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Polonaise & De Aquí Pa’ llá


Polonaise (polonaise). Composed by Michael Kleofas Oginski (1765-1833) and performed by Thu Le.


Oginski was a Polish diplomat and politician, Grand Treasurer of Lithuania, and a senator of Tsar Alexander I. He was also a composer of early Romantic music. As a composer, he is best known for his polonaise Farewell to My Homeland (Pożegnanie Ojczyzny), written in 1794 in the Zalesie region (then part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, today in Belarus). This piece can be considered among the earliest examples of romantic music. Ogiński composed roughly 20 polonaises, piano pieces, mazurkas, marches, romances, and waltzes. The polonaise is a Polish dance dating back to the 1700s.

 

De Aquí Pa’ llá (guajiras). Composed by Laura González & performed by the Laura González ensemble.


The guajiras style of flamenco music belongs to a larger group of styles called Cantes de Ida y Vuelta (i.e., round-trip songs) that originated in either Spain or Latin America and moved between regions at least once. These songs were later “flamenco-ized” in Spain.


The guajira’s origin lies in a Cuban style of music called the Punto Cubano. What is particularly interesting about the Punto Cubano is that its original rhythm is almost identical to the flamenco guajira (although much faster) and the Punto Cuban’s lyrics were written in 10 octosyllabic verses — a poetic style dating back to 16th century Spain. The lyrical style was likely brought to Cuba from Spain, adopted by Cuban musicians, and then adopted and varied again by Spanish flamenco musicians post-1860.


This guajira by Laura González is a very energetic and interesting instrumental version of the style.

 

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