Cantos y Danzas - Manuel Barrueco

Author: 
John Duarte

Cantos y Danzas - Manuel Barrueco

  • Danza del altiplano
  • Cueca
  • Danza Paraguaya
  • (Una) Limosna por el amor de Dios (El ultimo canto
  • (Le) Catedral
  • Estrellita
  • Scherzino Mexicano
  • Bachianas brasileiras No. 5, Aria: Cantilena
  • Dansa brasileira
  • Drume negrita
  • (4) Valses Venezolanos, Natalia/Criolla (E minor/E major)
  • (La) Muerte del ángel
  • Histoire du Tango

“The music on this CD occupies a special place in my heart”, writes Manuel Barrueco, a Cuban by birth, but it traverses territory extending from Mexico to Argentina, and Cuba detains him (and us) for only one small item. No chauvinist he! Only one piece, the Dansa brasileira of Gnattali, is new to the Gramophone Database, a lively affair with a restful central episode. What is played, new or familiar, is beside the point however; what matters is not the what but the how. For a long time Barrueco has been perceived as a ‘cool’ player whose music was (to quote Dankworth) “Couth, kempt and shevelled”, but this is in contradiction to the known warmth and emotionality of his character. I lack the space to develop this line of thought but am happy to note that the antithesis is fading: the ‘real’ Barrueco, at once cultured and warmly expressive, is emerging. He respects the Allegro solenne marking of the final section of Barrios’s La catedral, treated by too many as an invitation to show their speed – and feed their egos.
When Piazzolla is on the agenda he and Emmanuel Pahud become honorary Argentinians. Throughout, one is more aware of the diversity of national character in the music than of the identity of the performer, which is as it should be. Barbara Hendricks is more emotionally expressive than most in the “Aria” from the Bachianas brasileiras, but, a small point, at the end her bocca is less chiusa than that of Olga Coelho (for whom Villa-Lobos made the adaptation) and many others who have followed in her wake. In every good respect this is a superb recording, one to be acquired and treasured.'

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