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Work

Manuel Maria Ponce

Manuel Maria Ponce Composer

Concierto del sur, for guitar and orchestra

Performances: 6
Tracks: 18
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Musicology:
  • Concierto del sur, for guitar and orchestra
    Year: 1941
    Genre: Concerto
    Pr. Instrument: Guitar
    • 1.Allegro moderato
    • 2.Andante
    • 3.Allegro moderato e festivo
The Concierto del sur for guitar and orchestra is one of the pieces—there are many—that Mexican composer Manuel Ponce wrote for the legendary Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia. Ponce finished the piece in autumn of 1941, just as the country to the north of Ponce's was amending the Neutrality Act of 1939 and, though they didn't know it at the time, about to be drawn into World War II by the surprise attack at Pearl harbor.

Ponce takes up the standard three-movement format for the Concierto. The orchestra manages to put together just four bars of its own at the start of the Allegro moderato first movement before the impatient soloist jumps in with a series of firm, rolled six-note chords, which together with quiet orchestral offbeats encompass a full seven of the 12 possible chromatic tones. Soon the soloist settles down to play around with the lean, spritely idea offered in those four opening orchestral bars. At the end of the movement there is an extended cadenza for the guitarist.

The second movement is an Andante that is more a gracefully florid intermezzo than a slow movement per se. The finale is a festive, dancing Allegro that returns to us via bouncing 3/8 time eighth notes, to the A major in which the first movement closed.

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