Christine Labroche replies to my query with a list of the tempi and
movement names for a CD by this composer. Incidentally, I've since
written to Sierra and got in reply a listing that wasn't quite as
thorough as hers!
>I don't have the CD but as I am intrigued by and quite appreciative of
>the cello concerto you mention above - Carlos Prieto's cello is
Indeed, it's the Piatti Stradivarius, and if I take your thrust I'd agree
that he's an artist of the highest stature. Although he's recorded the
better-known -- the Bach cello suites, Dsch's First, Ginastera, Piazzola,
Gerhard, Falla, etc. -- Prieto thankfully also covers less-known composers
of considerable excellence.
I mean cello concertos by Federico Ibarra, Celso Garrido-Lecca, John
Kinsella, Camargo Guarnieri, Arturo Marquez, Samuel Zyman, Carlos Chavez's
movement for a concerto for cello & orch. Also pieces for cello/piano
by many impressive, hitherto unknown-to-me composers: Manuel Castillo,
Tomas Marco, Manuel Enriquez, RX Rodriguez ...and others as well.
>...tell us more about Roberto Sierra's music?
Well, beyond what I said, namely that Sierra (b 1953) worked with Ligeti
and teaches at Cornell, I think since you've got the cello concerto you
probably have your hands of very telling music. It's strong, muscular
music that isn't shy to go far, challenge the listener, and explore new
ways of being musical. The Ligeti exposure shows, though not in any
copy-cat way: in the daring to forge paths elsewhere, and the brilliant
dissonances; not so much in exploring sonorities.
I've just about completed a review of the CD with that concerto: I find
it one of the most rewarding cello concerto CDs, period! A rich variety
of works, all superbly played: from jazzy (Tousssaint), to folk-based
(Marquez), through abstruse, or at least challenging and very 21st
century: the Sierra. Sierra's clarinet CD, which began this note, is
still undergoing digestion. But the piano trio -- on 'Voces Americanas:
Voices of Change,' CRI 773 -- is truly stupendous, and from the first
It strikes me as more folk-inspired than the concerto. Confident,
assured, melodious, a fresh work that's full of mood and musical changes,
rich with ideas and unexpected turns. I detect a touch of jazz in the
piano -- again, unlike in the concerto -- some interesting cello pizzicato,
and the violin takes a nice melodious lead in the 2nd movement. Far
better than any common-or-garden piano trio. He's one to look out for.
What do you have by Sierra? What am I missing?