Review: LA Phil focuses on Americas with premiere by Benzecry, plus Chávez and Copland

Posted on: October 16, 2019

“Neither in his native Spanish nor in … English … does Gustavo Dudamel accept the singular ‘America’ into his vocabulary,” writes Mark Swed in Friday’s (10/11) Los Angeles Times. “Last week he began his 11th L.A. Phil season … with … a two-part look at our contingent continents…. The revelation came in Carlos Chávez with a performance of ‘Sinfonía India,’ the Mexican composer’s second symphony, which preceded the world premiere of Argentine composer Esteban Benzecry’s blistering [2011] Piano Concerto, ‘Universos Infinitos.’ … ‘Sinfonía India’ [is] an irresistible 11-minute score from 1936 based on folk material, including a lyrical Yaqui melody from Sonora of such ravishing beauty that once you hear it, you’ll never forget it.… ‘Universos Infinitos’ … only now … receiving its first performance … is dedicated to the virtuoso Venezuelan pianist Sergio Tiempo, who played it from memory, which seemed an impossibility. A catapulting Tiempo almost never stops for 30 minutes…. Dudamel chose to conduct [Copland’s] rarely heard full ‘Rodeo’ ballet score…. It was an astonishing performance by the L.A. Phil.”

Posted October 16, 2019