Alberto Ginastera
“A little Ginasteria” - (1916-1983)

This lecture/performance features the composition, Sonata for Cello and Piano which received its West Coast Premiere in 1993 by Janice Foy and Zita Carno on Caltech’s Dabney Lounge Music Series.  This piece represents a myriad of string techniques brought out amid a literal theme and variations on the rhythmic pattern of the malambo.  The portrayal of the Argentinean cowboy, or gaucho, is evident in these rhythmic variations between piano and cello, sometimes unrelentless except for brief areas of repose which are guitarlike (first movement), and more operatic and lyrical as in the slow second movement, quoted from his work for soprano and string quartet.  The final movement depicts the sounds of the South American karnaval with wild dynamics, pounding rhythms and meters changing every two to three bars, often 2 against 3 propelling the music without any points of repose up to the end.  In the middle of the Finale, the cellist is fixated on a high “e” around which he/she oscillates against a vividly percussive piano ostinato as though exorcising something evil via the music.  Much of Ginastera’s musical output reflects the sounds of his native Argentina while at the same time incorporating contemporary string techniques in a vivid musical style. Alternating rhythmic patterns are highly characteristic of his writing style as are contrasts in the harmonic texture.  A summary of Dr. Foy's lecture on Ginastera (Alberto Ginastera Cello Sonata, "Rediscovered") may be found in the New York Fall 1993 edition of the Violoncello Society, Inc. Newsletter, ed. by Jeffrey Solow.  Other lecture/performances on Ginastera's Sonata were given at UCLA for the Southern California Chapter of the Ethnomusicology Society and at Scripps College in Claremont for the Pacific Southern Chapter of the College Music Society.

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