Tag Archives: Latin America

Plato vs. MP3

Today, recorded music has the attributes of divinity: perfection (digital editions erased all flaws), ubiquity (the archives are everywhere and nowhere at the same time), intangibility (they no longer have a physical body), immortality (copiable ad infinitum), omniscience (music collections … Continue reading

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Cultural Selection

The Spanish Empire took pains to build a colonial system with no room for intellectual or industrial development. Everything was forbidden: gatherings, travel between provinces, free trade, printing, and above all, reading books. (There was no printing press in Venezuela … Continue reading

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Justus von Schoffel

My favorite composer? Schoffel, incontestably. Nobody in the car had heard of him; no doubt they thought I was being too precious. Since the beginning, Schoffel has always been full of surprises; it’s his transitions, the art of compressing history, … Continue reading

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Montero Superstar

“Hello Radio Warsaw. What are these unknown works of our Frédéric?” asked the Poles during a live broadcast of a 1995 Gabriela Montero recital, when she won third prize in the Chopin Piano Competition. (Martha Argerich, president of the jury, … Continue reading

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Herder and Watunna

Ever since indigenous voices infiltrated the stanzas of Juan de Castellanos, embellishing with multicolored phonetics his “Elegies on the Illustrious Gentlemen of the Indies,” written in Tunja, Colombia at the end of the 16th century, many writers have sought to … Continue reading

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Windows

There is an inexplicable gap between the opera buffa performed by the principal voices of Venezuela’s political power and the opera seria crafted in the ranks of an institution such as our National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras [El … Continue reading

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Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité

In the musical world, where everything is planned years in advance, sudden diplomatic breaches seem absurd, if not comical, and they seem to be propitiated by people who don’t know the quality or depth of bonds textured by the fellow … Continue reading

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Varadero 1983

Cuban movie clips from the 1950s with Benny Moré or La Matancera present us with cabaret situations where singers display their roguery to seduce beautiful women who dance like goddesses (or devils). The plots almost always involve a wealthy gentleman … Continue reading

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Epiphanies

José Antonio Abreu, who has organized hundreds of monumental concerts on every kind of stage around the world, could not contain his emotion when he related the most recent phenomenon he had witnessed in the stadiums of Mérida and Barquisimeto … Continue reading

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Dominoes and Death

“Even though I’m charging more, I’m earning less each day,” Carlos Duarte repeated to me in one of our interminable rehearsals for a brief tour in 1994. “And I don’t stop playing.” He often took stock of his musical life … Continue reading

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