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GINASTERA, Alberto

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GINASTERA, Alberto
Alberto Ginastera

Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983) Alberto Ginastera was born in Buenos Aires and received a musical education starting at an early age. He gained national recognition after the performance of an Orchestral Suite from his Ballet Panambi (1937) at the Teatro Colon. He achieved this prominence even before completing his musical studies. He gained international acclaim with the performance of his Second String Quartet by the Juilliard Quartet in Washington, D.C. in 1958.

By his own account, he saw his composing career as consisting of three creative periods. The first 1937-48, he called "Objective Nationalism", in which he used Argentine folk music in his compositions. Argentine folk music is a multi-cultural fabric containing strands from Native Indian, African, European and "Criollo" (or Latin American) peoples. Ginastera was particularly attracted to the music of the Pampas - Argentine cowboy music. His most famous work in this genre was the ballet Estancia (1941) which is about life on a cattle ranch (estancia) Like Aaron Copland’s Rodeo (1942) and Billy the Kid (1938), Ginastera would quote actual folk tunes.

His second period "Subjective Nationalism" 1948-56, the period of the String Quartet No. 1, the composer uses rhythms and creates folk-like melodies without actual quotation - much like the later work of Bartok and Kodaly.

The third period "Neo-Expressionism" from 1957-83 saw Ginastera embrace dodecaphonic serialism. The most prominent compositions of Ginastera’s Neo-Expressionist period are the Quartet No. 2 for Strings (1958) Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1961) and the operas Don Rodrigo and Bomarzo (1967)- the latter (which Newsweek had dubbed the "topless opera"), a potpourri of "sex, violence and hallucination" was actually banned in Buenos Aires for five years. Ginastera was the head of the Center for Advanced Musical Studies in Buenos Aires. His works are well represented on recordings.


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ALBENIZ, Isaac

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ALBENIZ, Isaac
Isaac Albeniz

One of the most prolific and original Spanish composers. He studied with Felipe Pedrell (1841-1922), as did most of the great Spanish composers of that period, including Falla, Granados and Turina. Most of them continued their studies in Paris, and became influenced by their French contemporaries, Dukas, Debussy, Ravel. Albeniz began as a virtuoso pianist, touring constantly. He was four years old when he gave his first piano recital. At nine he applied to the Paris Conservatoire, but was refused admission because of his youth. Upon hearing the news he ran away from home to start a life of constant adventures and travel on his own. After touring all of Spain, he used his concerts' income to travel to America, giving recitals in the West Coast, and in Cuba. Having done all this touring and concertizing by himself, and saved sufficient funds, he returned to Europe at the age of thirteen. With those savings he went to study in England and Germany before returning to Spain. There, a new Royal grant made it possible for Albeniz to again continue his travels, and once again he toured America, even more extensively than before. Still a teen-ager, he then went on to Paris, his dream destination, to study composition with Debussy, Dukas and D'Indy. Besides his prolific piano music, Albeniz wrote operas, sometimes with English librettos.


OTHER CD'S FEATURING ALBENIZ, Isaac:
Other Available CD's
PHCD107 Peter Mennin SYMPHONY NO.4, Alberto Ginastera MILENA
PHCD110 Alberto Ginastera SONATA FOR PIANO/CONCERTO FOR PIANO
PHCD140 Ginastera/Villa-Lobos/Chavez CHAMBER MUSIC
PHCD147 Albeniz/Marco/Montsalvatge JOSE SEREBRIER/SWR SYMPHONY


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