Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Contemporary Tracks, Traditional Tunes

Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Contemporary Tracks, Traditional Tunes

Article excerpt

Jorge Federico Osorio Piano Espanol (Cedille Records 90000 075)

Rosana Lanzelotte O Cravo Brasileiro (UNI 001)

Marco Rizo Carnival Miami (Sampi Records 0140576562)

Mexican pianist Jorge Federico Osorio, noted for his performances with many of the world's leading symphonies as well as directing his country's Brahms Music Festival, turns to touchstone works by Spanish composers for this solo recital The exquisitely crafted program explores the artistry of Manuel de Falla, Isaac Albeniz, Padre Antonio Soler, and Eurique Granados. De Falla's four Piezas Espanolas, written in 1908, are the most contemporary works on the program, while four sonatas by the church-trained Soler were written for harpsichord in the mid 1700s. Oserio performs four of Granados's twelve-part Danzas Espanolas, including the well-known, Moorish influenced "Dance No. 5." The eight movements featured from Albeniz's Suite Espanola No. 1 draw their inspiration--and take their names--from regions in Spain, including Asturias, Cadiz, and Cataluna.

Harpsichordist Rosana Lanzelotte dramatically expands the knowledge of this seldom-heard keyboard instrument in modern Brazilian classical music on O Cravo Brasileiro. Lanzelotte features several works for piano by Ernesto Nazareth and other Brazilian composers that she's adapted for the harpsichord, but devotes most of the program to more contemporary pieces written specifically for the instrument, including several created with her in mind. Some tracks reflect the pervading influence of the European Baroque tradition, while others, such as Rio de Janeiro-born composer Dawid Korenchendler's "Momentos Brasileiros," incorporate such indigenous rhythms as choro and forro. Percussionist Fernando Maciel de Moura accompanies Lanzelotte on the pandeiro (tambourine) on this and other strongly Brazilian-popular-music-oriented tracks, adding a folkloric perspective to this unusual, historically important recording.

Carnival Miami features the late Cuban pianist Marco Rizo and his all-star Lalin Jazz Ensemble. Rizo was a classically trained pianist and composer who became a household name in the U.S. in the 1950s when he worked with fellow Cuban musician and actor Desi Arnaz as an instrumentalist and arranger for Ricky Ricardo's orchestra on TV's I Love Lucy program. Carnival is a compilation of tracks from some of Rizo's recordings from that era. The legendary talent on display includes percussionists Candido Camero and Jose Mangual and bassist Israel Lopez "Cachao." Featuring period masterpieces by countryman Ernesto Lecuona, Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, other jazz and Latin American composers and Rizo himself, the pianist emphasized tidy arrangements and performances that sound remarkably contemporary to this day.

Quisqueya en el Hudson (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings 40495)

Viento de Agua Materia Prima (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings 40513)

The music of the vibrant and culturally distinct Dominican community in New York City is extensively documented on Quisqueya en el Hudson, a collection of fourteen tracks. The program features a stylistic, diverse array of ensembles and solo interpreters and presents a range of Dominican-bred sounds more representative of the Caribbean nation's traditions than the commonly heard and popular-culture influenced merengue. These largely rural-based forms include salve, featuring hand drums, call-and-response vocals, mid devotional themes related to saints' days observances. Also presented are merenque tipico, the rustic country cousin of the urbanized variant of the style that has become a worldwide dance-hall favorite; palos, songs sung to saints and African deities; bachata, a ballad style similar to the bolero; and the Cuban-rooted son.

Materia Prima presents seven participants of the famed twelve-member Puerto Rican ensemble Viento de Agua in a stripped-down, purely acoustic incarnation where vocals and hand percussion dominate. …

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