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Twentieth-century Mexican Music For Viola / Omar Hernandez-hidalgo

Hernandez-hidalgo,Omar
Release Date: 09/01/2010 
Label:  Cd Baby   Catalog #: 5637808064  
Composer:  Mario LavistaCarlos ChavezJoaquin Gutierrez-HerasJulián Carrillo,   ... 
Performer:  Omar Hernández-hidalgoSally Renée Todd
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



20TH CENTURY MEXICAN MUSIC FOR VIOLA Omar Hernández-Hidalgo (va); Sally Renée Todd (pn) LAMC 2010-01 OB (59:61)


LAVISTA 3 Danzas seculares. Cuaderno de viaje. CHÁVEZ Madrigal. GUTIÉRREZ-HERAS Canción en el puerto. CARRILLO Concurso viola. Capricho para viola en Read more 4tos, 8vos, y 16avos de tono. SANDI Hoja de álbum 2. CERRILLO _Es preciso.... ENRÍQUEZ 4 Pieces


An intriguing idea, this. The title of the disc screams “obscure” and “for specialists (read viola players) only.” The black-and-white design hardly helps it stand out from the crowd (or those racks labeled “miscellaneous” at the back of the classical department of record stores, if anyone ever goes to them these days anyway). Actually, there is plenty of beauty here, and plenty to contradict any disparaging viola jokes that may or may not have popped into your mind when you saw this review.


The Tres Danzas seculares by Mario Lavista are heard here in an arrangement by Omar Hernández-Hidalgo. These are three dances based on the mating rituals of imaginary birds. The slow strutting of the initial Lento flessibile ed espressivo is followed by a confident yet somehow serene rhythmic dance before the final dance, which juxtaposes a beautifully static Lentissimo against a more infectiously rhythmic section, played with great élan by all concerned here. Chávez’s Madrigal (1923) is most beautiful, and Hernández-Hidalgo’s seemingly never-ending bow lends it a certain mystique.


Joaquin Gutiérrez-Heras was born in 1927. His Canción en el puerto (Song of the Harbor) of 1955, originally for cello and piano with alternative version for viola, is elegiac, rapt, and compelling. The melody is tenderly shaped by Hernández-Hidalgo. For some reason, Carrillo’s Concurso viola sounds to me as if it were originally written for cello (possibly a bias toward the lower register of the instrument led my subconscious to this conclusion during first hearing). It is another lovely piece, however.


The Hoja de álbum 2 by Luis Sandi does, as the booklet notes imply, include a sensual side that seems closer to the French Impressionists, but held within a South American neo-nationalism. It is fairly extended (over six minutes). The melodies are appealing without being that memorable (something one notices retrospectively).


Joan Cristóbal Cerrillo has written a piece for solo viola, Es preciso..., that was reworked during the course of this recording by the composer in conjunction with the present violist. It is more forward-looking than anything heard so far, and is a work of clear imagination. Manuel Enríquez wrote the Four Pieces for viola and piano in1962 and reflects the composer’s then interest in the music of Webern. This is a serial work (Enriquez extends the parameters from just pitch to include texture, timbre, and articulation). Clearly much preparation has gone into the present recording, which exudes concentration.


The solo viola Cuaderno de viaje (Travel Journal) by Mario Lavista is a spellbinding exploration of viola harmonics, flawlessly played by Hernández-Hidalgo. Finally, Julián Carrillo’s Capricho: Carrillo’s use of microtones and his use of his own notational system (based on numbers, not notes) has led, unsurprisingly, to neglect. The piece heard here was written in 1928 and according to the booklet notes represents “a peak in … Mexican literature for viola.” It is indeed a fascinating piece, decidedly exploratory in bent and played with marked virtuosity here. The microtones need some getting used to, but it becomes clear that this violist’s ear is a fine one and his aim sure.


FANFARE: Colin Clarke
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Works on This Recording

1.
Danzas seculares (3) by Mario Lavista
Performer:  Omar Hernández-hidalgo (Viola), Sally Renée Todd (Piano)
2.
Cuaderno de viaje by Mario Lavista
Performer:  Omar Hernández-hidalgo (Viola), Sally Renée Todd (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; Mexico 
3.
Madrigal for Cello and Piano by Carlos Chavez
Performer:  Omar Hernández-hidalgo (Viola), Sally Renée Todd (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921 
4.
Canción en el puerto by Joaquin Gutierrez-Heras
Performer:  Omar Hernández-hidalgo (Viola), Sally Renée Todd (Piano)
5.
Concurso Viola by Julián Carrillo
Performer:  Omar Hernández-hidalgo (Viola), Sally Renée Todd (Piano)
6.
Capricho for Viola by Julián Carrillo
Performer:  Omar Hernández-hidalgo (Viola), Sally Renée Todd (Piano)
7.
Hoja de album by Luis Sandi
Performer:  Omar Hernández-hidalgo (Viola), Sally Renée Todd (Piano)
8.
Es preciso... by Juan Cristóba Cerrillo
Performer:  Omar Hernández-hidalgo (Viola), Sally Renée Todd (Piano)
9.
Pieces (4) for Viola and Piano by Manuel Enriquez
Performer:  Omar Hernández-hidalgo (Viola), Sally Renée Todd (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962 

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