La Gran Salsa : for piano and string orchestra
by Daniel Rojas (2019)
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Library shelf no. 784.7262/ROJ 1 [Available for loan]
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La Gran Salsa for Piano and String Orchestra stands as a homage to Astor Piazzolla's Le Grand Tango as well as its counterpart by drawing on Latin American popular dance music, specifically, salsa. Salsa is a musical, lifestyle and dance phenomenon that began in the 1960s in New York. It organically brewed out of the nexus of Afro-Cuban music, Puerto Rican and Cuban migrants, jazz, rock, and a plethora of random factors that propitiously aligned to make this a global musical movement for the decades that ensued. The rhythmic influences of this piece have, therefore, been duly influenced by the clave, a 2-bar rhythmic cell that organises the hierarchy and function of the other rhythmic layers. These other layers, whether melodic or otherwise, make clear references to groove-inflected structures such as the piano montuno and bass tumbao, which are inherently, motivic, repetitive and harmonically cyclical. There are a series of poignant and high energy episodes throughout this piece, which are embellished by gestures, timbres and textures gleaned from tango and baroque music.
Instrumentation: Piano, strings.
Duration: 15 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — some rhythmic challenges for ensemble synchronisation; suitable for experienced community, tertiary, semi-professional and professional and professional string ensembles.
The composer has noted the following styles, genres, influences, etc. associated with this work:
Astor Piazzolla, Alberto Ginastera, Silvestre Revueltas, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Elena Kats-Chernin, Matthew Hindson, Osvaldo Golijov, Arthur Benjami, Bach.
Performances of this work
16 May 2015: at From Tango to Mambo (Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre).
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