, full of hallucinatory images.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: epicous on August 31, 2010, 09:34:57 AM
Outside of Latin America, Villa-Lobos is still an underrated composer and much of his music hasn't been explored much by listeners (if at all).
I'm from Mexico city, I have been listening to classical composers for about 25 years, and I have never listened to any work by Villa-Lobos.
 ::)
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Josquin des Prez on August 31, 2010, 02:32:27 PM
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."

A man of his times. Fortunately, the guy who played Bach (Villa-Lobos) didn't end up starving.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Luke on August 31, 2010, 03:22:35 PM
As I have to promote music from my country ;D, I will choose a Chilean: Pedro Humberto Allende (1885-1959). Unfortunately, despite being one of the greatest Chilean composers, there are almost no recordings of his works (task for Chilean musicians... and perhaps for Naxos). Debussy wrote about his Cello concerto that "l'écriture en est absolument remarquable" ("its writing is absolutely remarkable").

Thank you - a new name to me, I'm looking at the piano pieces on IMSLP and they look extremely interesting...
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Sid on August 31, 2010, 05:37:20 PM

You've been listening to classical music for 25 years and you never heard a composition by Villa-Lobos?

What he's describing is not unusual. He probably has heard the Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 at some point (but maybe didn't realise what it was). Compared to the "big guns" (eg. the three B's) Villa-Lobos is not very well known at all. I have also been into classical for more than 20 years and that was the only piece I'd heard by him until a few years ago. He doesn't get much airtime on radio & is not played at concerts, apart from that piece. I also think alot of his stuff has been made available on cd in the last 10 years or so. I was collecting in the early '90's, and don't remember seeing any of his stuff back then. Of course, now we have Amazon, and many of the bigger labels (like Naxos) that have made his stuff more available. So I have been able to collect some of his cd's, but he still gets little airtime on radio & is not much played in concerts apart from his greatest hit...
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Mirror Image on August 31, 2010, 07:09:15 PM
What he's describing is not unusual. He probably has heard the Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 at some point (but maybe didn't realise what it was). Compared to the "big guns" (eg. the three B's) Villa-Lobos is not very well known at all. I have also been into classical for more than 20 years and that was the only piece I'd heard by him until a few years ago. He doesn't get much airtime on radio & is not played at concerts, apart from that piece. I also think alot of his stuff has been made available on cd in the last 10 years or so. I was collecting in the early '90's, and don't remember seeing any of his stuff back then. Of course, now we have Amazon, and many of the bigger labels (like Naxos) that have made his stuff more available. So I have been able to collect some of his cd's, but he still gets little airtime on radio & is not much played in concerts apart from his greatest hit...

I agree with this. It hasn't been until the last 10-15 years have recordings appeared of VL's music. If I'm not mistaken when a recording of his Choros Nos. 8 & 9 (with Kenneth Schermerhorn/Hong Kong Philharmonic) appeared on Marco Polo in the '80s, this was a pretty big deal, because VL's Choros hadn't really been heard before this recording. Sometimes it takes a conductor, like Schermerhorn, and label, like Marco Polo, to get "the ball rolling" so to speak. And from this recording, it seems that more and more of his music, especially his orchestral music, has been recorded.
 
Still, though, you're right, his music doesn't get much airtime or performance in the concert halls, but it's like I said, his star has yet to shine. Once people catch on to how creative he was, in time, his music will speak for itself. I think he was a genius and I use this word very sparingly, but I think it's so true in describing VL. The rate at which he composed music and the fact that he would work on 3 or 4 pieces at the same time absolutely baffles me. How he got anything accomplished is beyond me.  :o
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: DavidRoss on August 31, 2010, 07:37:58 PM
I agree with this. It hasn't been until the last 10-15 years have recordings appeared of VL's music.
Huh?  I've had Villa Lobos recordings for more than 30 years.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Sid 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...
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Cato 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.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: snyprrr 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.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: some guy 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.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Wanderer 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
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Szykneij 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."

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_GwDYFxb8piY/SWMWNNzEdCI/AAAAAAAACfo/I1fgRL5gllo/s400/Cugat+and+Charo.jpg)(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_f22CuCnXNoE/Sqdiy6KO87I/AAAAAAAAC7Y/FOsfnIEnxj8/s400/31Charo.jpg)

Yes, especially when you have Charo with you at poolside.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Sid 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...
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Sid 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...
Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Mirror Image 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:


Title: Re: Your Favorite Latin American Composer?
Post by: Sid 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...

(http://shop.abc.net.au/multimediaitems/images/product_images_enlarged/3/325958_enlarged.jpg)