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Thread: Oceana - Golijov

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    Senior Member ChamberNut's Avatar
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    Default Oceana - Golijov

    Has anyone hear Osvaldo Golijov's Oceana, for voice, boys' choir, double chorus & orchestra?

    It's wonderful! I heard it live last year at a Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra event. At that time, I tried to look for a CD copy, but the work hadn't yet been released on disk.

    I just noticed it's been released now on DG label, with Brazilian Jazz singer Luciana Souza; Los Angeles Guitar Quartet; Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Robert Spano, conductor.

    I'll definitely have to get a copy of that.

    Coincidentally, about 3 years ago, I attended a jazz concert that featured Luciana Souza!

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    Senior Member andruini's Avatar
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    Just thought I would resurrect this thread and give a shout-out to this wonderful wonderful piece..
    It's truly spell-binding, it creates a musical atmosphere so very particular and in touch with Neruda's writing.. The last movement, the Chorale of the Reef, is one of the greatest choral moments of the C20th by far.. I recommend this work with all my might to everyone.. To me, this is where classical music should be heading.. Not sound experimentation, but more of a blurring of the lines between genres..
    Life is a long lesson in humility.

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    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    Just ordered a copy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andruini View Post
    Just thought I would resurrect this thread and give a shout-out to this wonderful wonderful piece..
    It's truly spell-binding, it creates a musical atmosphere so very particular and in touch with Neruda's writing.. The last movement, the Chorale of the Reef, is one of the greatest choral moments of the C20th by far.. I recommend this work with all my might to everyone.. To me, this is where classical music should be heading.. Not sound experimentation, but more of a blurring of the lines between genres..
    Having heard this recording of Golijov with Robert Spano/ASO with Dawn Upshaw and Souza, I'm not particularly impressed with it. It doesn't contain enough "meat" for me. There's really not much there for me to hold onto. There's nothing really interesting going on melodically or harmonically. I'm also not that impressed with the vocal treatments in some of the movements.

    I also don't like the treatments of the music. It's almost like Classical/Latin jazz fusion. Not my cup of tea at all.

    I see the reviews for this recording are pretty mixed and I can certainly see why that is.

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    Senior Member andruini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirror Image View Post
    Having heard this recording of Golijov with Robert Spano/ASO with Dawn Upshaw and Souza, I'm not particularly impressed with it. It doesn't contain enough "meat" for me. There's really not much there for me to hold onto. There's nothing really interesting going on melodically or harmonically. I'm also not that impressed with the vocal treatments in some of the movements.

    I also don't like the treatments of the music. It's almost like Classical/Latin jazz fusion. Not my cup of tea at all.

    I see the reviews for this recording are pretty mixed and I can certainly see why that is.
    Everyone has his own cup of tea. I personally like this because a) I have read and understood the texts, and the music is a great representation of the atmosphere of Neruda's words and b) because Golijov incorporates the music he grew up listening to really well.. This may not mean anything to an american, but the music I've grown up hearing in Mexico is really important to me and I strive to incorporate it in my music one day. About there not being anything interesting harmonically or melodically, I respectfully disagree. Particularly in the third choral piece and the last unaccompanied chorale, Golijov uses some, imo, really interesting harmonies.. But to each his own, right?
    Life is a long lesson in humility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andruini View Post
    Everyone has his own cup of tea. I personally like this because a) I have read and understood the texts, and the music is a great representation of the atmosphere of Neruda's words and b) because Golijov incorporates the music he grew up listening to really well.. This may not mean anything to an american, but the music I've grown up hearing in Mexico is really important to me and I strive to incorporate it in my music one day. About there not being anything interesting harmonically or melodically, I respectfully disagree. Particularly in the third choral piece and the last unaccompanied chorale, Golijov uses some, imo, really interesting harmonies.. But to each his own, right?
    Well I hope you do use some of the music you've heard in Mexico in your own music, but I hope you use in an intelligent way. Like de Falla, and some of Ravel, the way they incorporate those Spanish rhythms and accents into their music is uncanny and creative. If you were to do this intelligently, then you would have something very special.

    I just find Golijov's piece to be quite dull, but yes, to each their own. One man's garbage is another man's treasure.

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    Senior Member bassClef's Avatar
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    I didn't really like this either. Great cover though!

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    I have sung and performed OCEANA. It is really difficult!! We were going to have Luciana Suoza perform it with us and she got sick. Our alto section leader (who has her Ph.d. in Jazz from USC performed the solo part!) I sing with Pacific Chorale and it was a real blast to perform once you get the rythms in your body. The audience LOVED it!!
    Randi

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    I think Golijov is one of the most significant composers to come out of Latin America. Being more of a chamber fan, I actually liked the couplings on the Oceana disc somewhat more than the main work itself. The string quartet and songs are really interesting. Such sadness in the string quartet.

    I was fortunate last year to go to a concert at the Sydney Conservatorium with the Kammer Ensemble performing chamber works of Rojas, Golijov and Crumb. Golijov's work for clarinets and strings called The Prayers of Isaac the Blind had a distinctively Jewish feel, reflecting his parent's cultural/religious background. They also played the short Dona and Hora, which was based on a gypsy tune. I have seen a disc of these two works, and I plan to get it at some stage. The man definitely knows how to compose very good chamber music, on par with the finest the world has to currently offer...

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