Tania León: Alegre (Cheerful) and La indígena (Indigenous)
Heitor Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasilieras #5
Zequinha de Abre: Tico Tico
George Gershwin: Cuban Overture
Traditional Cuban folk song: La Paloma
Traditional Afro-Cuban and agricultural worker Guajiro styles first incorporated in art music of Roldan and Caturla find their modern-day expression in the work of Cuban-born composer Tania León (b. 1943). The orchestra performs León’s boisterous and jazzy Alegre (Cheerful) as well as the chamber work La Indígena (Indigenous), a collage of melodic memories evoking the sonic environment of León's childhood in Havana.
Sandwiched between Cuban repertoires is the ravishing Bachianas Brasilieras #5 (1942/1945) for solo soprano and eight cellos, from a suite of nine works by the Brazilian master Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) as well as the whirlwind showpiece Tico Tico by Zequinha de Abreu (1880-1935).
The concert closes with Cuban Overture (1932) by the American master George Gershwin (1900-1937), a giant rumba that draws on popular hits Gershwin absorbed during a vacation in Havana in 1932, followed by the traditional Cuban folk song La Paloma.