GISÈLE BEN-DOR , conductor



Alberto Ginastera

  • Panambí - Ballet - World Premiere Recording

London Orchestra captures Ginastera's Argentine Soul

San Francisco Chronicle


There is a scene called "Dawn" in the ballet "Estancia" where the sheer splendor of the orchestration weaves myriad strands of music, from echoes of Stravinsky and Falla to foreshadowings of Copland, into a single rich fabric that is uniquely Alberto Ginastera's. And so with much of this 1941 score by the Argentine master, as well as with his 1937 "Panambi."

The neglect of Ginastera's music is shameful, because here is truly a composer whose works are at once accessible and strikingly original. His music is inextricably tied to the oul of Argentina but also - like Lecuona's Afrocuban dances or Mompou's exquisite Catalan songs - is international in its appeal. Though sections of "Estancia" point to the later expressionist austerities of Ginastera's opera "Bomarzo" (itself a fine candidate for CD release, from its long-out-of-print CBS recording), the composer's work of this period is a south-of-the-border close cousin to Copland's sound impression of the American West. The weaving of voices into the orchestral textures is as eerie as it is masterly.

Gisele Ben-Dor, a brilliant young conductor with a real sense for the rhythmic life of this score, makes the London Symphony Orchestra seem very much at home in the pampas. This is a highly recommended, unusual and immensely enjoyable recording.

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