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Orchestral music by
Leonardo Balada -
reviewed by

'... this disc is a must have ...'

Leonardo Ballada: Guernica / Symphony No 4 / Zapata. © 2004 Naxos Rights International

Catalan composer Leonardo Balada (born 1933) has been resident in the United States since the 1950s and has spent most of his career as a musical force in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. His work has been performed frequently in the USA and his native Spain as well as in venues throughout the rest of the world. Although he has been active in all genres, it is in orchestral music and opera that Balada has made his strongest marks.

In recent years, a series of Naxos recordings of his orchestral music and operas have begun to introduce his compositions to the broad audience that he deserves. Balada's music is always colorful and dramatic and falls into three style periods. His second and third periods are most relevant to this new CD. (The first contained works of neo-classical spirit and sounds.)

In the second period, Balada's music was very abstract and dramatic, without melodic inflection and with a heavy reliance on avant-garde effects. In his third period (from which most of these works come), he began to fuse avant-garde musical techniques with folk music from both his native Spain and other countries. The result is a distinctly personal music that bursts with energy and zest.

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Copyright © 3 November 2004 Carson P Cooman, Rochester, NY, USA


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