- Santa Cruz de Pacairigua (Holy Cross of Pacairigua), symphonic suite - Evencio Castellanos - Venezuela Symphony Orchestra - Jan Wagner - Paolo Zeccara
Evencio Castellanos: Santa Cruz de Pacairigua; El Río de las Siete Estrellas; Suite Avileñaby Jan Wagner
Evencio Castellanos is one of Venezuela's best-known composers, notable not least as one of the groundwork-makers for that country's much-lauded "sistema" of music education. This album presents some of his best-known works, idiomatically and enthusiastically performed by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela under Jan Wagner. All three works are nationalistic, with plucked strings stating popular Venezuelan rhythms and melodies against various orchestral backdrops. The two more extended works at the beginning, colorfully orchestrated, are said to be popular in Venezuela; they have elaborate programs that make sense if you listen to the music but that could hardly be guessed independently. The real find is the "Suite Avileña" (1947), composed of five movements. These also have programmatic references, but the overall technique is more impressionistic and less episodic, and the ways of handling the popular material are sharp and fresh. Check out the Nocturno (track 5), with a guitar stating joropo rhythms against a tonally disjunct, almost Ivesian background at first, resolving to full consonance later on. Nothing on the album is dull, and any of these pieces could work on the sort of program, increasingly common in the Western hemisphere, that explores and compares various national traditions. An enjoyable outing, but if you're buying it online in pieces, try the "Suite Avileña" first.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsJan Wagner Primary Artist
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