Magazine article Gramophone

Ginastera: 'Orchestral Works

Magazine article Gramophone

Ginastera: 'Orchestral Works

Article excerpt

Ginastera

'Orchestral Works, Vol 2' Panambi, Op 1 (a). Piano Concerto No 2, Op 39 (b) (b) Xiayin Wang pf (a) Ladies of Manchester Chamber Choir: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Juanjo Mena Chandos (F) CHAN10923 (69' * DDD)

Ginastera was still a teenager when he began writing Panambi (1934-37). The concert suite he extracted from the nearly 40-minute ballet score helped establish his reputation, and has since found a place on the fringes of the repertoire. The complete ballet, however, is a rarity. This is, to the best of my knowledge, only its second recording.

Ravel and Stravinsky were obvious influences here, along with Debussy and Bartok (I hear traces of The Wooden Prince, too). Yet what's remarkable is how Ginastera already sounds like Ginastera, even when he's pounding out Rite-like rhythms or painting sensuous backdrops a la Daphnis. Not only that, but there's an irresistible ebb and flow that attests to the sureness of the young Argentinian composer's theatrical instincts.

Gisele Ben-Dor's pioneering account (originally made for Conifer and reissued by Naxos) is rhythmically tauter and more supplely phrased than this otherwise admirable new version led by Juanjo Mena. …

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