Saturday, May 15, 2010

Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela Release Rite or Spring

Gustavo Dudamel, certainly the most talked about and celebrated conductor of his generation, releases his fifth Deutsche Grammophon recording featuring the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. His previous recording for the yellow label focused on works by Tchaikovsky, and for this high-octane new recording, Rite available June 1, Dudamel focuses on another Russian composer: Stravinsky.

The Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela under the direction of Dudamel is known for its overwhelming sound, awe-inspiring precision and, above all else, infectious and wild energy. With the discipline of an orchestra twice its age, the SBYOV channels its energy and efforts into giving concerts that repeatedly bring audiences to their feet and have continuously excited critics around the world. Just such a combination of energy and technique is needed to perform Stravinsky’s revolutionary Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring). Reveling in the orchestral colors and emphasizing the rhythmic pulse that propels the work forward, Dudamel and the SBYOV give a decidedly refreshing and impressive performance.

“All these dances have a youthful energy”, says Gustavo Dudamel. “Spring reflects a new beginning, something important to young people. I’ve known the Sacre since my first concert as a thirteen-year-old violinist in my hometown orchestra. Now it’s also an important piece for the SBYOV. We first played it in 2009 in London, Madrid, Lisbon and, of course, several times in Venezuela. This orchestra simply has these rhythms in their blood – they even make one passage sound like heavy metal.”

As a counterpart to the well-known Stravinsky work, Dudamel has programmed the lesser-known but no less exciting La noche de los Mayas (Night of the Maya) by the Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas. Dudamel has helped to bring more Central and South American music to the attention of audiences around the world, and this recording continues on this mission. Fiesta, a previous DG recording featuring Dudamel and the SBYOV, was devoted to Latin American composers and the release remains the conductor’s best-selling recording to date demonstrating that Dudamel and his young orchestra are probably the most persuasive advocates for this music performing today.

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