Five Argentinean Folk Dances

Notable performances/recordings by:

I. Zamba de Vargas 
II. Ojos Azules 
III. Milonga 
IV. Baguala 
V. Valsecito Criollo

Notes by the composer

This short suite, much inspired by Bartok’s Six Romanian Folk Dances, is based on traditional dances and songs of Argentina. Although the original rhythms and melodies are often transformed by the use of contemporary techniques, the piece preserves the authentic spirit of each of these folk forms.

Zamba de Vargas, a well known folk song, refers to a battle in Argentina between two armies of gauchos during the civil wars of the nineteenth century. Ojos Azules (Blue Eyes) is an introspective lament for lost love of Quichua origin (Northwest of Argentina). This melody was first collected by musicologist Leda Valladares. Both the Milonga and the Valsecito Criollo, (folk forms which developed in rural areas and then made it to the outskirts of Buenos Aires at the turn of the century) are original themes written by me based on my own personal understanding of the genre. Lastly, the Baguala is inspired on a transcription documented by Isabel Aretz which was reproduced in “Las Canciones Folklóricas de la Argentina” and published by Instituto Nacional de Musicología of Buenos Aires in 1969.

The piece was commisioned by the Minnesota Symphonia, Jay Fishman, conductor. It was premiered in Minneapolis/St. Paul on January 18, 2002. Approximate duration: 9 minutes.

Copyright © 2002 by Martín Kutnowski. All Rights Reserved

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Program Notes (Japanese)