sábado, octubre 21, 2006

London offers an ample Ginastera Festival

This year the musical world commemorates the ninetieth anniversary of Alberto Ginastera’s birth. Previous to the special case of Astor Piazzolla, Ginastera was certainly the most distinguished Argentine composer and one of the few that got important commissions from the big centres of the North. This perhaps explains why it is London rather than Buenos Aires that offers a wide Ginastera Festival this season. An Argentine pianist that has lived for decades in Great Britain’s capital is the guiding light of this important event: Alberto Portugheis, who has recorded the complete piano music of the composer. The plan will extend throughout the year, which in the North means the second half of the 2005-6 season and the first half of 2006-7. It is eclectic inasmuch as it gives us instrumental, vocal and orchestral music, and corresponds to the composer’s international career by mixing Argentine artists with foreign ones. Venues are also quite varied. Up to a point, Ginastera followed the Bartok mold: a first stage marked by the strong influence of our folklore blended with the best academic European technique; the second he calls “imaginary folklore” and in it his roots show no longer in explicit form but in rhythms or harmonic and melodic patterns which we feel as Argentine in an almost subliminal way. But in the third, very international lap of his career, he dives head first in the avantgarde and his music no longer sounds Argentine, although his vast skill and command is always in evidence. Although the programming gives of course pride of place to Ginastera, other composers (especially Latin-American, and particularly Argentine) are included. The series was inaugurated by Spanish pianist José Menor at the Wigmore Hall on January 11, when no less than five Ginastera works (including the premiere of the unpublished “8 children’s pieces”) were complemented by the Spanish Albéniz and Mompou. Then, on February 15, Portugheis accompanied our violinist Rafael Gintoli in the honored composer’s “Pampeana No.1” along with the British premiere of our Floro Ugarte’s Sonata and Gianneo’s charming “5 pieces”; a famous Estonian composer was also represented: Arvo Part, with “Fratres”. The venue was St.James’s Piccadilly. Mexican guitarist Morgan Szymanski played on March 13 at the Wigmore a completely Latin American programme featuring Ginastera’s Sonata along with Barrios (Paraguayan), Ponce (Mexican) and our Piazzolla. Still to come are the rest of the concerts. The Southbank Sinfonia under Matilda Hofman will offer at St.John’s Smith Square an Argentine-Brazilian night. Ginastera’s great classic, his “Variaciones concertantes”; the world premiere of talented young Christian Baldini’s “Latentes Santos Lugares”; Piazzolla’s “Las cuatro estaciones portenias” with violinist Sara Trickey; and the sole Brazilian, Marlos Nobre, with his “Desafío VII” with Portugheis at the piano.This will be on March 28. Back at the Wigmore on April 11 for the Assai String Quartet with Portugheis playing Ginastera’s splendid Piano Quintet; the string players will also do Ginastera’s First Quartet along with another version of Piazzolla’s “Las cuatro estaciones portenias”and Spanish composer Ernesto Halffter’s String Quartet. The group comes from Madrid and make their London debut. The Argentine flute and piano duo made up of Aída Dopchiz and Sebastián Beltramini will be joined by Lorna John (oboe) and the Sitkovetsky String Quartet for respectively Ginastera’s Duo and his ”Impresiones de la Puna”. More Ginastera along with Terzian and Guastavino complete the programme held at St. James’s Piccadilly. The Coro Cervantes is the only professional choir based in Britain dedicated to the music of Iberian and Latin American composers; it is conducted by Carlos Fernández Aransay. They will be at the Wigmore on June 1 with Portugheis and Szymanski in a varied programme: from Argentina, Ginastera’s expressive “Lamentations of Jeremiah”, Guastavino’s “Canciones Indianas”and Piazzolla’s “Libertango”; the Gypsy “Romancero” by the Italian Castelnuovo-Tedesco; pieces by two Halffters, “Epitafios de Don Quijote” (Rodolfo) and “Hommage to Salvador Dalí” (Ernesto). American pianist Nancy Lee Harper, based in Portugal, will offer works by the Portuguese António Fragoso and Fernando Lopes-Graca along with Villa-Lobos’ ”Waltz of sorrow”, Ginastera’s “Creole dances” and “Three Argentine Dances” and Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin”. June 30 is the date and St.James’s Piccadilly the place. Argentina’s distinguished pianist Alfredo Corral plays only music of our country at Steinway Hall on July 13: Aguirre, Sáenz, Piaggio and Ginastera. Spanish mezzo-soprano Pilar Aragón accompanied by Portugheis offer a midday concert at St. James’s Piccadilly on August 16 with Falla and Ginastera. Organist Germán Torre plays on September 7 at St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields Zipoli, Ginastera, Piazzolla and pieces of his own. Venezuelan pianist Luis Parés does Ginastera, Guastavino and composers of his country on September 15 at Bolívar Hall. Australian pianist Simon Tedeschi, on September 25 at St. James’s Piccadilly, offers Ginastera, Goosens and Wilcher. The husband and wife duo Ricardo Sciammarella (Cello) and Eva Pereda (piano) will give an all-Ginastera programme on October 20 at St. James’s Piccadilly. Talented Argentine pianist Emilio Peroni will play a panorama of scores of our country on October 26 at Steinway Hall. The London Schubert Players String Orchestra under Pedro Calderón will offer two Brazilians (Gnattali and Nobre) along with Ginastera; soloists, Portugheis and guitarist Fabio Zanon. November 2 at St. John’s Smith Square. Zanon at Canning House on November 9 also mixes Brazilian and Argentine composers. Finally, Argentine pianist Valentín Surif closes the Festival on December 8 at the Bolívar Hall with another panorama of our music. 23/06/06 para el Buenos Aires Herald

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