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El Canto Quiere Ser Luz: Cuban Choral Music

Coro Nacional De Cuba / Chamber Choir Entrevoces
Release Date: 09/13/2011 
Label:  Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog #: 6021704   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Roberto ValeraFrank FernandezOscar HernandezCesar Alejandro Carrillo,   ... 
Conductor:  Digna Guerra
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cuban National Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 54 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



EL CANTO QUIERE SER LUZ Digna Guerra, cond; Cuban Natl Ch MDG SCENE MDG 602 1704-2 (54:23 Text and Translation)


VALERA Babalúen La Habenera Vieja. Conoces un fuego que no da calor. FERNANDEZ Vértigo de Lluvia. Las Casas. HERNANDEZ La rosa roja. CARRILLO Read more Gloria. Kyrie. SILVA Para ti. MATAMOROS Juramento. CAL 5 Canciones. CLAUSEN Prayer. RODRIGUEZ Hay quien precisa. Locuras. BROUWER Son Mercedes. REPALIDO Chan-Chan


The magnificent Cuban National Choir possesses a generous collective personality, both good-natured and colorful, and it performs the most virtuoso feats with seeming ease. Even in the fortissimos the blend is solid and the tone lustrous. The singers can sometimes sound like children, sometimes like passionate adults. Sometimes the tone is straight, sometimes warm. I can’t think of another choir that matches the breadth of its dramatic spectrum. The timbre is reminiscent of the best Eastern European choirs, such as Philip Koutev’s Folk Ensemble, or the Kodaly Children’s Choir, and one has the impression that there are no chemicals or additives involved here, not a trick, not a ruse, but pure, genuine music-making, a great comfort in today’s milieu of jaded and glossy performances. The nuts and bolts are there as well: flawless intonation, seamless blend, a beautiful legato line, but additionally there is an abundance of qualities supremely important but ultimately not provable: sincerity, imagination, dramatic commitment, and great joy in performance. Digna Guerra, the director, has provided the discipline and inspiration that allows her well-chosen singers a deep and broad range of expression.


It is daunting to review works of 11 composers totally unknown to me. One can safely say, however, that although one finds a variety of styles, they are easily traceable to the traditional choral vocabulary of the last few decades. Still the pieces are fresh, evocative, and full of charm. Only the Gloria and Kyrie seem a bit perfunctory or academic, but perhaps it is because the texts are familiar, and one has the Glorias and Kyries of Monteverdi, Bach, Beethoven, and Verdi by way of comparison. Most memorable are the folk-like pieces, such as Conoces un fuego and Juramento, replete with an abundance of parallel thirds and expressive melodic lines. The disc, vibrantly recorded, is a joy from beginning to end.


FANFARE: Raymond Beegle
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Works on This Recording

1.
Babalù en La Habana Vieja, for chorus by Roberto Valera
Conductor:  Digna Guerra
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cuban National Chorus
Period: Modern 
Venue:  Havana, Cuba 
Length: 4 Minutes 22 Secs. 
2.
Conoces un fuego que no da calor, for chorus by Roberto Valera
Conductor:  Digna Guerra
Period: Modern 
Venue:  Havana, Cuba 
Length: 2 Minutes 37 Secs. 
3.
Vértigo de lluvia, for chorus by Frank Fernandez
Conductor:  Digna Guerra
Venue:  Havana, Cuba 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
4.
Las casas, for chorus by Frank Fernandez
Conductor:  Digna Guerra
Venue:  Havana, Cuba 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
5.
La rosa roja, for chorus by Oscar Hernandez
Conductor:  Digna Guerra
Period: Modern 
Venue:  Havana, Cuba 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
6.
Missa Sine Nomine: Gloria by Cesar Alejandro Carrillo
Conductor:  Digna Guerra
Period: Contemporary 
Written: Cuba 
Venue:  Havana, Cuba 
Length: 3 Minutes 32 Secs. 
7.
Missa Sine Nomine: Kyrie by Cesar Alejandro Carrillo
Conductor:  Digna Guerra
Period: Contemporary 
Written: Cuba 
Venue:  Havana, Cuba 
Length: 3 Minutes 34 Secs. 
8.
Para ti, for chorus by Electo Silva
Conductor:  Digna Guerra
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Havana, Cuba 
Length: 3 Minutes 0 Secs. 
9.
Juramento, song by Miguel Matamoros
Conductor:  Digna Guerra
Period: Modern 
Venue:  Havana, Cuba 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
10.
Canciones (5), for chorus by Wilma Alba Cal
Conductor:  Digna Guerra
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Havana, Cuba 
Length: 10 Minutes 20 Secs. 
11.
Prayer, for chorus by René Clausen
Conductor:  Digna Guerra
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Havana, Cuba 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
12.
Hay quien presisa by Silvio Rodriguez
Conductor:  Digna Guerra
Venue:  Havana, Cuba 
Length: 2 Minutes 46 Secs. 
13.
Locuras, for chorus by Silvio Rodriguez
Conductor:  Digna Guerra
Venue:  Havana, Cuba 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
14.
Buena vista (Chan Chan) by Francisco Repilado
Conductor:  Digna Guerra
Venue:  Havana, Cuba 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
15.
Son Mercedes by Leo Brouwer
Conductor:  Digna Guerra
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Havana, Cuba 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 

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