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Oceana

Artist: Osvaldo Golijov
Osvaldo Golijov - Oceana CD
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Regular Price: $15.95
On Sale For: $6.38 
Year: 2007
Format: CD

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This stunning new CD of music by Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov is a beauty. The title work, Oceana, is scored for instruments (with prominent guitars and percussion), chorus, and solo vocalist (here, the remarkable samba and jazz stylist Luciana Souza). It sets a poem by Pablo Neruda that praises the transcendent power and beauty of the ocean. Filled with dancing rhythms, the work ebbs and flows, ever-moving and fascinating at every turn. The Kronos Quartet then plays Tenebrae, a two-movement lamentation with long, almost Verdian melodies. Three Songs, sung by Dawn Upshaw, ends the CD. One is a tale about the sad fate of Jews and Gypsies during World War II. The second, "Colorless Moon," is a stunning dirge, and the last, a poem by Emily Dickinson, is also a lament about the inevitability of death. Please don't assume from these descriptions that this disc is depressing. This is stunning, original music that uplifts, and it is performed superbly by all involved. A must. --Robert Levine

Oceana is the key work of this album, a composition for orchestra, three guitars, harp and voice, filled with Latin and jazz sounds. It is performed by the acclaimed Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under conductor Robert Spano (also on Ainadamar), and the multiple Grammy nominated Brazilian jazz singer Luciana Souza. This piece was Golijov's first commission of a choral work in the spirit of J.S. Bach and became a source of inspiration for St. Mark Passion, a future release on DG.

Tenebrae is a collaboration with the famous Kronos Quartet--one of the most influential ensembles of our time. The meditative work in two movements "is about pain," says Golijov, "but pain seen from inside and from a distance." Despite being Golijov's reflection on today's tormented world, Tenebrae is a work of radiant beauty that offers consolation and a prayer for peace.

ARTISTS
Dawn Upshaw, Luciana Souza, Kronos Quartet, Atlanta Symphony & Chorus, Robert Spano (conductor)
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