Osvaldo Golijov
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Ayre (2004): Reviews
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From: LA Weekly (Alan Rich)


The marvel of Osvaldo Golijov's music, brought forward more clearly in every new major work, is a fascinating process of self-revelation of his own variegated heritage, gorgeously made clear in one work after another. Ayre—you could call it a 40-minute song cycle—compiles texts from Hispanic, Sephardic and Israeli sources with some words by Golijov himself. The passions are bitter, brutal and sardonic, often hidden behind a wash of angelic simplicity. All of this relates to Golijov's own backgrounds—Eastern European, Israeli, Argentine, suburban Bostonian—and the enthusiasm with which he has allowed them to guide his pen. One further dimension is the extraordinary amalgam of his multifaceted expressive language with the artistic impulse of singer Dawn Upshaw, whose musical soul Golijov's music has deepened and strengthened into one of the treasures of our time.

Upshaw's performance of Ayre has just been released on an essential Deutsche Grammophon disc, along with Luciano Berio's Folk Songs, a similar enterprise of a generation ago.

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