Leonardo Balada: Guernica; Symphony No. 4; Zapata

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Catalan composer Leonardo Balada long ago passed through the flame of mid-century serialism to find his own voice in a style that combines folk elements, traditional impressions, and nontraditional scoring. Naxos has elected to record a number of Balada's works, and this disc serves as an outstanding introduction to Balada's overall work. "Guernica" 1966 is reminiscent of the early style of Penderecki, Lutoslawski, and, to a lesser degree, Varèse in his handling of percussion and other effectual media. "Homage to Sarasate" and "Homage to Casals" both 1975 are based on models, Pablo de Sarasate's "Zapateado" in the former case and Pablo Casals' "El cant des ocells" in ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Catalan composer Leonardo Balada long ago passed through the flame of mid-century serialism to find his own voice in a style that combines folk elements, traditional impressions, and nontraditional scoring. Naxos has elected to record a number of Balada's works, and this disc serves as an outstanding introduction to Balada's overall work. "Guernica" 1966 is reminiscent of the early style of Penderecki, Lutoslawski, and, to a lesser degree, Varèse in his handling of percussion and other effectual media. "Homage to Sarasate" and "Homage to Casals" both 1975 are based on models, Pablo de Sarasate's "Zapateado" in the former case and Pablo Casals' "El cant des ocells" in the latter. Both pieces are submitted to considerable fragmentation and combination in a collage-like approach; in the second piece more of the folksy original is retained, and for Balada this was the beginning of a new direction in his music. The "Symphony No. 4 Lausanne" 1992, based on Swiss tunes and written for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, is the most elusive and abstract-sounding music on the disc. But "Zapata: Images for Orchestra"1988 blends a Mahler-like texture with surreal interruptions from fragments of "La Cucaracha" and concludes with a wild send-up of the "Jarabe Tapatío" or, as gringos know it, the "Mexican Hat Dance". Naxos is to be congratulated for concentrating with such comprehension on behalf of Balada; this is superb contemporary music that does not leave its listeners behind and is rich with orchestral color, novel ideas, and even some humor though not so in "Guernica". The performance by the Barcelona Symphony, National Orchestra of Catalonia, and conductor Salvador Mas Conde discloses Balada's scores in all their detail, and Naxos' recording is to its usual standard of "excellent, if a little quiet."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/17/2004
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313234226
  • Catalog Number: 8557342
  • Sales rank: 252,398

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Guérnica, for orchestra - Leonardo Balada & Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (11:23)
  2. 2 Homage to Sarasate, for orchestra - Leonardo Balada & Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (7:38)
  3. 3 Homage to Casals, for orchestra - Leonardo Balada & Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (11:49)
  4. 4 Symphony No. 4 ("Lausanne") - Leonardo Balada & Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (18:31)
  5. 5–8 Zapata, images for orchestra - Leonardo Balada & Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (19:58)
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