New GINASTERA Cd by Gisele Ben-Dor

I first heard Ginastera's music on an Arthur Fiedler LP from the '70's of a dance from Estancia. So it was with great curiosity that I acquired this CD by Ginastera. Panambi is the longer of the two. It features long evocative solos for individual instruments, along with bracing sound pictures for the entire orchestra. It doesn't move along briskly, but is content with creating the various atmospheres the composer intended. Estancia is a different kettle of fish. It is vigorous and breathtakingly orchestrated, with a small evocative part for narrator/singer. The performances are very exciting, and one is very much aware of what a virtuoso ensemble the London Symphony is. For me the most interesting work here is Popol Vuh: The Mayan Creation. The original commission for the work, from Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, goes back to 1957, though Ginastera didn't begin work on the piece until the early 1980s. It's interesting that Ginastera should have set Popul Vuh for his ballet, since this is the same text used by Edgard Varese in his avant-garde classic Ecuatorial (1933). While Ginastera's music isn't as cutting edge, these creation stories have called forth some of his most impressive orchestral sounds. That's saying a lot, since Ginastera is a master of the orchestral palette. Once again we tip our hats to Gisele Ben-DorPopol Vuh: Mayan Creation / Estancia / Panambi, [BIO] and hope that she's in the recording studio again soon, with more premiere performances of such great Latin-American music. Nevertheless, for the premiere recording of the complete Estancia, this is a necessary purchase....(amazon.com reviewers)