Pianist Mirian Conti is an effective advocate for the music of Argentina, and her piano collection Looking South, placing the early music of Alberto Ginastera in the context of his immediate predecessors, is highly recommended. The composers on this collection of short piano pieces overlap with that album in a few cases, but the music here is of a lighter character, with Argentine folk (or "Creole") idioms superimposed on various kinds of character-piece and salon models from the late 19th century. The most successful are the most rhythmically Argentine in character; Mario Broeders' Milonga pampeana (track 26) makes a fine counterpart to Cuban or Mexican music of the same period. The Cantos populares of Carlos Guastavino are elegant distillations of popular Argentine idioms before the tango, of which there are very few hints here. Instead you get a series of well-wrought miniatures, some diverging from diatonic tonality as they proceed, drawing on models from Chopin to Grieg and Liszt (the notes promise Prokofiev, but that would be pushing it). It's a pleasant hour of music, not consistently memorable but consistently interesting for Latin American music enthusiasts.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|10 Cantos populaires|
|Aquel Buenos Aires|
|Cantares de mi cantar|