CANCIONES ARGENTINAS (SONGS OF ARGENTINA): A RECORDING PROJECT
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This Dissertation Project comprises recordings of Argentine art songs. The discs are approximately 40-60 minutes in length and consist of songs from the traditional art-song repertoire for voice and piano. This project is particularly appropriate because of the very limited number of recordings of Argentine songs, which are notable both not only for their high quality but for their accessibility of performance for voice teachers, students, and professional singers alike. Art songs in the Spanish language are a welcome resource, and the poetry included in this project is of an outstanding quality. Some of the poets set to music are Gabriela Mistral (a poet laureate of Chile and the first Latin American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature), Pablo Neruda (also a Nobel laureate), Luis Cernuda, and Leon Benar6s. The lyrics of some songs are based on traditional sources, and the melodies and rhythms of all are representative of South American-indigenous and European immigrant cultures. The composers represented here will be familiar to some listeners but more than likely unfamiliar to most. Yet Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983) is considered to be the greatest of all Argentine composers. Alberto Williams (1862-1952) is known as the father of the Nationalist School of composition in Argentina, and Carlos Lopez Buchardo (1881-1963) is a most influential composer and pedagogue after whom the national Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aries is named. Two composers who remain relatively unknown outside of South America, Abraham Jurafsky (1906- 1993) and Julio Perceval (1903-1963) are also represented in this project. A complete compact disc is devoted to the works of Carlos Guastavino. Known as the "Argentine Schubert", Guastavino has over 250 songs to his credit. Chiefly a composer for piano and voice, his recent death (October 2000) makes a recording of his works especially appropriate. This project also includes a written component, a supportive dissertation briefly describing the history of the Argentine art song and the lives and influences of the composers and poets represented in the studio recordings. The CD recordings are held in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library at the University of Maryland.