After achieving independence from Spain, Argentina developed its own models for concert- and opera-going, even though these continued in many respects to reflect European traditions. Musical legends emerged during this time: Astor Piazzolla, the founder of the Tango Nuevo, Mauricio Kagel, Carlos Gardel and Alberto Ginastera, the man considered for decades to be the country's most significant composer of classical music. Three of the works recorded on this CD fall into Ginastera's final ‘Neo-Expressionist’ period: the Concerto per corde Op.33 (1965), cast in a classical, four-movement form; the Estudios sinfonicos Op.35 (1967), which represent Ginastera at his most adventurous with the avant-garde style; and the Glosses sobra temes de Pau Casals Op.48 (1976/77), in which Ginastera experiments by taking traditional themes by the great Spanish cellist Pablo Casals and holding them up to an avant-garde mirror.
Argentinean Alberto Ginastera was among the most successful mid-twentieth century composers in retaining the populist accessibility of his early works while incorporating elements of serialism as his style developed. His later works may not have the hummable melodies or propulsive rhythmic drive of his early period, but they have a comparable dramatic logic and emotional directness, which give them an immediate appeal. His two cello concertos, written in 1968 and 1981, are clearly "modernist" works of his late period, but they are warmly lyrical, intensely dramatic, and orchestrated with intriguing inventiveness. In their slow sections, they are also prime examples of the mysterious, gorgeously evocative atmospherics of which Ginastera was a master throughout his career.