Oceana

Oceana

5.0 1
by Osvaldo Golijov
     
 
The three pieces by Osvaldo Golijov recorded here offer more evidence that his is one of the freest and most compelling voices on the scene. Although he came to the attention of the broader public in 2000 with the bold stylistic juxtapositions of "La Pasión según San Marco," "Oceana," written in 1996, incorporates a comparable diversity of elements. Perhaps even more

Overview

The three pieces by Osvaldo Golijov recorded here offer more evidence that his is one of the freest and most compelling voices on the scene. Although he came to the attention of the broader public in 2000 with the bold stylistic juxtapositions of "La Pasión según San Marco," "Oceana," written in 1996, incorporates a comparable diversity of elements. Perhaps even more than "La Pasión," "Oceana" mingles its various idioms into an integrated aesthetic vision. What stands out is Golijov's fearless rejection of the orthodoxies of modernism, postmodernism, minimalism, and every other -ism that limits the definition of an acceptable aesthetic. "Oceana" is a large-scale cantata for which the unique sound of Brazilian singer Luciana Souza provided inspiration, and her voice is a unifying thread that runs through it. It's evocative of oceanic vastness without being imitative, and its moments of grand emotion are passionate, even spiritual; the fact that the ecstatic choral exclamations, "Oceana!" are easily mistaken for "Hosanna!" cannot have been coincidental. Souza's voice is absolutely astounding in its tonal coloring and expressive range. Robert Spano leads the Gwinnett Young Singers and the Atlanta Symphony & Chorus in a radiant performance. "Tenebrae" is a two-movement reflection written for the Kronos Quartet, inspired by Couperin's setting of the "Lamentations of Jeremiah" for the Tenebrae service of Holy Week. Golijov writes that his challenge "was to sound like an orbiting spaceship that never touches ground." The work succeeds in hinting at a hovering sadness that is too profound and private to be overtly expressed. "Three Songs" uses texts in Yiddish, Spanish, and (American) English, reflecting the various personal and musical influences that have contributed to the composer's style. Golijov writes to the strengths of Dawn Upshaw's voice, and she sings with gorgeous tone and profound insight. The diversity of the selections and the superb performances make this album a terrific introduction to the range of Golijov's gift and vision.

Editorial Reviews

Gramophone - Andrew Farach-Colton
[September 2007 Disc of the Month] Absolutely not to be missed.
BBC Music Magazine - Robert Maycock
Golijov's most personal trait, his long-breathed eloquence with solo voices, takes flight with the professionalism of Brazilian star Luciana Souza.
Time Out New York - Marion Lignana Rosenberg
Light shines stubborn amid darkness in this arresting collection of music by Osvaldo Golijov.
Boston Globe - David Weininger
Golijov is...a wholly original composer with a dramatically forceful musical imagination.... All the performances are outstanding, with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra providing fiercely committed accompaniment in "Oceana" and the songs.... One waits impatiently for whatever is next from this remarkable artist.
The New Yorker - Russell Platt
"Oceana"...is a work of rare seriousness and equipoise.
Philadelphia Inquirer - David Patrick Stearns
1/2 The most fantastically inventive piece on the disc, though, is "Three Songs"...all with a near-epic sense of emotional scope rarely heard since Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde.
San Francisco Chronicle - Steven Winn
The album's title work opens with one of the composer's entrancing vocal lines, at once meandering and purposeful, beautifully sung by Luciana Souza over a gently yielding orchestral lattice.
Dallas Morning News - Lawson Taitte
[Grade: A-] This is contemporary music that can be enjoyed by mainstream listeners.
Newark Star-Ledger - Bradley Bambarger
With guitars, harp and double chorus, [Oceana's] colors glint like sun on water; the most exotic element, though, is the soaring, undulating solo voice of Brazilian Luciana Souza.
The Guardian - Andrew Clements
When Golijov's multiple personalities fuse, the results are enormously impressive.
New York Sun - Jay Nordlinger
If you'd like a strong sampling of [Golijov's] music, you'll find it on [this] new disc.
Ft. Worth Star Telegram - Matthew Erikson
[Classical CD of the Month] The somber string quartet Tenebrae captures some of the same magic as Oceana. Yet the album's most irresistible track is the song Lua Descolorida.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/10/2007
Label:
Deutsche Grammophon
UPC:
0028947764267
catalogNumber:
000906902
Rank:
80758

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Oceana, for voice, boys' choir, double chorus & orchestra  - Osvaldo Golijov  -  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra  - John Dearman  - Jamey Haddad  - Sid McLauchlan  - Fred Munzmaier  - Pablo Neruda  - Robert Spano  - Scott Tennant  - Osvaldo Golijov  - Osvaldo Golijov  -  Atlanta Symphony Chorus  - Luciana Souza  - John Sann  - Gwinnett Young Singers  - Jay Anderson  - Elizabeth Remy Johnson
  2. Tenebrae, for string quartet  - Osvaldo Golijov  -  Kronos Quartet  - Sid McLauchlan  - Osvaldo Golijov
  3. Three Songs, for voice & orchestra  - Osvaldo Golijov  -  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra  - Emily Dickinson  - Sid McLauchlan  - Robert Spano  - Dawn Upshaw  - Osvaldo Golijov  - Osvaldo Golijov  - Sally Potter  - Rosalía de Castro

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Oceana 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Argentine born Osvaldo Golijov is one of today's more important composers, a gifted artist who is unafraid to combine elements of jazz, ritual, Latin American rhythms, and Jewish elements in his disparate works. At times critics of his work point a finger to his excesses, but that has been done before (Mahler, Strauss, Rachmaninov, etc) and the composers find the golden mean that makes their music durable. This recording combines three quite different works. The title piece is bristling with percussion and guitars and some very sensuous singing by Luciana Souza as well as choral work (the Gwinnett Young Singers) and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Robert Spano. It is theatrical, exhilarating, and endlessly exciting. The second work 'Tenebrae' is a work that deals with inner sadness and is played with consummate skill by the Kronos Quartet. Despite the elegiac aspect of the music it is never less than beautiful and actually uplifting, full of hope. The final set 'Three Songs' is quite simply a masterpiece. Set to three poems by Sally Potter, Rosalia de Castro and Emily Dickinson, the work is for soprano and full orchestra and while the texts deal with tragedy and death, the emotional response to this elegant writing is transcendentally beautiful. Dawn Upshaw owns this cycle and this recording one of her most beautiful - in a collection of splendid recordings! For this listener this work is the most successful and most moving on the CD. Golijov is young and already a master. One wonders what he will embrace next! Grady Harp