* “The Argentinian Album” = PIAZZOLLA: Four Seasons of Buenos Aires; GINASTERA: Concerto for String Orch. Op. 33; GOLIJOV: Last Round for double quartet & bass – Amsterdam Sinfonietta/ Candia Thompson – Channel Classics multichannel SACD CCS SA 33014, 65:16 (11/11/14) [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] *****:
A varied program of three Argentinian composers (and works infrequently performed), with violinist and leader Candida Thompson and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta strings. Piazzolla’s Four Seasons were originally individual pieces which he wrote for his tango quintet, and there have been various versions of the pieces recorded. Between 1996 and 1998 Russian composer Leonid Desyatnikov arranged four of them for solo violin and strings, adding quotations from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, as appropriate to the four pieces.
Alberto Ginastera is regarded as the most prominent Argentinian composer. His earlier pieces caused him to sometimes be referred to as “Bartok of the Pampas.” His Concerto for String Orchestra is based on his Second String Quartet of 1958. Its first movement is a theme and four variations, each introducing the principals of the various string sections. The Scherzo owes a lot to Alban Berg and the Adagio movement will remind one of Bartok’s “night music.”
Golijov has Romanian and Ukrainian roots, though raised in Argentina. He studied with George Crumb and Lukas Foss, and his works show the influences of Jewish music, classical chamber works, and that of Piazzolla. His Last Round was written in 1991; its title comes from a short story which Golijov intended as a metaphor for the spirit of Piazzolla (who died a year later). He uses the string nonet to create the timbres of the bandoneon. And it is also a sublimated tango.
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