MP3 Carlos Aberto Vázquez/Ernesto Cordero - Conciertos Festivos
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9 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: Contemporary, CLASSICAL: Orchestral
The two guitar concerti by Ernesto Cordero and Carlos Alberto Vázquez, both composers from Puerto Rico, share the title of Concierto Festivo by pure and happy coincidence. Perhaps the festive nature of the Puerto Rican culture and the other Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands âlike Cuba and the Dominican Republicâ is the common denominator for these two, beautifully conceived and inspired works that are, nevertheless, well distinct one from the other.
The cultural heritage of such rich islands is truly cross-cultural. It combines influences of the Spanish Renaissance and the Andalusian spirit which, in the New World, merged with other influences âincluding the pre-Colombian and the Africanâ, and which contribute to the region's special identity, well reflected in its arts and music.
Ernesto Cordero, born in 1946, has composed a vast musical literature for various media, including symphonic and chamber music. He has written, to this date, seven concerti, four of them for guitar and orchestra, one for the Puerto Rican cuatro, one for flute and one for violin and orchestra.
Cordero is also an accomplished guitarist, having devoted his more recent years to composition, after having had great success in his guitar recital at the Carnegie Recital Hall in 1978. He has been affiliated to the University of Puerto Rico, since 1971, as Professor of its Department of Music.
Corderoâs Concierto Festivo for guitar and string orchestra is his most recent work. Written in 2003, it was commissioned by the University of Puerto Rico to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of its foundation and the re-opening of its Theater. The concerto has three movements, written in a modal and neo-Romantic style, in which the contrapuntal elements of the Spanish Renaissance combine with contemporary harmonies, providing it with the signature flavor that is present in most of his works.
As in his previous concerti, Afro-Antillean influences occasionally appear in this composition, with their rich, sumptuous rhythms. Ernesto Cordero explores, creatively, the sonorous resources of the guitar, offering it a virtuoso solo feature that becomes enriched by dialogues with the other instruments. In many lyrical sections of the piece, the guitar shines and projects a romantic spirit, through beautiful phrases that reflect Cordero's passion for life and for his beloved country.
Carlos Alberto Vázquez was born in 1952. He graduated from the University of Puerto Rico in 1974, and obtained a Master's Degree in Composition from the University of Pittsburgh. He later received his Doctoral Degree from the Sorbonne University of Paris, presenting a thesis on the Puerto Rican contemporary Art Song. He has served as Full-professor at the Music Department of the Arts and Letters Faculty of the U.P.R. since 1978. His compositions have been featured in many prestigious festivals throughout the Americas and Europe. In 2000, Vázquez was called to be Founding Member of the Colegio de Compositores Latinoamericanos de Música de Arte.
Vázquezâs Concierto Festivo for guitar and orchestra was composed in 2003, commissioned by the Colegio de Compositores Latinoamericanos de Música de Arte to celebrate the 1st Centenary of the Independence of Panama. It is dedicated to the Argentinean guitarist Víctor Pellegrini.
The work is divided in three movements. The principal elements of the first one generate surprising contrasts, with the rhythmic and the lyrical aspects alternating, as the cadenza emphatically illustrates. The indigenous influence of the second movement adds a special flavor to the piece, occasionally bringing on a mystical quality that gradually transforms it into a very expressive and emotive music. The third movement presents distorted references to melodies and rhythms of the traditional popular and folkloric music genres of Panama, which act as an excuse for the playful interaction between the orchestra and the guitar, and which generate, in turn, a brilliant and festive character, so appropriate for the major celebration of the first anniversary of that countryâs independence.
The Venezuelan composer and conductor Alfredo Rugeles, born in 1949, is the director of the Fundación Circuito Sinfónico Latinoamericano Simón Bolívar. With his prolific musical activities, Rugeles has helped build a major musical scene in this country. He has been a distinguished composer, earning many international awards, while, as a conductor, he has been contributing to give contemporary music a prominent role in the outstanding festivals he directs.
The Rugelesâs composition featured in this CD, El Ocaso del Héroe, was written in 1982 for reciter, mixed choir and chamber orchestra. It has a distinctive quality that merges contemporary elements with others more traditional, producing a brilliant effect on the poem by Manuel Felipe Rugeles. The use of the orchestra is colorful and the choir assists in the achievement of some of the dramatic feelings expressed by the reciter.
The Venezuelan composer Diana Arismendi was born in 1962 and earned her Doctoral Degree in Music from the Catholic University of Washington, D.C. She has produced a wide array of musical literature ranging from orchestral works to chamber and electronic music. She is currently Professor of Composition at the Simón Bolívar University. Since 1996, she has acted as Executive Director of the Festival Latinoamericano de Música. Her composition, Escenas de la Pasión según Marcos, was written in the year 2000. It possesses a dramatic character, enhanced by the dynamic contrast between orchestra and liturgy, with colorful orchestration backing the drama as narrated. The expressive participation of the narrator enhances the liturgical development of its climax.
The distinguished Argentinean guitarist Víctor Pellegrini is the soloist in both concerti. Born in Rosario, Argentina, Pellegrini studied with Juan Carlos Zamp and Inés Panero. He has won many prestigious international competitions and has appeared in concerts throughout the world. Pellegrini now resides in Morelia, México, where he works at the faculty of the Conservatorio de las Rosas de Morelia. His style of playing shows a most refined musicianship, one that encompasses a wide range of musical styles, with an assured, virtuouso technique, subtle in its tone depth and variety of timbre.
The prestigious Sinfónica de la Juventud Venezolana Simón Bolívar of Venezuela is conducted by Alfredo Rugeles.
Liner notes by Carlos Barbosa Lima
August 16, 2005
in partnership with CDbaby (ID 1346373)
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