Thursday, September 02, 2010

Chacona, Lamento, Johannes

The audio guide for Chapter 2 of Alex Ross's soon-to-be published Listen to This made a brief appearance as a blog posting yesterday before being promoted to a static page. You can read it here.

Two points.

I own Hesperion XXI's Villacicos y Danzas Criollas, from which Alex takes the recording of Juan Aranes's "Un sarao de la chacona." It's a marvelously addictive CD that's rarely been far from my car's CD player since I bought it. Hesperion's big-band version of the Aranes, with strings, chorus, and brass, opens the CD and pulls you right in. I heard an unaccompanied rendition in 2008 by the men of the Concord Ensemble, and I can report that it works just as well in the sparer arrangement.

I'm surprised that Alex's audio guide doesn't (yet) include the mighty conclusion of Brahms's Fourth Symphony, a chaconne of overwhelming power. Furtwangler and Carlos Kleiber conduct it on YouTube.

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