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Gabriela Lena Frank: Hilos

> Hilos - I. Danza del Altiplano
> Hilos - II. Zapatos de Chincha
> Hilos - III. Charanguista Viejo
> Hilos - IV. Danza de los Diablos
> Hilos - V. Zumbayllu
> Hilos - VI. Juegos
> Hilos - VII. Yaravillosa
> Hilos - VIII. Bombines
> Danza de los Saqsampillos (version for 2 marimbas) - Danza de los Saqsampillos (version for 2 marimbas)
> Adagio para Amantani - Adagio para Amantani
> Quijotadas - I. Alborada
> Quijotadas - II. Seguidilla para la Mancha
> Quijotadas - III. Moto Perpetuo: La Locura de Quijote
> Quijotadas - IV. Asturianada: La Cueva
> Quijotadas - V. La Danza de los Arrieros
> Adoracion para Angelitos - Adoracion para Angelitos
> The Armadillo's Charango - The Armadillo's Charango

Album Summary

>Frank, Gabriela Lena : Hilos, for clarinet, violin, cello, & piano
>Frank, Gabriela Lena : Danza de los Saqsampillos, for 2 marimbas
>Frank, Gabriela Lena : Adagio para Amantani, for cello & piano
>Frank, Gabriela Lena : Quijotadas, for string quartet
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Identity has always been at the center of Gabriela Lena Frank's music. Born in Berkeley, California, to a mother of mixed Peruvian/Chinese ancestry and a father of Lithuanian/Jewish descent, Frank explores her multicultural heritage most ardently through her compositions. Hilos (Threads) was especially written for ALIAS Chamber Ensemble. The movements mix and match the players to allude to the beauty of Peruvian textiles, not only in their construction but also in their pictorial content of everyday life. Next is Danza de los Saqsampillos, inspired by the Peruvian "saqsampillo," a rambunctious jungledweller. The emotional and mysterious Adagio para Amantaní follows, written in homage to the island - both beautiful and barren - that is situated in the middle of Lake Titicaca. The final work, Quijotadas, is inspired by Cervantes' Don Quixote.

"What utterly fascinating music this is!... I cannot praise this CD too highly. This is a composer, like Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and Nancy van de Vate, who deserves universal and not just regional exposure. Get it!" -Fanfare

"Much as romantic composers cast folk material into their refined yet highly expressive language, Frank weaves an earthy idiom into her abstract postmodern neo-tonality. The music is more reflective than programmatic, offering poetic musings rather than telling a story or building a climax. Nevertheless, her textures sparkle with guitar inflections, otherworldly glissandos, aggressive pizzicatos, pungent dissonance, and catchy dance rhythms, and she takes advantage of the unique color pairings in a larger ensemble." -American Record Guide

"Gabriela Lena Frank is the real deal: a modern composer with a personal style, one that manages to integrate a wide range of sounds and performing techniques into a cohesive language that unapologetically includes melody and tonal harmony without ever sounding anachronistic. She clearly manages to remain true to herself, but she doesn’t have to write down to her listeners in order to share her thoughts and feelings. This is just good music... The performances, with the composer’s participation where the piano joins in, and presumably her supervision where it does not, are uniformly excellent, and so are the sonics. A wonderful disc of inventive, fresh, characterful music, plain and simple." -ClassicsToday (10/10)

Allmusic.com
The opening work here, Hilos, was composed in 2010 and makes a good introduction ... Each movement is clearly organized tonally and convincingly linked to the others, with a driving finale based on the Peruvian karnavalito rhythm, but along the way there's tremendous diversity in rhythm and melodic shape. The Danza de los Saqsampillos for two marimbas is a rhythmically entrancing short piece and one that every percussionist should get to know, while the Adagio para Amantaní, for cello and piano, depicts a remote and barren Andean mountain lake and its nearby inhabitants; the work makes a striking contrast with the Danza. The final Quijotadas for string quartet ... is full of humor. This is recommended Western-hemisphere chamber music that will bring life to any concert or listening program.

MusicWeb International
Sound quality is superb. The CD booklet is pretty good too, with detailed notes on the music, written by Frank, and biographies and photos of all the soloists. Finally there is a colour photo of Lena near Machu Picchu - looking more like a montage than a mountain!

MusicWeb International
This is wonderful music... Gabriela Lena Frank has a distinctive, interesting voice, and she writes extremely well-crafted music that's a great pleasure to hear. Her piano contributions here are very good, the ALIAS Chamber Ensemble is up to all of Frank's technical demands and complex rhythms - listen to the exquisite pizzicatos in the seguidilla - and the recorded sound is exemplary.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Turner Recital Hall, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, (2010-05-22&2010-05-23&2010-).



Reviews

"Hilos" Presents a Tapestry of Gabriela Frank's Music
Gabriela Lena Frank is an up-and-coming composer who's really made a name for herself in the realm of chamber music. The latest collection of her work features four recent chamber compositions with a common theme. All, in some fashion, draw inspiration from Latin and South American music traditions. It's an impressive recording. The CD starts with the title track, "Hilos" (Threads), a 2010 work for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano. Based on Peruvian elements, the work works and reworks various instrumental combinations, creating the sonic tapestry the title refers to. Frank composes with a strong rhythmic feel, using sparse melodic and contrapuntal lines that make the work accessible while sounding like nobody else. The "Adagio para Amantani" seems more influenced by academia than Andelusia. This haunting work for cello and piano presents small repeated note motifs that seem to hang suspended in space, punctuated by chord clusters. But this isn't just an intellectual exercise. The music has a forward motion and a logical progression to it that makes it work. The "Quijotadas" for string quartet is similar, but has a much stronger Latin feel to it. To me, it's the most musically substantial composition on the album. While I enjoyed it the first time I heard it, I know repeated hearings will reveal more of the complex structure of the work. My favorite track was the "Danza de los Saqsampills" for two marimbas. It's a uniquely Frank work, but if I had to describe it in other terms, I'd call it a Latin-American Steve Reich homage (which only hints at what the work sounds like). A better description might be that this is simply six minutes of fun. The works are performed by the ALIAS Chamber Ensemble, a group Frank has worked closely with. The ensemble know and understand Frank's compositional language, which really adds to the performances. I have to admit I didn't know a lot about Gabriela Frank before getting this recording. But now that I've listened to it, I'd like to explore her music further. If you're looking for a fresh compositional voice (especially if you like chamber music), then I highly recommend giving Hilos a listen.
Submitted on 06/15/11 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Frank, Gabriela Lena : Hilos, for clarinet, violin, cello, & piano
  • Performers: Matt Harner (Cello); Zeneba Bowers (Violin); Lee Levine (Clarinet); Gabriela Frank (Piano)
  • Notes: Turner Recital Hall, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN (2010-05-22&2010-05-23&2010-)
  • Running Time: 25 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 2010

>Frank, Gabriela Lena : Danza de los Saqsampillos, for 2 marimbas
  • Performers: Christopher Norton (Marimba); Thomas Kemp (Marimba)
  • Notes: Turner Recital Hall, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN (2010-05-22&2010-05-23&2010-)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2000

>Frank, Gabriela Lena : Adagio para Amantaní, for cello & piano
  • Performers: Gabriela Frank (Piano); Matt Harner (Cello)
  • Notes: Turner Recital Hall, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN (2010-05-22&2010-05-23&2010-)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2007

>Frank, Gabriela Lena : Quijotadas, for string quartet
  • Notes: Turner Recital Hall, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN (2010-05-22&2010-05-23&2010-)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2007