Peruvian Celso Garrido-Lecca is one of the foremost Ibero-American composers, linking the native sounds of the Andes and Western classical music. He studied with Aaran Copland and so there’s an American feel in places but I think it sounds very English at times, a sprightly Vaughan Williams writing about a jolly day out in the country. It’s all very approachable and easy to appreciate.
The opening pieces comprise his Danzas Populares Andinas, (Andean folk dances) which, as the name suggests, are folk tunes adapted by Garrido-Lecca to suggest joyous folk dancing in the Andes, though much of it could equally be an English village.
Retablos Sinfónicos (symphonic tableaux) is more of the same, though has more of a Spanish feel than the previous work, not to say something of Copland. After a brief introduction, Dansak portrays the scissor dance of the Andes, which entails a couple of dancers holding the two blades of scissors in their hands. Wikipedia reports this dance is a test of skill, two dancers (called danzaq or tusuq) challenging each other to overcome the risk of the steps they perform. The rest of this piece (Triste and Tondera) portray other less scissors-based dances.
Peruvian Suite is a collage of Peruvian folk elements, and, with much of the original music reflecting the farming year, sounds nicely pastoral.
Laudes II, listed on Wikipedia as one of his career highlights, is inspired by Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu, the work moving away from agricultural to the eternal. The music is more avant garde, as Garrido-Lecca tries to expresses the thought that “the Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao, the name that can be named is not the eternal name.”
Out on Naxos, 8.573759.
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