Monday, June 2, 2014

Pianist Dario Marin performed “Seducción” in Texas, United States.

Cuban pianist Dario Martín
Talented young pianist Dario Martín performed Yalil Guerra’s Latin Grammy winner composition “Seducción” at the concert “Latin American Music Recital”, at the Southern Methodist University Meadows School of Arts”,  May 7th, 2014 at 7:00 pm, O’Donnell Hall.

Rosa Matos will perform Guerra’s compositions at “Viajes a la Guitarra” music series.

Cuban Guitarist Rosa Matos
Cuban guitarist Rosa Matos will perform Yalil Guerra’s compositions: “Guitarra Latinoamericana” (Latinoamerican premiere), and  “Sofía” (Cuban premiere) at “Viajes a la Guitarra” concert series. 

The concert will take place at the Bertold Bretch Theatre, Havana, Cuba, June 12th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

Pianist Dario Marin will perform “Seducción” in Havana, Cuba.

Cuban pianist Dario Marín
Cuban Pianist Dario Marin will perform Yalil Guerra’s Latin Grammy winner composition “Seducción”, at the concert “En Confluencia”, hosted by Eduardo Martin. 

The concert will take place at La Casa del Alba Cultural located at Calle Línea, esquina D, Vedado, Havana, Cuba, June 8th, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Yalil Guerra: Agustín Barrios Mangoré. Vals Op. 8 No. 4.

Single cover

Burbank, CA. May 22nd, 2014.

RYCY Productions is pleased to announce the release of Yalil Guerra’s new classical guitar single,  entitled “Agustin Barrios Mangoré: Vals Op.8 No.4". In this recording, Guerra performs this “à la Viennese” waltz by Barrios, a standard of the classical guitar repertoire, with brilliance, expertise and passion.  The virtuosic passagework and rhythmic cadenzas in all sections are well presented, with Guerra staying true to this dance style throughout the performance.

Barrios was a Paraguayan-born composer and guitarist (1885-1944).  His compositions can be divided into three basic categories: folkloric, imitative and religious. Barrios paid tribute to the music and people of his native land by composing pieces modeled after folk songs from South America and Central America. Imitating the compositional style and techniques of the Baroque and Romantic periods was another side to his craftsmanship. "La Catedral" may be viewed as Barrios' tribute to Bach. It is believed that "La Catedral" was inspired by a religious experience for Barrios; therefore, the piece may also be categorized under religion. Religious beliefs and experiences also played an important role in Barrios' compositional process. Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios (Alms for the Love of God) is another example of a religiously-inspired work. Breaking down the works of Barrios into these three categories helps the guitar enthusiast to better understand Barrios's musical intent.

Guerra states: "Barrios Mangoré has always been one of my favorites guitar composers.  Bringing out his musical poetry and meeting his technical challenges is always demanding for every guitarist.  This composer is without a doubt a must for every guitarist's repertoire."

(Ref. Wikipedia)

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Monday, May 19, 2014

La Catrina Quartet recorded Guerra's String Quartet No. 1 and No.2.

Album cover

Burbank, CA. May 9th, 2014.

RYCY Productions presents the new album, entitled “América Latina: A Musical Canvas” by La Catrina Quartet. This recording, produced by Guerra, includes the following titles: String Quartet No.1 by Alberto Ginastera; Cañambú by Eduardo Gamboa; and String Quartet Nº. 1, “A Mil Guerras Solo” and String Quartet Nº. 2 by Yalil Guerra, dedicated to La Catrina.
Album Notes:

La Catrina String Quartet

Since its founding in 2007, the La Catrina String Quartet (LCSQ) has become recognized as the new vanguard for contemporary Latin American string quartet repertoire. Their mission is three-fold: a deep commitment to the cultivation of new works by living composers from the U.S. and throughout the Americas; the programming of existing Latin American works rarely performed in the U.S. and abroad, and bringing fresh interpretations to classical, romantic and twentieth century masterpieces. Hailed by Yo-Yo Ma as “wonderful ambassadors for Latin American music,” LCSQ members are from México (Daniel Vega-Albela, Jorge Martínez-Rios), Brazil (Roberta Arruda) and Chile (Jorge Espinoza). Their rich cultural origins convey an unparalleled stylistic authenticity and artistic vision in their performances, collaborations and recordings. It is this unique balance of core Latin American repertoire with American and European classical traditions that characterizes both the diversity of their concert programs and appeal to multi-cultural audiences.

In 2010, Symphony Space (NYC) under the direction of Laura Kaminsky commissioned Puerto Rican composer Roberto Sierra to write his “Cuarteto No. 2” for LCSQ. The quartet’s world premiere was held in 2011 as part of the new music festival “Wall to Wall Sonidos.” That same year they also collaborated with the heralded Cuarteto Latinoamericano for a definitive recording of “Seresta No. 2 for Double String Quartet” by twentieth century Brazilian composer Francisco Mignone. The CD “Brasileiro” featuring the piece won the 2012 Latin Grammy for Best Classical Recording. In October 2014, LCSQ will present the world premiere of a string quartet by Carlos Sánchez Gutiérrez, one of México’s most prestigious and celebrated contemporary composers. The work is commissioned by the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato.

Recent and future collaborations featuring American composers and artists include Zae Munn’s commission “Our Hands Were Tightly Clenched” and a groundbreaking recording of contemporary and twentieth century American music with tuba player James Shearer. To document and distill their championing of Latin American repertoire over the course of several years and more than five hundred performances, LCSQ plans to release a multi-disc recording project, of which “América Latina: A Musical Canvas” is the first. LCSQ is currently string quartet-in residence at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. A significant part of their educational mission is to cultivate and expose an emerging generation of young listeners to the evolving multi-cultural face of contemporary chamber music through outreach programs.

Yalil Guerra. String Quartet No. 1, “A Mil Guerras Solo”: Firmly rooted in the twentieth century Latin American tradition of string quartet writing, Guerra opens his first quartet, “A Mil Guerras Solo” or “A Thousand Wars Alone,” with an Allegretto where he explores the open sonority of stacked fifths across the entire group, writing in double stops for everyone over a driving motive that alternates with a rhythmic ostinato by the cello, viola and second violin that is full of Latin American flair over which we hear angular melodies exchanged between the violins and the viola. The initial, fifths motive, serves as a jingle that frames this short movement. The second movement, Adagio, explores the expressive possibilities of the full string quartet sound. It is a ballad full of lyricism ornamented by an intricate dialogue between all the voices that creates the feeling of a slow, sensual dance. This is contrasted by a second section where the composer’s melodies and intense harmonies become almost expressionistic in nature, and in the tradition of the Second Viennese School, the movement closes with a deconstruction by way of pointillism a la Webern of the initial introductory material. The third movement, Allegreto, opens with a Mambo call played in unison that serves as the main motive of this final piece which to this listener sounds like a rondo cuasi una fantasia because of the dreamlike middle sections, in which it is easy to hear the composer’s ear for the visual. Here we also are treated to Guerra’s fascination with the juxtaposition of driving rhythms and variations with lyrical, sinuous melodies that he writes as response to the initial Mambo call.

Eduardo Gamboa. Cañambú: One of Cuba’s and Mexico’s most popular dance forms, Cañambú is a danzón, a two part dance which begins with a slow section, during which the dancers show the intricacy and intimacy of their choreography leading to the fast (montuno) section. The slow section is characterized by very small steps, which the dancers execute as close to each other as possible. It is said that a proper danzón couple ought to be able to negotiate these slow steps successfully on a cinder block without falling off of it. The slow dance, derived from the European contradanza, segues into a fast, montuno section, itself a variation on the Cuban son. This fast, swinging section is characterized by elaborate and virtuosic moves and turns, in a way similar to American Rock and Roll or Swing. It is in this section that the danzoneros, or danzón musicians, have the opportunity to improvise and show off their talent along with the dancing couple.

Gamboa conceived this danzón originally for string quartet or string orchestra, and taking advantage of his command of challenging and rhythmically intricate writing, he explores the possibilities of this popular dance form for the string quartet, making use of extended techniques such as playing “alla chitarra” (like a guitar) as well as by using various percussive effects such as striking different parts of the instruments in order to imitate the sound of the cañambú, a typical instrument in the percussion section of the danzón ensemble. For the closing section, Gamboa adds to this traditional dance a short fugato, which deviates if ever so slightly from the original dance, perhaps as a way of reminding the audience that we are still listening to a classical composer’s take on a popular dance form. 

In the words of Eduardo Gamboa, “Cañambú is the name used in Cuba to refer to a certain bamboo cane, different from sugar cane and caña brava, which grows in Manigua Oriental, within the Santiago province. In the beginning of the 1940s, sonero (songwriter and performer) Arístides Ruíz came up with a way to use cañambú as a percussion instrument that would replace the bongos. The cañambucero (cañambú player) holds one segment of the cane in each hand, each cane being a different size, thereby achieving both a treble and a bass sound. Holding them in vertical position he strikes them against a small wooden bench. For the choir parts that alternate with the pregones (a pregonero is a town crier), I used a verse from Alejo Carpentier’s tale Oficio de Tinieblas, which reads as follows: ¡Ahí va, ahí va, ahí va la Lola, ahí va! (There she goes, there she goes, there goes Lola, there she goes!)”

Yalil Guerra. String Quartet No. 2: Written in 2014 for LCSQ, this three-movement work uses a contemporary harmonic language, thick in counterpoint and rich textures that require great virtuosity and expressiveness as exemplified in the first movement, Largo e allegro con fuoco. This writing style is common to many of Guerra’s works, where a canvas of hidden rhythmic patterns and melodic elements from Cuba become structural elements of the composer’s musical language. The second movement, Adagio misterioso is reminiscent of guajiro chants, or Cuban peasant chants as portrayed by the first violin through a series of phrases constructed against the backdrop of a continuously changing contrapuntal texture by the remaining instruments, which serves as the structure for the main section of this movement. The quartet closes with an intensely rhythmic Prestissimo in which the composer uses canonic imitation as the template for a returning rhythmic ostinato that forms the main motive of the movement, which he then contrasts with an equally intense section where he juxtaposes lyricism with a running, intricately woven scherzando commentary that serves both to provide form as well as dynamic motion. The ostinato motive is used throughout as material for experimentation with textural variations, and the movement comes to an exciting finale where the composer pays homage to Beethoven by citing the “destiny call” from his fifth symphony. 

Alberto Ginastera. String Quartet No. 1: Considered by many to be the foremost Argentinean composer, Alberto Ginastera (1916 – 1983) was part of the last generation of composers of the late Romantic period, one of the most important offshoots of which is Nationalism, a movement that sought to integrate the aesthetic and formal ideals of western classical traditions in music with sounds and rhythms from indigenous peoples throughout the world. Thus, many composers of the time embraced the idea of contributing to the national identity of their countries of origin by compiling, transcribing and studying extensively the native music of their motherland. It is thanks to these composers that a new discipline in the study of music came into being, namely, ethnomusicology, which in its broadest terms is the study of the music of the world. Some of the most famous nationalistic composers include Modest Mussorgsky (Russia), Antonin Dvorak (Bohemia), Jean Sibelius (Finland) and Ralph Vaughan Williams (England). 

Ginastera’s String Quartet No. 1 uses as its main compositional materials the sounds and rhythms from the gauchos (Argentinean cowboys) and from the peasants of Las Pampas, the fertile lowlands of South America. This work belongs to Ginastera’s “Subjective Nationalism” period, in which without taking melodies and rhythms directly from Argentinean folk music, he nevertheless relies heavily on them to derive the fascinating sonorities he achieves, much like we may hear in the later works of Bartok and Kodaly. Thus, the first movement evokes the driving rhythms and open sonorities of gaucho music, and if we allow the mind’s eye to wonder, it is easy to picture these South American cowboys horseback riding through the open plains of Las Pampas. The second movement of the quartet – the most challenging for the players – represents a peasant dance called Malambo between two young men coming of age that serves as a rite of passage and which is characterized by very fast, aggressive movements. It is a protracted dance intended to allow for only one of the young men to remain standing – in essence it is a challenge to the stamina of the contestants. As the movement comes to a close Ginastera uses his wit to ingenuously depict the victor, which he signals by the cello playing the very last note. The third movement is a sort of Nocturne in which the composer uses the quartet to imitate the sound of the open strings in a guitar – a motive that we find repeatedly throughout his compositions – as an introduction to the solo violin melody, upon which the cello later elaborates in the middle of the movement. In all likelihood Ginastera composed this beautiful movement to showcase his wife, the prominent cellist Aurora-Natola Ginastera. The last movement returns to the driving rhythms and sonorities of the first, this time interspersed with long pizzicato sections intended to evoke the sound of guitars.

Liner notes ©2014 by Daniel Vega-Albela

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Burbank, CA.
RYCY Media Dept.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Yalil Guerra estrena nuevo disco de música de cámara.

Portada del disco
Notas del Disco:

RYCY Productions se complace en presentar el nuevo disco del compositor Yalil Guerra, premio Grammy Latino 2012. Esta producción reúne algunos de los estrenos mundiales, continentales y parciales, de sus más recientes composiciones, interpretadas por agrupaciones y artistas de talla internacional, en presentaciones en directo por diferentes partes del mundo.

El álbum se inicia con el estreno mundial del Cuarteto de Cuerdas Nº. 2, dedicado e interpretado magistralmente por el Cuarteto de Cuerdas "La Catrina", quienes residen en Nuevo Mexico, U.S.A. El estreno tuvo lugar en la Shepherd University, Los Angeles,  California, durante el concierto: "Latin American Classical Music Concert", el día 20 de Abril del 2014. Grabado por Angelo Durán.

El pianista cubano residente en Italia, Marcos Madrigal, interpreta una muy sentida versión de la obra, “Seducción”, galardonada con el Premio Grammy Latino 2012, en la categoría de Mejor Obra Clásica Contemporánea (Live in LA-Elizabeth Rebozo). Esta grabación registra su estreno Europeo, en el marco del VII Festival Internacional de Piano de Trieste, Italia, el día 22 de Febrero del 2014. Grabado por Riccardo Dueerre, Multimedia Productions. 

Ab Imo Pectore”, es el siguiente corte del disco, interpretado por el afamado grupo, B3: Brouwer Trío, en su estreno en el concierto “Serenates 2011”, en la ciudad de Valencia, España. Esta obra fue dedicada a la agrupación y grabada en el disco “The Beautiful Cuban Women”, publicado por RYCY Productions en el año 2011. El Brouwer Trío estrenaron mundialmente la pieza en el Festival de música contemporánea Nous Sons’10, en Barcelona y la han tocado por múltiples ciudades de España.

La composición, “Toccata” para piano, fue dedicada al pianista cubano residente en Costa Rica, Leonardo Gell, quién hace un derroche de virtuosismo y musicalidad en su estreno mundial en la sala Ignacio Cervantes, La Habana, Cuba, el día 9 de Febrero del 2014. 

Los ganadores del Premio Grammy Latino 2010, Cuarteto de Cuerdas de la Habana, presentan el estreno Continental del Cuarteto de Cuerdas Nº. 1, “A Mil Guerras Solo”, dedicado a esta agrupación. El concierto tuvo lugar en el Instituo Tenri de Nueva York, el día 2 de Octubre del 2011, durante su gira de conciertos por varias ciudades de los Estados Unidos.

Las “Tres Piezas Cubanas”, es un tríptico dedicado a la talentosa pianista cubana Elizabeth Rebozo, residente en Burbank, California, quién ha estrenado buena parte el repertorio para piano del compositor. De está obra, incluímos la pieza que da inicio a la misma, “Echale Salsita”, en su estreno mundial en el concierto: "30th Career Anniversary Concert”, en la ciudad de Glendale, California el día 27 de Abril del 2013.

La soprano Amanda Squitieri, bien conocida en el mundo de la Opera (estrenó Il Postino de Daniel Catán 2010), nos presenta la primera canción de música seria, titulada: “Amor”, acompañada por el talentoso concertista de música clásica, contemporánea y jazz, Bryan Pezzone, quien a su vez ha grabado otras obras del compositor en producciones anteriores. Este es el estreno mundial realizado en el concierto: "30th Career Anniversary Concert”, en la ciudad de Glendale, California el día 27 de Abril del 2013.

Ensamble Solistas de la Habana, fundada por su director, el maestro Iván Valiente, es una de las orquestas de cámara más importantes, no solo de Cuba, sino del continente. La agrupación ha demostrado una altísima calidad interpretativa, profesionalismo y dedicación a la música de seria y de arte. Del compositor han estrenado mundialmente: “Old Havana” y “Terra Ignota”, ambas obras dedicada a la agrupación. Esta grabación recoge el estreno de "Terra Ignota", realizado en el marco del XXVI Festival Internacional de Música Contemporánea de la Habana, Cuba el día 28 de Noviembre del 2013.

El objetivo principal de este álbum es compartir algunos de los momentos mágicos e históricos, en donde la música del maestro Guerra ha vibrado en las salas de concierto, con sus notas, acordes, contrapuntos y peculiar manera de expresar su arte de la composición. Se puede percibir la emoción y pasión expresada por cada uno de los interpretes en cada uno de estos estrenos. Cabe destacar, que la acústica y grabaciones son muy diferentes, por lo que el sonido “en directo” se puede apreciar en todo momento, capturando todos los matices y emociones.

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Burbank, CA.
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Yalil Guerra releases a new Chamber Music album.

Album cover

Burbank, CA. May 9th, 2014.

RYCY Productions presents the newest chamber music album by Latin Grammy winning composer Yalil Guerra, entitled “Estrenos en Concierto” (“Premieres in Concert”). This collection features the world and regional premieres of his most recent compositions, recorded live in concert by internationally acclaimed artists and ensembles.
The album opens with the world premiere of Guerra’s String Quartet No.2, dedicated to and masterfully performed by “La Catrina” String Quartet, in residence at the State University of New Mexico, USA. The premiere took place at Shepherd University, Los Angeles, California, during the “Latin American Classical Music Concert” on.

Cuban pianist and Italian resident, Marcos Madrigal, plays a heartfelt version of “Seducción” (Latin Grammy winner in the Best Classical Contemporary Composition. Elizabeth Rebozo—Live in LA). The European premiere was given at the VII International Festival in Trieste, Italy, on February 22nd, 2014. It was recorded by Riccardo Radivo DueErre, Multimedia Productions.

"Ab Imo Pectore" (Latin for “From the Bottom of My Heart”) is the next cut on the album, performed by the famous group B3:Brouwer Trio, at its premiere at the concert "Serenates 2011," in the city of Valencia, Spain. This work was dedicated to the trio and recorded on the album "The Beautiful Cuban Women," released by RYCY Productions in 2011. The Brouwer Trio gave the world premiere of the piece at the Festival of Contemporary Music Nous Sons 10 in Barcelona, and performed it in various cities in Spain.

"Toccata" for piano was dedicated to the Cuban pianist living in Costa Rica, Leonardo Gell, who gave its world premiere with an outpouring of virtuosity and musicality at in Ignacio Cervantes concert hall in Havana, Cuba, on February 9th, 2014.

The Havana String Quartet, 2010 Latin Grammy Award winners, gave the North American premiere of Guerra’s String Quartet No.1, "A Mil Guerras Solo," dedicated to this group. The concert took place at the Tenri Institute, New York, on October 2nd, 2011, during their concert tour of the United States.

"Echale Salsita" is the opening movement of Tres Piezas Cubanas, a triptych dedicated to the talented Cuban pianist and Burbank, California resident Elizabeth Rebozo, who has recorded many of Guerra's compositions for piano.  The world premiere of "Echale Salsita" (featured on this recording) took place as part of Guerra's "30th Anniversary Career Concert" on April 27th, 2013 in Glendale, California.

Estrenos en Concierto captures the world premiere of "Amor", another composition featured on Guerra's "30th Anniversary Career Concert" on April 27th, 2013.  This charming song, set to the composer's own text, is sung by soprano Amanda Squitieri, who created the starring role of Beatrice in the opera Il Postino by composer Daniel Catán (1949-2011).  Ms. Squitieri is joined by the talented classical and jazz pianist Bryan Pezzone for this performance; these two talented artists have collaborated with the composer on several previous albums.
Ensemble Solistas de la Havana, one of the leading chamber orchestras not only of Cuba, but of North America, was founded by its principal conductor and bassist, Maestro Ivan Valiente. The group has demonstrated a very high level of performance, professionalism and dedication to serious art music. They gave the world premieres of Guerra’s "Old Havana" and "Terra Ignota," both dedicated to the group. This recording includes the world premiere of the latter work from the XXVI International Festival of Contemporary Music in Havana, Cuba on November 28th, 2013.

The primary goal of “Estrenos en Conciertos” is to share some of the magical and historically significant recordings of Yalil Guerra’s  most recent compositions, as captured in real time by a variety of talented musicians. Listeners can feel the emotion and passion expressed by the players in each of this live  releases; the performances reflects the different acoustical properties and recording circumstances   of the various concert venues, and the recording accurately capture the musical nuances chosen to by highlighted  by individual groups and soloist. 

Carefully selecting melodies and pungent chords that evoke the atmosphere of his native Cuba, this young composer weaves these elements together to form complex contrapuntal sounds that vibrate with exciting musical colors through the concert hall. Brought to life through the talents of his highly skilled performers, Yalil Guerra's many compositions illustrate a variety of elements that, taken together, all contribute to his [a] unique compositional voice. 

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For more information contact:
Burbank, CA.
RYCY Media Dept.