JOAQUÍN GUTIÉRREZ HERAS (1927-2012): Sinfonía breve, Divertimento for Piano and Orchestra (Ana Cervantes [piano]), HECTOR QUINTANAR (1936-2013): Piano Concerto (Mauricio Náder [piano]), MARIO LAVISTA (b.1943): Canto fúnebre, Ficciones, CARLOS VIDAURRI (b.1961): Música para una imagen venerada for Organ and Orchestra (Laura Angélica Carrasco Curintzita [organ]), 6 canciones místicas for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra (Rebeca Samaniego [mezzo]), JUAN TRIGOS (b.1965): Cantata concertante No. 3 “Phos Hilarón” (Daniela D’Ingiullo [soprano], Grace Echauri [mezzo], Youth Chorus of the Celaya Conservatory).
Catalogue Number: 09S058
Description: Quintanar's concerto is a substantial work, thoroughly accessible though tough and largely unsmiling in character, aside from a few passages of fetching naïveté. Although the composer is known as a pioneer of avant-gardism and electronic music in Mexico, this late work in his output conforms to a standard three-movement scheme in classical forms, and is firmly grounded in tonality. The music is predominantly serious in tone and the slow movement, with its pervasive sadness and underlying sense of tragedy which erupts in several powerful climaxes is particularly effective. The outer movements are brash and aggressive, with percussive, virtuosic piano writing; there is more than a little Prokofiev and Bartók in the mix, and you may also be reminded of Ginastera, the idiom lying somewhere between the Argentinean's two concerti, or of Quintanar's teacher, Chavéz. Gutiérrez Heras' terse little symphony is arranged in five linked movements arranged symmetrically around the central slow movement. The piece recalls the usual 20th-century tonal suspects, with explosive, percussion-driven motoric fast movements and an ominous feeling of foreboding in the slow sections. This is a late work; the attractive, easy-going, very explicitly tonal Divertimento is much earlier. Two lively outer movements, with intermittent suggestions of Latin rhythms in a neoclassical framework, bracket a gentle, lushly scored, harmonically sumptuous andante. Lavista's funereal piece is a slow, sombre lament for his friend and colleague, Gutiérrez Heras, a very neo-romantic work, containing traces of fifteenth-century music that the latter admired. Ficciones is also from the composer's later period, after he turned his back on the avant garde. Inspired by a Sufi legend quoted by Borges in one of his stories, the piece is a substantial orchestral tone-poem illustrating the legend of the Simurg, the king of birds. Not explicitly programmatic, the work, strongly tonally based, captures the mythic nature and fantastical symbolism of the stories. Trigos' cantata on the earliest Christian hymn exemplifies his 'Abstract Folklore' style, which synthesizes a modern tonal idiom from strongly rhythmic repeating gestures and modally tinged, ornamented melodic material derived from folk music. An exultant orchestral introduction is followed by a large-scale tutti and two subsequent movements with a muted, chamber music texture ending in a celebratory mood of praise in the final section. Vidaurri's “Music for a Venerated Image” (a statue of the Virgin Mary in Guanajuato) is a concertante work in four sections for organ and orchestra; two meditative prayers, and two processionals, the first solemn, the second triumphant, for full forces. The music is tonal, with a strong sense of an 'antique' style. The six attractive little seguidillas also have an antique air, this time of Hispanic folk music, dressed in neo-romantic orchestral garb. Spanish texts. 3 CDs. Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Guanajuato; Juan Trigos.