Latin American suite (duos: 2 pianos)
by John Carmichael (2000)
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Library shelf no. CD 1818 [Available for loan]
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John Carmichael spent several years as musical director of a
Spanish dance company during which time his innate love of
Spanish and Latin American music and dance forms deepened
further. The first result was the Concierto Folklorico for piano
& orchestra, but works continue to appear using the rhythms,
harmonic idiom and characteristics of Spanish and Latin American
In the Latin American Suite, the rhumba and the habanera are well known dance forms, but the joropo less so; there are two theories about its characteristic cross rhythm between 6/8 and 3/4 time - one is that the Viennese waltz became very popular, but the rhythmic genius of Latin dancers spiced the three in a bar rhythm of the waltz with a six in the bar flavour. The other explanation is that the joropo rhythm imitates the galloping of the horses which are famous for their speed and grace in the area between Venezuela and Colombia.
The Jongo came to Latin America via the slave trade from Africa; it has an obsessive beat and its highly syncopated melody rises from a hushed beginning to an orgiastic climax.
Instrumentation: Piano duet - piano four hands or 2 pianos.
Duration: 15 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Tertiary student/professional.
Contents note: 1. Bahama rumba -- 2. Obsession - Habañera -- 3. Joropo -- 4. Jongo.
Performances of this work
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