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CD Review

Las Vanguardias en Argentina

Contemporary Argentinian Music for Chamber Ensemble

The Avant-Gardes in Argentina
  • Jose Luis Campana (b. 1949): Noctal
  • Salvador Ranieri (b. 1930): Un Grido anche di Goiia
  • Marcelo Koc (b. 1918): Musicapara cieco instrumentos
  • Alicia Terzian (b. 1934): Atmosferas
  • Irma Urleaga: Suenos de Yerma
Grupo Encuentros/Alicia Terzian
IRCO 205 ADD 61:18 (email enquiries to

Received for review together with a CD of (mainly) Chilean piano music, this CD of avant-garde music from Argentina has nothing to shock and enough to please to confirm to questing listeners that there is plenty of South American music to explore. Alicia Terzian is a staunch supporter of composers from her own country, and travels the world with her Grupo Encuentros, presenting varied programmes of which this is a typical example.

The core group of violin, cello, flute, clarinet & piano works with their regular singer Marta Blanco (mezzo) and guests players. In Ranieri's Un Grido anche di Goiia Marta Blanco sings and 'speech-sings' a text about leaving 'this bitter Spring', also crying and whispering as required. Irma Urleaga's free atonal setting of Lorca's Yerma is less challenging; effectively dramatic, but to limited effect if you don't know the poem. Neither the text nor the composer's birth year is supplied. Campana's instrumental Noctal (1992) for the quintet exploits the timbres available in a compelling way, even if not far from European models. Koc's three-movement Musicapara cieco instrumentos includes aleatoric elements. Terzian's own Atmosferas of 1969 for two pianos is given a slightly swifter performance – 13:02 here, and in a more resonant acoustic – than that by Santibañez and Masunaga for the piano-piano CD also reviewed. I deduce that they are played by the Lopsyc duo (four named pianists are involved).

The presentation is poor – with small black print on dark blue hard to read – and the notes in English do not escape the usual pitfalls when translations are by musical experts of the source country and not vetted by native English speakers. There is far too much biographical material and disappointment is compounded by the lack of the Lorca words and poor proof reading, all these common critical complaints.

Copyright © 2003, Peter Grahame Woolf