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Also included on this disc are Balada's Homage to Sarasate (1975) and Homage to Casals (1975) -- works that began his explorations into employing folk elements in his work. The final composition on the disc is Zapata: Images for Orchestra (1984), a suite of four extracts from his opera Zapata about the life of the Mexican revolutionary. Traditional Mexican tunes, such as La Cucaracha are used in the suite. It is warm-blooded and life-affirming, containing a Waltz, March, Elegy, and Wedding Dance [listen -- track 8, 0:00-1:02].

There are few composers today who integrate avant-garde orchestral textures and effects with the warm ethos of tonal folk music as well as Balada does. It is music that appeals on every level -- to both the brain and the heart. Balada is also a superb orchestral colorist which, even in the bleakest moments of any of these pieces, always makes for compelling listening.

At Naxos's bargain prices, this disc is a must have, and if one has not begun to collect the other discs in Naxos's ongoing Balada series, this is an ideal one with which to start.

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

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Leonardo Balada: Guernica / Symphony No 4 / Zapata

8.557342 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 69'25" 2004 Naxos Rights International Ltd

Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra; Salvador Mas Conde, conductor

Leonardo Balada (born 1933): Guernica; Homage to Sarasate; Homage to Casals; Symphony No 4 'Lausanne'; Zapata: Images for Orchestra

BUY THIS DISC ONLINE

LEONARDO BALADA

ORQUESTRA SIMFÒNICA DE BARCELONA I NACIONAL DE CATALUNYA

PITTSBURGH CENTENNIAL - BALADA OBOE CONCERTO

CARSON P COOMAN

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