The Shedd Institute opens its 2006-07 American Symphonia series with Wings of Gold: Treasures of Latin America, a 2-concert mini-festival designed by longtime Shedd associate, Maria Jette. The European art music tradition has always been extraordinarily rich and vital in Latin America, although much of that heritage is unknown in the United States. This is very much to our loss, as anyone who has experienced the works of Villa-Lobos, Ginastera, Piazzolla well knows, and it has long been a goal of the American Symphonia to explore to the south often and deeply.
A continuation of Jette’s gorgeous 2004 American Symphonia concert, Classic Latin, Wings of Gold offers up two evenings of extraordinary music that emphasize in particular the deeply satisfying results of Latin America’s pursuit of the principles of musical nationalism associated with late 19th century Romanticism. For Jardin Antiguo* (Thursday, Jan 18) Maria is accompanied by pianist Sonja Thompson in a program of art songs in this beautiful and intriguing tradition by Andres Sas (Peru), Alberto Nepomuceño (Brazil), Camargo Guarnieri (Brazil), Isabel Aretz (Venezuela), and Carlos Guastavino (Argentina). Two nights later, on Saturday, January 20th, Maria and Sonja are joined by Fritz Gearhart (violin), Kristen Halay (flute), Martha Griffith (harp), and guitarist Ricardo Cardeñas for Duerme Negro*, an evening of songs and dances by Guarnieri, Montserrat Campmany (Argentina), Heitor Villa-Lobos (Brazil), Alfonso Broqua (Uruguay), Joaquin Silva-Diaz (Venezuela), Carlos Chavez (Mexico), Alberto Ginastera (Argentina), and Anton Piazzolla (Argentina). While much of the program will be new discoveries for most, well-known gems will be offered as well, including Villa-Lobos’ playful Suite of voice and violin (1923) and Piazzolla’s ever-intriguing Histoire du tango (c. 1970s).
*The titles of our concerts come from songs in the programs: Guarnieri’s “Jardin Antiguo” (“Ancient Garden”) and Silva-Diaz’s “Duerme Negro” (“Sleep, Little Black One”).