This collection features music by Latin American composers spanning almost a century, performed by Enrique Arturo Diemecke leading the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The disc opens with the overture to Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Gomes' 1870 opera Il Guarany, a pastiche overture featuring themes from the opera. It's a stirring and effective work, and the orchestra gives it a thrilling reading. Huapango is an energetic arrangement of three traditional Mexican dances by José Pablo Moncayo García. Heitor Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2 is an odd piece, in four movements that are stylistically disparate, ranging from the loose-limbed jazz of the first two movements to the quaint pictorialism of the last. The most famous movement, the last, a toccata known as "The Little Train of the Brazilian Countrymen" (or, The Little Train of Caipira), is a charming, evocative tone poem depicting a memorable train ride the composer took, is probably Villa-Lobos' best-known work. The most substantial piece is Argentinean composer Alberto Ginastera's Variaciones concertantes from 1953, a sort of concerto for orchestra, with solo (or duet) movements for most of the orchestral string and wind instruments. The performance is mostly very strong, with the opening cello solo played with gorgeous lyricism, but with mediocre, choppy playing of the final solo, for double bass. In between, the soloists are all fine, with the horn's Pastoral standing out as one of the most sensuous, languorous versions on disc. The recording makes a fine sampling of Latin American classical music of the late 19th through the mid-20th century. The sound is exceptionally clear and vivid, with excellent definition and balance.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
|Il Guarany, opera|
|Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2, for orchestra, A. 247|
|Variaciones concertantes, for chamber orchestra, Op. 23|