Christopher Dorsey

Marcelo Coronel: Antiguocanto

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Here's an enjoyable hour of Latin American guitar music, uncomplicated in mood and musical language but varied and inflected through a whole variety of South American folk and popular rhythms. The three pieces by Argentine composer Marcelo Coronel are suites of dances, not far removed in spirit from the treatments a Baroque guitarist might have made from the dances present in his or her surroundings. Música de Los Andes and Temple del Diablo focus mostly on dances of the Andes Mountains, including the huayno, the basic song form of Peruvian popular music; the central Imaginario Popular Argentino: Centro y Nordeste takes up the music of Coronel's home country. These are not the dances of Ginastera or Leo Brouwer; Coronel's individual movements use idiomatic guitar figures to lightly embroider popular-style material, and indeed he has referred to himself as a popular composer with classical training. Guitarist Christopher Dorsey was apparently Coronel's student; born in Georgia, he moved to the Phoenix area and has studied and taught guitar there. The label, Soundset Recordings, seems to be a local operation, but both the production and design standards are high, and the recording of the guitar is clearer than that accomplished by much larger outfits. No new ground is broken here, but the music is unfailingly elegant in both composition and performance, and it offers an example of the growing repertoire of crossover Latin recording that entails contributions from both U.S. and Latin American musicians.

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