VÍCTOR RASGADO (b.1957): Piano Concerto, Tuba Concerto, Quetzaltepec.
Catalogue Number: 03S010
Description: Rasgado's idiom is very tonal, but highly original in the rhythmically vital way in which he uses his material. The main work here is the half-hour piano concerto, in three movements. A pianist-composer, Rasgado handles his tonal, neo-romantic vocabulary with great originality, breaking the soloist's chord progressions into gestures widely and energetically distributed across registers. The first movement is declamatory, with lyrical moments of repose, in constant unstable yet inexorable motion. The slow movement is massive and imposing, dark and turbulent in a constant state of unease and tension, while the finale is a pounding mechanistic allegro, like the Rite of Spring danced by machines, or a gargantuan expansion of the finale of Prokofiev's seventh sonata. Quetzaltepec borrows material from a traditional song from Oaxaca to provide structural elements, and via an unspecified 'geometrical formula', which belongs strictly in the "composer's workshop" and is not even slightly apparent to the listener, pitch and rhythmic features of the work. A mysterious, looming opening gives way to vigorous, motoric drumming and passages of restlessly syncopated energy, and these elements recur throughout the piece. The appealing little tuba concerto requires extreme athleticism from the soloist, and some uncomfortable-sounding excursions in register and multiphonics. In a single span divided into three sections, the outer 'movements' share the propulsive, percussion-driven momentum common to the other works, with stabbing brass interjections almost suggesting a big-band influence. Jacques Drouin (piano), Faustino Díaz (tuba), Sinfónica de Oaxaca; Juan Trigos.