string quartets of Aurelio Tello, Javier Alvarez, Roberto Sierra and Celso Garrido-Lecca
Readers with a care from white-hot to tepid for that most elevated of chamber ensembles, the string quartet, and more particularly in its recent repertoire out of the European mainstream, will likely love Memorias Tropicales.
The string quartet has been the vehicle by which the classical and romantic composers of western music have consistently expressed their deepest and most profound musical thoughts. This is no less true in the twentieth century, and modern instrumental techniques have given contemporary composers a more colorful palette from which to draw their musical landscapes.
While the roots and early flowering of the string quartet are clearly the pride of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European community, the contributions of Latin American composers to this genre in the twentieth century are astonishing. In the last generation Alberto Ginastera, Silvestre Revueltas, and Heitor Villa-Lobos were among those who made significant additions to the string quartet literature. The composers on the present disc are among the major contributors of the present day.
As diverse as the works on this disc are, there is the common thread among the composers of an awareness of the folk and traditional (native) music of their respective Latin American countries. In education they share an eclectic background which includes the study of music indigenous to their own country and an awareness of contemporary international currents in musical expression.
The variety and richness of musical style and depth of emotion is convincingly illustrated in this collection of four works from Latin American composers -- one from Mexico (Alvarez), one from Puerto Rico (Sierra), and two from Peru (Tello and Garrido-Lecca).
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