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Thread: Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983)

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    Default Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983)

    Searched for this thread and I could not find it.....so here it is, ready made and ready to go!

    Picture-6.png

    From Boosey and Hawkes:

    Long Biography: Alberto Ginastera was the leading Argentinian composer of the twentieth century, as important in giving the Argentinian folk heritage a voice in art music as Bartók was in Hungary. Ginastera was born in Buenos Aires on 11 April 1916 (his father being Catalan, he preferred to pronounce his surname with a soft ‘g’). He studied musical privately as a child, later enrolling at the National Conservatoire of Music in his home city. His first compositions date from his early youth; he was 22 when his Piezas infantiles for piano won first prize in a competition. The works which followed initially developed the nationalist tendencies announced in the Piezas infantiles, as such titles as Concierto argentino and Sinfonía Porteña reveal – both scores later withdrawn by the composer, as were a number of other early pieces.

    In 1946-47 Ginastera spent a year in the United States on a Guggenheim fellowship, joining the teaching staff of the National Conservatory upon his return home; he was later the Dean of the Faculty of Musical Arts and Sciences at the Catholic University. His first opera, Don Rodrigo, was premiered to immediate acclaim in 1966 and was soon followed by two others, Bomarzo (1967) and Beatrix Cenci (1971). Bomarzo attracted attention through what Nicolas Slonimsky calls ‘its unrestrained spectacle of sexual violence’ though, as Slonimsky further points out, it also ‘reveals extraordinary innovations in serial techniques, with thematic employment not only of different chromatic sounds but also of serial progressions of different intervals’. (A fourth opera, Barrabas, was unfinished at the time of his death.) In 1969, finding himself out of sympathy with the prevailing political climate in Argentina (indeed, he was twice ejected from his academic posts because of his protests against the repressive regime), Ginastera left the country, settling in Geneva with his second wife, the cellist Aurora Natola.

    In the early 1950s the nationalist element in his music gradually lost its dominance, and more explicitly modernist characteristics began to make their presence felt in what Ginastera called his ‘neo-expressionistic period’. He actively adopted the twelve-tone technique and his works also incorporated microtones and polytonality. By the time of his death, on 25 June 1983, his modernism had softened, and he began to look again at the tonality and folk-music inflexions of his early output.


    Anyone recommend any recordings? Favourite works?

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    I just have the album with the Harp Concerto, Piano Concerto No. 1, and Estancia Suite.

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    Señor Ginastera.

    Although far from an expert there are 3 recordings I listen to relatively regularly, and I recommend:

    The tragically under-rated ballets Panambi, Op. 1 and Estancia, Op. 8 recorded by Luis Gaeta (narrator, bass-baritone) with Gisele Ben-Dor and the London Symphony Orchestra. These are often compared to Stravinsky.

    Ginastera 1.jpg


    Probably the best Latin American string quartet cycle, Opp. 20/26/40 recorded by the Enso Quartet with Lucy Shelton (soprano). The third is more-or-less a song cycle with string quartet. The closest comparison would probably be Revueltas' cycle.

    Ginastera 3.jpg


    And the wonderful Concerto for Harp and Orchestra, Op. 25 recorded by Rachel Masters (harp) with Richard Hickox and the London Sinfonia, which is paired with the equally riveting harp and coloratura soprano concertos by Reinhold Gliere - this is an essential recording.

    Ginastera 2.jpg


    There are also the Danzas argentinas, Op. 2 for solo piano, which I apparently no longer have a recording of - somehow it is MIA. Nonetheless, here is a link to Martha Argerich playing the second.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6rCu2Daeyo


    buen dia, amigo, y feliz escuchando
    Last edited by Selby; Aug-24-2013 at 16:40.

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    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    Cool Emerson, Lake & Palmer-Ginastera Toccata

    The British rock group, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, created an arrangement of the finale movement ("Toccata concertata") of the Ginastera's First Piano Concerto back in the early 1970's.

    You Tube of the original:



    You Tube of Emerson, Lake & Palmer version:

    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

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    Orchestral Works, w. Grohs (Arte Nova)
    Cello Concerti 1 & 2, w. Kosower (Naxos)
    String Quartets 1 & 2, w. Henschel Qt. (Arte Nova)
    Music for Cello & Piano, w. Kosower & Oh (Naxos)
    Danzas Argentinas, w. Argerich (EMI)

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    Senior Member Selby's Avatar
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    Can anyone speak to his concertos? Cello or piano or otherwise?
    "I propose to create a heroic, monumental style of composition simple enough to inspire all people; completely free from fads, artificial mannerisms and false sophistications; direct, forceful, sincere, always original but never unnatural." -Alan Hovhaness

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
    Can anyone speak to his concertos? Cello or piano or otherwise?
    I think Kosower's (Cleveland O. principal) Cello Concerti are essential. I'm less enamored with Ginastera PCs. Noguera does PC1 on the Grohs orchestral rec. I listed.
    Last edited by Vaneyes; Aug-24-2013 at 19:55.

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    Senior Member Ravndal's Avatar
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    Listening to his Harp concerto. 10/10
    "That as s."

    - Mark Twain

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    I'm not too crazy about the 1st cello concerto. Too much sawing action in the solo part. I do like no. 2 by Kosower. I need to revisit the piano concertos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
    Can anyone speak to his concertos? Cello or piano or otherwise?
    Violin concerto is easily one of my favourites, as well as the first cello concerto (I'm not too crazy about the second one). The Concerto for Strings is a mixture of the most beautiful and most exciting things I've ever heard!

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    I just listened to Estancia, a lot it was nice but it doesn't seem to have to depth and passion and drama of the other works I've heard. It's probably my least favourite work of his so far......oh well. I'm going to listen to his awesome Concerto for Strings now!

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    Another masterpiece is his Cello Sonata: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHvqqF6tMtg
    As always, pretty intense music.

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    Senior Member Neo Romanza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComposerOfAvantGarde View Post
    I just listened to Estancia, a lot it was nice but it doesn't seem to have to depth and passion and drama of the other works I've heard. It's probably my least favourite work of his so far......oh well. I'm going to listen to his awesome Concerto for Strings now!
    Are you talking about Estancia the full ballet or the suite? There's a lot of music in the complete ballet that the suite doesn't contain. There's also plenty of emotional depth in the work, so I don't really understand your opinion at all. There's a section titled Twilight Idyll that will absolutely melt your heart once you hear it. So forgive me in saying that until you've the complete ballet, you haven't heard Estancia yet.
    Last edited by Neo Romanza; Aug-27-2013 at 16:20.
    “Competitions are for horses, not artists.” - Béla Bartók

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