- Suite del Plata for guitar No. 1
Argentina is most closely associated with the tango, but the Latin American nation has a rich musical heritage that encompasses a wide a variety of forms and styles. Most of the works on this beautiful recital by guitarist Victor Villadangos grew out of Argentina's folkloric tradition, with influences from Spanish guitar music. One can hear the Spanish style in the Sonata No. 1 by Carlos Gustavino -- perhaps the best-known composer here. Yet, even in the rocking rhythms of the final movement, there are echoes of Indian music from the northern part of Argentina. Héctor Ayala's Serie Americana reaches out even further, exploring the sounds of neighboring countries. Tango fans will certainly enjoy Máximo Pujol's first Suite del Plata, which has a Piazzolla-esque movement, as well as the hauntingly melancholy milonga (another popular Argentinian dance). Tres Piezas (Three Pieces) by Juan Falú are also melodically memorable, with breezy syncopated rhythms. And the tango crops up again in Walter Heinze's Concordancias, the most cosmopolitan sounding of the seven works on this 70-minute-long program. Villadangos is a marvelous player, with a delicate touch, and the warm recording quality enhances the intimate effect.