ROBERTO SIERRA (b.1953): Sinfonía No. 1, Sinfonía No. 2 "Gran Passacaglia", Sinfonía No. 3 "La Salsa".
Catalogue Number: 08J087
Reference: TROY 942
Description: Written in 2002, Sierra's first symphony is a kind of dissonant mirror of its sibling No. 3 (2005). Both are four-movement works which use Afro-Caribbean rhythms but, whereas the latest work's movement titles are clear and eloquent about the closeness to popular music ("Tumbao", "Habanera", "Danzas", "Jolgorio") and the music is straightforward, sophisticatedly orchestrated dance music, the harmonies Sierra employs in the First are quite dissonant: the syncopations are there but they're not quite danceable. The single-movement Second is a 16-minute long virtuosically orchestrated and thick-textured homage to the baroque genre of its title and devoid of popular or folk elements. Frost Symphony Orchestra; Thomas M. Sleeper.