A native of Peru, Celso Garrido-Lecca is one of the foremost Ibero-American composers, successfully integrating a unique blend of musical elements that include serialism, the native sounds of the Andes, and the influence of the "Nueva Cancion Chilena" movement. Impressions of folk music capture celebrations of life and moments of drama in the Suite peruana and Danzas populares andinas, while Laudes II expresses praise through Chinese philosophy. The award-winning Retablos sinfonicos combines popularRead more roots in both vocal music and dance forms driven by a cajon or wooden box-drum.
You gotta love those hyphenated Spanish surnames. Peruvian conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya pays loving tribute to the music of one of Latin America’s major composers, Celso Garrido-Lecca, a major force in the musical development of both Peru and Chile. The four works included here were composed between 1980 (Retablos sinfónicos) and 1994 (Laudes II). and feature a range of styles, from the obvious folk influence of the Andean Folk Dances and Peruvian Suite, to the more modernist timbres and harmonies of Laudes II, which might strike you as close in style to Revueltas, or Copland in serial mode.
All of these works reveal an artist of genuine talent, gifted with a true craftsman’s eye (or in this case, ear) for sonority. The folk-influenced pieces show none of that facile, “let the tunes do my work for me” attitude that we find in so much similar music. Garrido-Lecca takes his material seriously, and treats it lovingly. The Lento slow movement of the Andean Folk Dances, for example, is exquisite, and each of the Peruvian Suite’s six tiny numbers–all last under two minutes–is a gem.
The Symphonic Tableaux and Laudes II are more substantial, revealing an idiom that has absorbed both folk and modernist elements with complete success. In this respect you could say that Garrido-Lecca resembles Bartók The musical language is personal, but also obviously of its time and place. You probably couldn’t ask for a more persuasive interpreter than Miguel Harth-Bedoya, who leads both the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Forth Worth Symphony in wholly winning performances of all four pieces. This is the sort of release that makes you want to hear more; let’s hope that Naxos obliges.