Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Osvaldo Golijov, Robert Spano, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra|
Osvaldo Golijov: Ainadamar
No Description Available. Genre: Classical Music Media Format: Compact Disk Rating: Release Date: 9-MAY-2006
No Description Available.
Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 9-MAY-2006
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Keeping Lorca Alive
Benjamin | Chicago, IL USA | 06/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very remarkable opera -the first one- by Osvaldo Golijov. Ainadamar means 'fountain of tears' in Arabic, and it is also the name of an ancient well near Granada, where the poet Federico García Lorca was killed by the fascists in 1936, at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. The opera is divided in three parts called images: 1. Mariana, 2. Federico, 3. Margarita. Mariana referes to Mariana Pineda, one of the plays Lorca wrote that tells the story of Mariana Pineda, a revolutionary martyr of the 19th century. The second part is about Lorca, from the moment he refuses to go to Cuba with Margarita (and save his life), to the moment he is arrested and killed. The last part is about Margarita Xirgu at the end of his life, when she is keeping the history and the legend of Lorca alive by representing his plays.
In the style of Golijov, this music merges different styles (Jewish, Muslim, and Spanish music). Ruiz Alonso (the arresting officer) is a flamenco singer (Cante Jondo), and Margarita Xirgu is the soprano and Osvaldo's muse Dawn Upshaw. There is a good balance among the three parts of the opera and the three main characters in it (Lorca, Xirgu, and Nuria, a student who will maintain Lorca's life and art alive).
This CD comes with an introduction by Alex Ross and a synopsis by Peter Sellars. The libretto was written by David Henry Hwang in English, and Golijov translated it into Spanish. This is very odd, since the music is sung in Spanish and usually the librettos are written in the language the music is going to be sung. Also, the CD contains pictures of Golijov, Upshaw (2), Lorca, Xirgu, and two stage pictures of a live representation. The CD cover (as you can see) represents Margarita Xirgu in tears in the style of Lorca's drawings. It was designed by Hisako Moriyama. This CD is a world premiere recording by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra directed by Robert Spano and I strongly recommend it to opera aficionados, classical music lovers, and anybody interested in Lorca and the Spanish Civil War. Thanks for reading.
P.S. If you like my review vote YES. You can read all my other reviews if you wish to. I modestly write them to help people form an opinion about movies, music and books, but if nobody reads them (if you don't vote I do not know if you did) there is no point in writing them"
A great Ibero- American opera
Carmen Tellez | Bloomington, Indiana, USA | 06/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Golijov has been experimenting for several years now with the synthesis of ouvertly Ibero-American genres and contemporary music textures. This work is his most successful so far in this vein, in my opinion, given that the compositional choices express the content of the libretto with conviction and without incongruences. The work can be described as a secular passion play, not only by its structure as a set of three ritualized remembrance vignettes in which the actress Margarita Xirgu is both a narrator and actor; but also due to its exploration of the sacrifice of Lorca to fascism; the personal anguish of Margarita's existential choices; and Lorca's posthumous iconic stature as the inspiration of countless musical and theatrical works by artists from all over the world. These topics address eternal concerns about heroic clashes between the artist and society, and between freedom and tyranny. Theater director Peter Sellars emphasized these references to Jesus' passion in his staging.
The musical plan develops like a Handelian or Mozartian opera, with clean-cut alternations between recitatives, arias and choruses, all of which adopt genres from Spain and Latin America with rather specific rhetorical connotations. It is not unlike the processes of assimilation of sicilianas, turkish marches, sarabandes, waltzes, polonaises and other such dances into what we know as European Classical music. The work eschews the Wagnerian model of an endless melody. Instead, the listener is carried forward by the constant gratification of individual gems of sensuous music. Golijov is a masterful orchestrator of haunting textures. The singers get to sound fantastic in gorgeous melodies.
Golijov is not the first to attempt these syntheses, but he is doing it today in a very favorable critical environment in the United States, with unquestionable technical virtuosity and genuine beauty. Although controversies arise about pandering to the audience and so on, it is all perhaps a matter of context. This opera will last."
Strictly from the Musical Experience without the Opera Visua
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Ainadamar' is a breathtakingly beautiful work for voices and orchestra and while it is conceived and has been performed as a stage work (aka 'opera'), this listener has not had the privilege of seeing that form of this new work by Osvaldo Golijov. And that factor as its drawbacks and its advantages: without relying on the visuals of a stage production the music on this very well produced CD allows total commitment to the music values alone. The music is exquisite!
Based on a libretto written by David Henry Hwang, the work is sung in Spanish and relates a moment in time when Margarita Xirgu, an actress and collaborator with the immensely gifted poet and writer Federico Garcia Lorca, recalls his presence and influence and death. There is little more narrative than that, but from that bare bones outline blossoms some of the most successful music that the gifted Golijov has written to date. There are bits of ethereal orchestration suffused with dance rhythms and that plaintive line known best to flamenco singers.
The arias/melodies are created in the most compelling manner - the voice growing organically from the various instrumentations at Golijov's seemingly endless disposal.
Margarita is sung here by the incomparable Dawn Upshaw in a signature performance: the quality and purity of her tone and timbre of her voice embrace Golijov's lines with complete ease and commitment. She is a wonder here. The role of Lorca is a trouser role sung with compelling beauty by Kelley O'Connor. The remainder of the rather small cast all sing and perform well and the entire performance is molded to perfection by conductor Robert Spano with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and chorus (the women's voices only). It is an enviable achievement.
Golijov grows each year as a composer and with this works he enters the highest echelon of contemporary classical music composers. Hearing 'Ainadamar' results in immediately listening again, as though what has just been heard could not possibly have been that fine. But it is. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, September 06"