Search This Blog

Friday, January 20, 2017

Garrido-Lecca, Peruvian Suite, Norwegian Radio Sym, Ft Worth Sym Orch, Miguel Harth-Bedoya

Living Peruvian composers are not well-known to me, so when a volume of orchestral music by Celso Garrido-Lecca (b. 1926) came out lately, I jumped at the chance to hear it. Peruvian Suite (Naxos 8.573759)  includes the title suite and three others, written between 1980 and 1994.  The Forth Worth Symphony does the performance honors for one of the suites, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra for the rest, all  under the capable hands of conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya. He and the orchestras provide colorful, energized readings that seem right for the scores.

Garrido-Lecca as heard in these works is vividly depictive and often Peruvian folk oriented more so than he is always modernistic. He is a good orchestrator and a master of contrasting sections that can be balladic or dance-like according to the needs of the moment. "Andean Folk Dances" begins the program with kinetically moving sections contrasting with more introspective ones. "Symphonic Tableaux" continues the mood with more ambitiously complex rhythmic movement.

"Peruvian Suite" is meant to explore the diversity of Peruvian folk elements. It does so succinctly, skillfully and rather delightfully..

The final suite "Laudes II" musically represents the thinking of Chinese Taoist Lao-Tzu. The work expresses the idea that "the Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao, the name that can be named is not the eternal name."  The music is accordingly somewhat ineffable but remains filled with vibrant color in the later Garrido-Lecca manner. The final movement with its extroverted reed, horn and trumpet passages is exciting, while the other movements are abstracted and mysterious or questioning. It is a more strictly modernistic version of the composer and the most satisfyingly original of the program for me.

Is Garrido-Lecca the Peruvian Copland? It is not entirely out of the question. We have four world premiere recordings that give us a good idea of his inventive skills. Anyone with an interest in what is going on in South America in the present day will be rewarded with one good answer. It supplies some fine listening in any case.

No comments:

Post a Comment