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Osvaldo Golijov – Oceana (2007)

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Osvaldo Golijov – Oceana (2007)

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1. Oceana - 1. Call Luciana Souza 3:30
2. Oceana - 2. First Wave and Rain Train Interlude Scott Tennant 1:38
3. Oceana - 3. Second Wave Scott Tennant 2:40
4. Oceana - 4. Second Call Luciana Souza 2:10
5. Oceana - 5. Third Wave Luciana Souza 2:12
6. Oceana - 6. Aria Luciana Souza 5:31
7. Oceana - 7. Coral del Arrecife (Chorale of the Reef) Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
8. Tenebrae - 1. Kronos Quartet 6:10
9. Tenebrae - 2. Kronos Quartet 6:46
10. Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra - Night of the Flying Horses Dawn Upshaw 7:24
11. Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra - Lúa Descolorida Dawn Upshaw 6:04
12. Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra - How Slow the Wind Dawn Upshaw 8:02

Elizabeth Remy Johnson (Harp)
Jamey Haddad (Percussion)
John Dearman (Guitar)
Luciana Souza (Voice)
Scott Tennant (Guitar)

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Robert Spano – conductor

Kronos String Quartet

Dawn Upshaw -soprano

 

The three pieces by Osvaldo Golijov recorded here offer more evidence that his is one of the freest and most compelling voices on the scene. Although he came to the attention of the broader public in 2000 with the bold stylistic juxtapositions of La Pasión según San Marco, Oceana, written in 1996, incorporates a comparable diversity of elements. Perhaps even more than La Pasión, Oceana mingles its various idioms into an integrated aesthetic vision. What stands out is Golijov's fearless rejection of the orthodoxies of modernism, postmodernism, minimalism, and every other -ism that limits the definition of an acceptable aesthetic. Oceana is a large-scale cantata for which the unique sound of Brazilian singer Luciana Souza provided inspiration, and her voice is a unifying thread that runs through it. It's evocative of oceanic vastness without being imitative, and its moments of grand emotion are passionate, even spiritual; the fact that the ecstatic choral exclamations, "Oceana!" are easily mistaken for "Hosanna!" cannot have been coincidental. Souza's voice is absolutely astounding in its tonal coloring and expressive range. Robert Spano leads the Gwinnett Young Singers and the Atlanta Symphony & Chorus in a radiant performance.

Tenebrae is a two-movement reflection written for the Kronos Quartet, inspired by Couperin's setting of the "Lamentations of Jeremiah" for the Tenebrae service of Holy Week. Golijov writes that his challenge "was to sound like an orbiting spaceship that never touches ground." The work succeeds in hinting at a hovering sadness that is too profound and private to be overtly expressed. Three Songs uses texts in Yiddish, Spanish, and (American) English, reflecting the various personal and musical influences that have contributed to the composer's style. Golijov writes to the strengths of Dawn Upshaw's voice, and she sings with gorgeous tone and profound insight. The diversity of the selections and the superb performances make this album a terrific introduction to the range of Golijov's gift and vision. ---Stephen Eddins, Rovi

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