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Tensions At The Vanguard - New Music From Peru (1948-1979)

Tensions at the Vanguard - New Music From Peru"This is definitely a) one of the stranger releases to review lately and b) something that I, for one, am perhaps least qualified to say anything about. So perhaps this is not really a review of some kind, but more a introduction of another kind. Peru is perhaps not a country we would think of easily in terms of any new music, electronic, classical or, to stay on our turf, experimental, noise etc. Yet there have been composers active in Peru, always of course, but after the second world war, embracing new techniques, say anything from Anton Webern to Pierre Schaeffer. This double CD contains thirteen pieces, eight of which are instrumental works, for orchestra, violin or string quartets and five of them are pieces for magnetic tape. Obviously I am most interested in these five pieces, as I am not really that much a lover of modern classical music. These pieces are quite interesting, as they sound pretty raw and unrefined, no doubt due to equipment restrictions, even when they are all recorded outside Peru (in New York, London and Buenos Aires), but Alejandro Nunez Allauca's 'Gravitacion Humana' is an excellent piece, with its chirping insect like sounds and it's slowed down voices which add a ceremonial character to the piece. Of the instrumental pieces I particularly enjoyed Pedro Seiji Aasato's 'Quasar IV' for two pianos and contrabass, with its strong dynamics, of black hole like silence and bouncing star explosions. So, while not entirely my cup of tea, I thought this was a pretty interesting release. The package comes with a fine introductionairy booklet on music life in Peru and how that changed over the years, with changing political climate. - Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

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