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Violin repertoire by Spanish/ Latin American composers

Edited: July 19, 2022, 5:58 PM · I have a fun performance opportunity in an artist showcase coming up in TX in October. I have been asked to program approximately 10-20 minutes of solo (meaning unaccompanied or with piano or guitar) music for violin composed by someone of Spanish or Latin American descent. Ravel’s “Tzigane” was suggested by the organizer as a possibility because Ravel had Basque heritage. I am leaning towards Tzigane because I already know it and have performed it a few times. However, I realized that besides the Granados Sonata, which is pretty but becomes a little meandering and does not have many very flashy moments, I do not know many pieces for violin by Latin composers at all.

Of course, I know the DeFalla ‘Suite Populaire Español’ and ‘7 Canciones Populares Españoles’ and recently discovered Rodrigo’s Sonata Pimpante, which has some great moments and some that are meh. Now that I’ve heard the Rodrigo, I am curious to see if there any others that violinist.com members can recommend. Thank you!

Replies (12)

July 19, 2022, 7:13 PM · Pablo de Sarasate, Astor Piazzolla, a whole slew of tango composers, plenty of options.
July 19, 2022, 9:38 PM · Tzigane is really a bit of a stretch.

While this doesn't help you yet, Strings of Latin America is working with Sphinx and others on a project to compile a catalog of Latin American violin works. They've already done viola and cello. More on this here: https://www.stringsoflatinamerica.com/catalogs

What I have done a few times is look at the cello list, which is the most comprehensive, and then Google the composer names to see what they have written for violin.

I've found a lot of really cool stuff, but I've also learned that much of it is challenging to obtain. It's either not in print, has never been published, or is only available from the composer or some other designee.

There is lots available by the more mainstream composers like Piazzolla, Ginastera, Albeniz, or Villa-Lobos. There are also some other Rodrigo works out there that are pretty cool.

July 20, 2022, 2:47 PM · Does anybody know where I could find works by Manuel Quiroga in print?
July 23, 2022, 9:20 AM · A few names:
Chavez 3 Spirals, Sonatina
Blas Galindo Suite
C. Guarnieri 4 sonatas
Enriquez Suite, Solo Sonata, Refexiones solo violin
Ponce Sonata, Concerto
Revueltas Sonatina

Laura Klugherz is the author of A Biographical Guide to Spanish Music for Violin and Viola (Greenwood Press).

July 23, 2022, 10:30 AM · Jesus de Monasterio. For a short time, until Sarasate arrived on the scene, he was the best Violinist in Spain. He spent the rest of his career at the Madrid Conservatory.
Edited: July 23, 2022, 8:15 PM · Tarrega: Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Albeniz: Asturias

July 25, 2022, 7:14 PM · I'm Argentinian and I just posted a new Milonga for violin and piano. Scrolling score at https://youtu.be/8SxHwjMVNH4
Print the score free at raulkottler.com
(My surname is not Hispanic because my four grandparents emigrated from Ukraine in 1900, like many many other Jews, and my parents were born in Argentina and then I was born in Argentina. So I don't know if I really qualify as a Latin-American composer.)
Edited: July 26, 2022, 10:30 AM · La milonga suya me ha parecido auténticamente porteña!

I really enjoyed it, Raúl, and I think you can fully consider yourself a Latin-American composer.

July 26, 2022, 1:13 PM · Gracias, Che! I originally called it a Tango, but my mother, a pianist who recently died at age 102 and played Tango in Buenos Aires since the 1930s, said No! It's a Milonga! The title, Calle Florida, is a major street in Bs. As. near the Teatro Colon, the conservatory where my mother studied in the 1930s.
July 26, 2022, 1:56 PM · Some of Grenados' Danzas Espanolas have been transcribed for violin. They're good fun to play/listen to.
July 27, 2022, 4:08 AM · Raúl, thanks for sharing the beautiful memory of your mother.
Edited: August 8, 2022, 10:48 AM · Well, you can play Piazzolla's 6 etudes for flute in the violin without much changes to the original score, then you have Luis Gianneo 5 pieces: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhaPxMcHVM0
You have Ginastera's works, I think he has a violin sonata or concerto. Also, the Pampeana no.1.
Julian Aguirre 2 Aires criollos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpzR_h5PMhU
I found this one from Lopez Buchardo as well. https://www.nkoda.com/instrument?ref=f3d81a91-ee34-4e97-b559-b2d39535844a
They're all Argentinian composers, from my country.
If you want something more "common repertoire" you can play the Heifetz arrangement of Ponce's "Estrellita", after all, it is a Mexican song.

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