Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ginastera, One Hundred, A Centennial Celebration of Alberto Ginastera, 1916-2016

Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera was born 100 years ago this year. We mark the occasion with Ginastera One Hundred (Oberlin Music 16-04), a celebration of the Master and his music.

The Oberlin Orchestra under Raphael Jimenez joins Yolanda Kondonassis for a sterling performance of Ginastera's "Harp Concerto, Op. 25" (1956, revised 1968), one of his most memorable works. Ms. Kondonassis is an excellent exponent of the concerto and the orchestra is inspired to give us a fabulous performance while Yolanda soars.

Gil Shaham and Orli Shaham (on violin and piano) are next up in a beautiful rendition of "Pampeana No. 1, Op. 16" (1947) combining inimitably Argentinian traditional elements and Ginastera's special modernist touch.

Jason Vieaux follows with a fine reading of the "Sonata for Guitar, Op. 47" (1976) which has a pronounced 20th century complexity with a channeling of the idiomatic spectrum of Spanish and Argentinian classical roots.

Finally there is the vibrant "Danzas Argentinas, Op. 2" (1937) which features Orli Shaham in a perfectly turbulent and vivid interpretation of another Ginastera masterwork.

The album is virtually a perfect way to remember the composer and mark his would-be 100th birthday. Every work is a gem and each performance is near-definitive. Ginastera's original way with traditional and modern elements carries the day with a program of essential works. Do not hesitate on this one. It is seminal!


  1. Thanks for all of your excellent recommendations. I've been following your blog for a few months now, and I was wondering how you find out about all of this great music? Thanks for doing all of this - you are really opening my ears up to a lot of amazing music.

  2. Hi Kristin,

    I am so glad you are getting out of this blog what I hoped listeners/readers would! I find out about releases in many ways. Sometimes a fellow musician friend alerts me to an interesting release, plus I try and keep up with the new release schedules of the most promising labels and get those that sound like they would be worthwhile, and then I have music business contacts who let me know what is coming. In the end I sift through a fair number of offerings and then chose the ones I think most deserving. Thanks for asking! And thanks for reading!