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November 30, 2014 at 3:00 pm
Spanish composers seem to have a strong predilection for the visual arts. One would say this is not surprising in a country that gave us Diego Velázquez, Goya and Picasso among many other first rate artists. Enrique Granados composed his monumental “Goyescas” (after Francisco Goya) in 1911, as a piano suite and in 1915 used […]
December 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm
Astor Piazzolla composed his Études tanquistiques (or Tango Etudes) in 1987. These etudes were originally written for solo flute or solo violin and became popular among oboe players as well. By conceiving the piano parts to accompany these Piazzolean theorems on tango melody Argentine pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger Octavio Brunetti (1975-2014) performed a subtle exercise of what it could be called “recomposition”. Brunetti was one of the most sought after tango pianists and his untimely death has been a tragedy for the Tango community both in Argentina and the US.
“Folias” is a flute and guitar duo featuring Carmen Maret and Andrew Bergeron. Music doesn’t come from people’s genes or blood. Music comes from history and culture and these two American musicians, as many others before them, have absorbed and mastered several of the multiple Latino musical codes. “Cabrales” was composed while the duo was touring northern Spain and combines a strong Spanish flavor with Peruvian influences. “Buenos Aires Cab Ride” depicts the emotions arose by the mandatory frantic driving style of a Porteño cabbie (think of a New York cabbie… on steroids).
My “Toccata Gaucha” brings together several of the different rhythms of what we can call “Gaucho” music, the music of the Pampas, the big plains reaching from the southern part of Brazil to Uruguay and central Argentina. These are dances and songs that bear names such as pericón, malambo, triste (or estilo), gato, chacarera and milonga. There are many more but I did use these six genres in different sections of the Toccata. The work was premiered by Susan Merdinger in a gala organized by the Ragdale Foundation in September 2013 and recorded by WFMT’s Hudson Fair in October of the same year at PianoForte Chicago during the Latino Music Festival.