Piazzolla, Ginastera, Golijov - the argentinian album (2014)

Piazzolla, Ginastera, Golijov

Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Candida Thompson

I can’t imagine a more diverse palette of sounds, styles and colours than the three composers on this recording. They are unmistakably Argentinian yet tantalisingly different. Between them they represent the vibrant fusion of cultures that exist in Argentina today. In order to give full justice to their music, we researched their personal tastes, sources and sound worlds, looking for the influences that shaped them. Although one immediately feels that Ginastera’s unique masterpiece Concerto per corde is written in a language close to the European masterworks of the twentieth century such as Bartók’s Divertimento, or Berg’s Lyric Suite, it’s a very particular and original work. Ginastera changes between such imaginative quasi improvised solo sections and very precisely structured passages. While playing his Concerto one has a tremendous feeling of freedom within structure. Candida Thompson

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Amsterdam Sinfonietta

Amsterdam Sinfonietta is an ensemble of 22 gifted musicians who perform under the direction of Candida Thompson, artistic director|lead violin since 2003. The ensemble’s defining feature is the strong involvement and artistic drive of each individual member. The group has gained a reputation for distinguished, performances and innovative programming, often featuring surprising combinations of works. It collaborates with renowned artists and performs in major venues around throughout the world.

Founded in 1988 Amsterdam Sinfonietta is a highly respected ensemble with strong roots in the Dutch cultural scene. Every season it presents a series of concerts in the major concert halls of the The Netherlands. The orchestra boasts a young and loyal audience. Amsterdam Sinfonietta performs ingenious programmes featuring well-known repertoire combined with commissions, new arrangements or rarely performed works. Recent commissions include world premières of compositions by Sofia Gubaidulina, HK Gruber, Michel van der Aa and P?teris Vasks. Over the past seasons Amsterdam Sinfonietta has initiated and recorded new arrangements of various chamber music works. These include works by Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Schulhoff, Haas, Shostakovich and Berg.

Amsterdam Sinfonietta enjoys intensive collaborations with pre-eminent musicians. Guest artists such as Janine Jansen, David Fray, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Barbara Hannigan, Maxim Vengerov, Thomas Hampson, Sergey Khachatryan, Christianne Stotijn, Håkan Hardenberger, Martin Fröst, Julian Rachlin, Sol Gabetta, James Gilchrist, Natalia Gutman and Isabelle van Keulen have made return appearances with the orchestra.

Recently the ensemble toured China performing concerts with cellist Pieter Wispelwey. The group also performed spectacular performances with solo cellist Sol Gabetta at the Barbican in London, the Philharmonie in Luxemburg, Bozar in Brussels, the Musikhalle in Hamburg and the Konserthuset in Stockholm. The latest tour through Germany and Belgium with the French pianist David Fray was a resouding success culminating in ecstatic reviews. Following concerts in Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf and the Frankfurter Rundschau wrote: ’For the chamber orchestra Amsterdam Sinfonietta, performing under the direction of Candida Thompson, the keyword is alertness. The 22 string players […] communicate with each other in a state of heightened awareness. Each player listens attentively to the others, to the counter lines and tonal colours. […] The result sounded fresh and modern – simply brilliant.’ The group has been a guest at many international festivals including the Adelaide Festival, Gergiev Festival, Schleswig Holstein Festival and La Roque d’Antheron and also appears regularly at the Holland Festival and in the Robeco Summer Series and Carte Blanche Series in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

Every year the ensemble shows its versatility with a New Year’s programme that transcends the bounds of a conventional concert. This New Year’s programme has become a tradition attracting new and diverse audiences in many national venues. Joining forces with artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Roby Lakatos, and Chick Corea has resulted in intriguing on-stage chemistry and compelling concerts. The orchestra also participates in multidisciplinary projects. Together with the Dutch-Italian choreographers Emio Greco & PC, the ensemble presented a theatrical production featuring a contemporary collage of Bach’s St Matthew Passion. Amsterdam Sinfonietta has also worked with the actor Jeroen Willems and stage director Pierre Audi in a programme centred on Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite. Upcoming projects include a Dessner-Greenwood double portrait featuring recent compositions by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead fame and Bryce and Aaron Dessner from the successful rock band The National. Other future projects include collaborations with the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, baritone Thomas Hampson and clarinettist Martin Fröst and tours of Germany, Russia and China.

Candida Thompson

Candida Thompson artistic director and leader 

Candida Thompson studied with DavidTakeno at the Guildhall School of Music andDrama, where she received her soloist's graduationdiploma with honour. She developedher qualities further at the Banff Centre for theArts in Canada and played with several internationalorchestras such as Moskov ChamberOrchestra, The English String Orchestra,Wiener Symphoniker, the Netherland RadioChamber Orchestra and AmsterdamSinfonietta. Candida Thompson has been aregular guest artist at La Musica chambermusic festival in Florida. She also participatedat chamber music festivals like the KuhmoChamber Music Festival (Finland) and theGubbio Festival (Italy). In the past yearsCandida performed with artists such as BrunoGuiranna, Joseph Silverstein, Isabelle Faust,Janine Jansen. Together with cellist XeniaJankovic and pianist Paolo Giacometti sheformed the Hamlet trio. Candida Thompsonwas appointed Amsterdam Sinfonietta's artisticdirector and lead violin in the summer of2003. Under her leadership AmsterdamSinfonietta has made successful tours ofAustralia, the United States, China, Spain,Italy and Germany and has recorded a numberof highly acclaimed CD recordings.
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Piazzolla, Ginastera, Golijov - the argentinian album (2014)

Piazzolla, Ginastera, Golijov

Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Candida Thompson

    The Guardian

(...) It is the Ginastera Concerto, the composer’s own expansion of his second string quartet (...) that comes off best here, and shows what the Amsterdam Sinfonietta can do so very well.


(...) Thompson dispatches the solo part [of Piazzolla] with commendable swing, leading the ensemble with aplomb. The main event here, undeniable, is Ginastera’s Concerto for strings (...) The Amsterdam Sinfonietta’s account is splendidly prepared and executed (...)


Levendige, stijlvolle ritmiek en articulatie plus een welkome zangerige ondertoon (...)


A flexible string orchestra that easily finds its way through the rapidly changing timbre’s, rhythm and playing several techniques; especially in the IInd part ‘Scherzo Fantastico‘ of Ginestera’s work. The orchestra sounds authentic, transparent and nowhere affected.

    Limburgs Dagblad

(...) meeslepende mix van passie en melancholie (...) Vlijmscherp zijn de strijkstokken van Amsterdam Sinfonietta. (...)


(...) Heerlijke, warmbloedige en opzwepende muziek!

    NRC -

Astor Piazzolla's Vier Seizoenen van Buenos Aires: misschien wel de beste opname tot nu toe (...) -het bruist, het prikt. Heel mooi.

    Luister 10 -

(...) een meesterlijk Argentijns drieluik (...) een plaat die zich onderscheidt door briljant spel en een dito opname (...) warm, opzwepend, sensueel en opwindend en Thompson speelt de vioolsolo's werkelijk onweerstaanbaar. Kremer en consorten, de absolute favoriet tot nu toe, kunnen wel inpakken. (...) een plaat die niemand onberoerd laat.

    Audiophile Audition

Three important Argentinian composers, and works for strings in excellent surround.


(...) het resultaat is betoverend (...) er wordt hier meesterlijk gspeeld door Candida Thompson (...) Sinfonietta beheerst hem (Ginastera) tot drie cijfers achter de komma. (...) Prachtig repertoire, fonkelend gespeeld en perfect opgenomen.

Piazzolla, Ginastera, Golijov - the argentinian album (2014)

Piazzolla, Ginastera, Golijov

Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Candida Thompson

Cables: van der Hul
Digital Converters: Grimm
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment: B+W 803 diamond series
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom made
Producer: Willem de Bordes, Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Stadsgehoorzaal Leiden Holland
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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33014: Piazzolla, Ginastera, Golijov - the argentinian album
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Piazzolla Four Seasons of Buens Aires - Summer
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Piazzolla Four Seasons of Buens Aires - Autumn
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Piazzolla Four Seasons of Buens Aires - Winter
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Piazzolla Four Seasons of Buens Aires - Spring
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Ginastera - concerto for String Orchestra opus 33 - Viarazioni per I solisti
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Ginastera - concerto for String Orchestra opus 34 - Scherzo fantastico
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Ginastera - concerto for String Orchestra opus 35 - Adagio angoscioso
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Ginastera - concerto for String Orchestra opus 36 - finale Furioso
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Golijov Last Round for double quartet and bass
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