Osvaldo Golijov
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Azul (2006): Reviews
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From: The New York Times (Anthony Tommasini)

On Tuesday night at Avery Fisher Hall, as the immensely gifted young cellist Alisa Weilerstein played the volatile solo part in the New York premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's mesmerizing "Azul" for cello and orchestra, conducted by the dynamic Louis Langrée, it was hard not to pinch yourself and wonder whether this really was the opening concert of the 41st Mostly Mozart Festival…The piece, true to Mr. Golijov's aesthetic, unabashedly combines elemental contemporary sonorities, soulful cello outpourings, ritualistic stretches of obsessively repeated riffs and melodic fragments, and South American folk music introduced by solo players on ethnic percussion instruments - all of it enhanced with subtle electronics…

Mr. Golijov has a keen ear for sonority and an exciting instinct for combining seemingly disparate materials. This score … abounds in purely musical intricacies that grabbed me, including weirdly astringent sustained harmonies and poignant passages where the ruminative cello was comforted by the plaintive, reedy sounds of an accordion. And it was impossible to resist the fervor of the performance, especially Ms. Weilerstein's incisive, earthy and intense playing.

Challenge audiences? Yes, the Mostly Mozart Festival has certainly changed.

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