Carlos Guastavino


Carlos Guastavino

Carlos Guastavino (April 5, 1912 - October 29, 2000) was an Argentine composer.

Carlos Guastavino was born in Santa Fe Province, Argentina. He studied music in Santa Fe with Esperanza Lothringer and Dominga Iaffei, and in Buenos Aires with Athos Palma. A talented pianist, he performed his piano works in London in 1947, 1948, and 1949, invited by the BBC, and as a recipient of a scholarship from the British Council. During these years, the BBC Symphony Orchestra premiered the orchestral version of his “Tres Romances Argentinos”, under the baton of Walter Goehs. Later, in 1956, Guastavino toured the USSR and China, performing his pieces for voice and piano.

One of the foremost Argentine composers of the 20th century, his production amounted to over 200 works, most of them songs for piano and voice. His style was quite conservative, always tonal and lusciously romantic. His compositions were clearly influenced by Argentine folk music. His reputation was based almost entirely on his songs.Fact|date=September 2008

Guastavino's musical style marked a stark contrast with the works of his contemporaries such as Alberto Ginastera. Guastavino’s style was clearly inherited from the luminaries of nineteenth-century Argentina's nationalist composers, such as Alberto Williams, Francisco Hargreaves, Eduardo García Mansilla and Julián Aguirre. Aguirre’s delicate and intimate piano writing is an especially evident influence on Guastavino. Guastavino's stylistic isolation from the modernist and avant-garde movements going on around him, and the self-consciously nationalist content of his songs made him a model for Argentine popular and folk musicians in the 1960s.Fact|date=September 2008

Guastavino's output included more than a hundred and fifty songs for voice and piano, numerous piano solo pieces, choral works, school songs, and chamber music. The poets whose works he set to music included Rafael Alberti, Leon Benaros, Hamlet Lima Quintana, Atahualpa Yupanqui, Pablo Neruda, Gabriela Mistral, and Jorge Luis Borges among others. A small number of his songs are settings of his own texts. His works for orchestra included “Divertissement; fue una vez”, commissioned by Colonel de Basil for his original Ballet Russe and premiered at the Teatro Colón, in Buenos Aires, in 1942; and “Suite Argentina” which was performed in London, Paris, Barcelona, and Havana by the Ballet Español of Isabel Lopez. He also wrote three Sonatas for guitar. The songs “Se equivocó la paloma” and “La rosa y el sauce” are among his best known compositions.Fact|date=September 2008

Guastavino received important awards and recognition, such as the Municipal Prize from the city of Buenos Aires for his chamber songs, a prize from the Justice Ministry of Argentina, Prize of the Cultural Commission of Santa Fe Province for his songs, “Vosotras” magazine Prize for his “Canción de Navidad”, and a Prize from the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Music Council as recognition of his outstanding creative activity.Fact|date=September 2008

Many famous performers such as Teresa Berganza, Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer, José Carreras, Kiri Te Kanawa, Bernarda Fink, Jorge Chaminé, Agathe Martel, and Karina Gauvin have included works of Guastavino on their programs.Fact|date=September 2008

elected Discography

"Carlos Guastavino: The Complete Piano Music" (2008) / Martin Jones (piano) / Nimbus, NI 5818/20

"Flores Argentinas: Canciones de Ginastera y Guastavino" (2007) / Inca Rose Duo (Annelise Skovmand, voice & Pablo González Jazey, guitar) / Cleo Productions, Cleo Prod 1002

"Canciones Argentinas" (2006) / Bernarda Fink (mezzo-soprano), Marcos Fink (bass-baritone), Carmen Piazzini (piano) / Harmonia Mundi, HMC 901892

"Vai Azulão" (2002) / Agathe Martel (soprano), Marc Bourdeau (piano) / Marquis Classic, MAR 285

"Canciones Amatorias" (2002) / Bernarda Fink (mezzo-soprano), Roger Vignoles (piano) / Hyperion, CDA 67186

"Flores Argentinas" (1996) / Marcos Fink (bass-baritone), Luis Ascot (piano) / Cascavelle, VEL1059

"Mélodies" (1995) / Jorge Chaminé (baritone), Marie-Françoise Bucquet (piano) / Lyrinx 149 (882 149)

"Argentinian Songs" (1987) / Raúl Giménez (tenor), Nina Walker (piano) / Nimbus Records, NI 5107

"Classics of the Americas, volume 2" (1990) / Margot Pares-Reyna (soprano), Georges Rabol (piano) / Opus 111, OPS 30-9002

"South American Songs" (1984) / Teresa Berganza (mezzo-soprano), Juan-Antonio Alvarez-Parejo (piano) / Claves, CD 50-8401

"Guitar Music of Argentina, volume 1" / Victor Villandagos (guitar) / Naxos Classical, 8-555058

"Guitar Music of Argentina, volume 2" / Victor Villandagos (guitar) / Naxos Classical, 8-557658

"Piano Music" / Hector Moreno, Norberto Capelli / Marco Polo, 8-223462

"Las puertas de la mañana: Songs of Guastavino" / Ulises Espaillat, tenor; Pablo Zinger, piano / New Albion NA 058

ources and external links

* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/argentina/story/0,11439,621162,00.html Obituary in "The Guardian"]
* [http://ostinato.tripod.com/guas.html Biography on Fundación Ostinato site]
* [http://www.naxos.com/composerinfo/440.htm Brief biography on Naxos site]


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