Review of Auschwitz CD in Percorsi Musicali (Italian)

Gran parte dei paesi centrali e meridionali delle Americhe hanno visto nascere figure fondamentali nelle nuove generazioni, spesso in grado di mettersi alla pari con compositori seminali dei loro paesi. Si tratta, purtroppo, di un fenomeno circoscritto in termini di diffusione, frutto di una cattiva disamina della contemporaneità, in un’era matura per essa, in cui da più parti se ne proclama il fallimento.

Per quanto riguarda Cuba, la maggioranza degli ascoltatori avrà sicuramento flirtato con i ritmi che hanno dato vita a forme popolari o a danze tipiche, così come numerosi sono i cultori del jazz che hanno cercato di approfondire i legami tra la cultura cubana e il genere afro-americano; ciò sta a significare che un Compay Segundo è sicuramente più apprezzato e seguito di un qualsiasi forma d’arte contemporanea portata avanti da qualche coraggioso compositore. Anche qui d’altronde si può applicare quel principio recente che vede spostare i compositori di molti paesi a bassa frequenza di musica contemporanea, verso le zone maggiormente interessate a quel tipo di evoluzioni musicali, per poi riportarne i benefici per ricaduta nei propri paesi con un effetto piuttosto smorzato.

Sebbene lavori in Florida, Miami, il compositore cubano Orlando Jacinto Garcìa (1954) è uno di quelli che potrebbe far sentire la differenza: More here

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Review of Celestial Voices performed by the Miami Symphony Orchestra

The premiere of a new work for two double basses and orchestra and a series of vignettes based on children’s stories and paintings comprised the central portion of the Miami Symphony Orchestra’s program Saturday night at Florida International University’s Wertheim Auditorium. Still, the music of Bach and Prokofiev proved the concert’s high point, displaying concertmaster Daniel Andai’s considerable conducting skill and the ensemble’s cohesion and polish.

Voces Celestiales (Celestial Voices) by Orlando Jacinto Garcia, director of the FIU School of Music and MISO composer in residence, received its debut performance. The high harmonics for two solo basses is innovative, sometimes accompanied by overlapping vocal lines sung by orchestra members. Solo instruments conjured up eerie sonic effects. Jeff Bradetich, a distinguished pedagogue and exponent of the bass as solo instrument, brilliantly dispatched an angular solo accompanied by timpani. Luis-Gomez Imbert, the orchestra’s principal bass, was impressive in an astringent cadenza, at times playing near the instrument’s bridge. Both players fearlessly tackled writing that tested the instruments’ limits. By Lawrence Budmen South Florida Classical Review

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Selected Older Reviews

In Memoriam Earle Brown “The world premiere of In Memoriam Earle Brown by Orlando Garcia, Dean of FIU’s School of Music, opened the program with a kaleidoscopic array of luminous orchestral colors, applied with the softest brush strokes. Partly inspired by the mobiles of Alexander Calder, Garcia’s often quiet orchestral tapestry of string tremolos, tingling mallet percussion and wind and brass fanfares perfectly matched the projected Calder images. Garcia’s array of coloristic effects were skillfully crafted and the instrumental choirs each wore different colors, corresponding to the art. Conductor Eduardo Marturet’s carefully prepared performance vividly reproduced the composer’s enchanting sound palette. One of Garcia’s wonderful inspirations was to assign solos to players in the back rows of the strings as well as to first chair players. A heartfelt tribute to an important 20th-century composer, the score is a wonderfully inspired confection”. Lawrence Budmen South Florida Classical Review and the Miami Herald 2/13/11.

Transcending Time “Garcia and his collaborators have completely succeeded in “transcending time“, as the title suggested, creating an auditorily and visually ritualized unwinding of a temporal ball, which, in turn, never results in monotony, but rather absorbs the listener deeper and deeper into the circulation around a structure”. Mirta Špoljarić, Vjesnik, Zagreb, Croatia, April 24th, 2009 (Review of premiere of Transcending Time video opera at the Biennale in Zagreb, Croatia)

silencio despues de la lluvia “I am going to jump ahead and out of program order here to mention Garciá’s el silencio después de la lluvia, easily the most beautiful piece on the program. With its brilliantly measured silences and moments of supremely delicate magic…Garcia opens up a natural mystery…. Silence is more awesome than (white) noise”. David Gregson, San Diego. Com, San Diego Arts, June 17, 2007. (Review of performance at the New Music San Diego Festival)

“Percussion peeks through a large ensemble to provide much of the Cuban accent in Orlando Jacinto García’s Musica Para Segovia (1994) as well, although the work’s muscle is more cosmopolitan”. Allan Kozinn, New York Times, January 10, 2007. (Review of Merkin Hall performance by Sequitur)

como los colores del viento nocturno. “Though no direct programmatic inspiration exists, there is something nocturnal and melancholy about this music…the work reflects Garcia’s spare, haunting style”. Lawrence A. Johnson, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, February 21 2006. (Review of performance at FIU)

Fragmentos del pasado “The idea of Morton Feldman in Cuba is difficult to picture much less hear, but that broad juxtaposition of sensibilities seems the best way to approach Cuban-born, Miami-based Orlando Jacinto Garcia (b1954). With hardly a crescendo in earshot, the music is neither rhythmic nor discordant, but the cumulative result is strangely purifying”. Ken Smith, Gramophone, April 2005 issue. (Review of CD on New Albion NA 124)

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