JULY 2015: The Rise of the Latin SymphonyJULY 2015: The Rise of the Latin Symphony
By RAY PICOT
The Symphony as a musical genre may not have attracted so many composers in the Latin countries when compared to their Northern European counterparts, which may be something to do with temperament as much as cultural differences. However, it is surprising that after Tomas Breton, Ruperto Chapí and Miguel Marques, there were a surprising number written and now recorded. Now, thanks to Michael Herman, we have a valuable discography entitled Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Latin American Symphonies from the 19th Century to The Present available as part of the ever-enterprising MusicWeb International website. The resource is indexed with links to the composers who have a brief biography ahead of the recording details. The recordings are international and the detail provided including conductor, soloists and orchestra is all that you’d expect.
This discography is one of the few I have found that is relevant to our endeavours and deserves to be more widely known. Michael also keeps the list regularly updated and contributions are gratefully received. Of course many more symphonies were written than have been recorded but there are plenty to keep one going if you wish to explore the genre, let alone what can be found on Youtube etc. Perhaps it is a moment to observe the irony that the most prolific Spanish symphonist of the 19th century, the Canarian, Miguel Marques, who has all his five symphonies available on Youtube and none recorded commercially. Wisely though, the author has kept to recordings found to those released on LP record and CD. Tracking down some of the recordings may at times be challenging but the very existence of them is encouraging and perhaps may lead to to more concert performances and fresh recordings which are more widely available.
The website URL: http://www.musicweb-international.com/Ntl_discogs/Latin_symphonies/Latin_Symphonies.htm
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