Fandango features Los Angeles Philharmonic Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel conducting performances of Alberto Ginastera’s Estancia and Arturo Márquez’s new violin concerto, Fandango. Both works were captured live at Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2022.
These performances were part of the LA Phil’s Pan-American Music Initiative, a 5-year project exploring more than 30 new commissions and numerous creative partnerships, emphasising the importance of Latin American heritage – a vital part of Dudamel’s artistic and creative mission.
Dudamel helped cement the reputation of Arturo Márquez with his championing of Danzón No. 2. This new album features the world premiere recording of the Mexican composer’s Fandango, a riotously colourful concerto for violin and orchestra in three movements, commissioned by violinist Anne Akiko Meyers.
The fandango is known worldwide as a popular Spanish dance, appearing in 18th century Spain before moving to the Americas, where it acquired a personality according to the land that adopted and cultivated it. “For centuries it has been a special festivity for musicians, singers, poets and dancers,” the composer says. “Everyone gathers around a wooden platform to stamp their feet, sing and improvise décimas for the occasion.”
Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers embodies this celebratory atmosphere in the performance captured here. “In 2018, after hearing Danzon No. 2, music that made my heart and soul dance, my dream for a mariachi-inspired violin concerto was reignited,” says Akiko Meyers. “Soon after, I approached the great Arturo Márquez, and he shared with me that his late father was a mariachi violinist and he was waiting to write this music that stirred in his heart for decades.
“Fandango was soon born when I gave the world premiere at the Hollywood Bowl in 2021, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel conducting (and dancing),” she continues. “The joyful, soulful music has thrilled audiences from Mexico City to Carnegie Hall and this live recording from concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall in October 2022 will undoubtedly touch your heart and make you fall in love with his music, much like I did.”
Also included on the album is Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera’s Estancia, another work that pays homage to the land from which it originates. The composition pulses with life, and a wildness, enchantingly juxtaposed with a beautiful gaucho dance. This recording features the rich-voiced baritone Gustavo Castillo as both narrator and soloist.
Gustavo Dudamel says, “Sharing the extraordinary music of Latin American composers has been a part of my musical mission since the very start, and this new album with the LA Phil is a beautiful expression of two of Latin America's greatest talents: Argentina’s Alberto Ginastera and Mexico’s Arturo Márquez.
“Ginastera’s ballet Estancia is a musical representation of the Argentine gaucho, the cowboys of the South American plains, and it speaks to both the beauty and the challenges of that land. And my wonderful friend Arturo Márquez's Fandango, which we gave the premiere of in 2021, is a love letter to the dance music of Sonora, Mexico. For centuries, the fandango has been one of the more popular Latin dances in the repertoire and has been performed in dance halls across the world (Arturo and I have been dancing in many of these halls ourselves!), it has become almost like the heartbeat of Mexican culture.”
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel, Music & Artistic Director
Anne Akiko Meyers, violin (Fandango)
Gustavo Castillo, baritone (Estancia)
Arturo MÁRQUEZ Fandango
1. I. Folia Tropical
2. II. Plegaria (Prayer) (Chaconne)
3. III. Fandanguito
GINASTERA Estancia, Op. 8
Scene 1, El Amanecer
4. Introducción y escena
5. Pegueña danza
Scene 2, La Mañana
6. Danza del trigo
7. Los trabajadores agrícolas
8. Los peones de la hacienda
9. Los puéblelos
Scene 3, La Tarde
10. Triste targe
11. La doma
12. Idilio crepuscular
Scene 4, La Noche
Scene 5, El Amanecer
15. Danza final (Malabo)
About the Composers:
Arturo Márquez was born deep in the Sonoran desert in the colonial town of Alamos, Mexico on December 20, 1950. His mother, Aurora Navarro, says “her womb cried” when describing his birth. He was named after his father, Arturo Márquez, who was of Mexican descent from Arizona. A man of many talents, Arturo’s father played the violin, was a mariachi, and worked as a carpenter when the family needed to make ends meet. Arturo’s father often played with a quartet, so the future composer’s first music lessons consisted of listening to the traditional music, waltzes, and polkas they performed.
The Márquez family moved to Los Angeles, California in 1962 where Arturo began to study violin and several other instruments at his junior high school. He also began to compose. Márquez said, “My adolescence was spent listening to Javier Solis, sounds of mariachi, the Beatles, Doors, Carlos Santana and Chopin.”
Márquez he entered the Mexican Music Conservatory in 1970 where he studied with Joaquin Gutierrez Heras and Federico Ibarra. Later he received a scholarship from the French government to study composition with Jacques Casterede in Paris. After studying in France, Márquez received a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship in the US, which he used to obtain an MFA degree from the California Institute of the Arts.
Until the early 1990s Márquez’ music was largely unknown outside his native country. That changed when he was introduced to the world of Latin ballroom dancing. The movement and rhythms led him to compose a series of pulsating Danzones. The Danzones are a fusion of dance music from Cuba and the Veracruz region of Mexico. The most popular of the Danzonesis the Danzón No. 2. It thrills audiences with its entrancing, seductive rhythms. The Danzón No. 2 was commissioned by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and because of its popularity, it is often called the second national anthem of Mexico.
Arturo Márquez works at the National University of Mexico, Superior School of Music and the National Center of Research, Documentation and Information of Mexican Music. He and his family live in Mexico City.
Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983) composed brilliantly in most genres – concertos, songs, string quartets, piano sonatas, and a number of film scores – but he is best known for his early ballets Panambí and Estancia and the operas Don Rodrigo, Bomarzo, and Beatrix Cenci. Argentine folk songs and dances inspired and informed much of his music, whether in direct reference or in stylistic allusion. Later in his career he began to incorporate 12-tone techniques and avant-garde procedures into his music, ultimately reaching a synthesis of traditional and post-serial elements.
“To compose, in my opinion, is to create an architecture, to formulate an order and set in values certain structures, considering the totality of its components,” the composer once said. “In music, this architecture unfolds in time. … When time has passed, when the work has unfolded, a sense of inner perfection survives in the spirit.”