Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Libertango - Camerata Romeu

Camerta Romeu, founded and led by Zenaida Romeu, is perhaps the best known Cuban classical music organization in the United States. Their version of Libertango is featured in today's video. The Camerata are known through their recordings and through Cecilia Domeyko's award winning documentary, Cuba Mia, which many in the U.S. have seen on the PBS television network or on DVD.

The Camerata Romeu is famous not only for the high quality of their musical performances but also for being an all-woman orchestra and for performing without scores - all works are performed from memory - and their interpretations tend to be more open and emotional as a result. Such a commitment to musical performance is rarely seen in such a large chamber group. The Camerata is also generous in their coverage of Latin composers, both old and new. Their version of Libertango was arranged by one such young Cuban composer, Yadira Cobo, once a violinist herself in the Camerata. The introduction to Libertango, which takes the first three minutes of the video provides a good example of Cobo's skills. It is well crafted music but I would have enjoyed a few more "hooks" to link it to Piazzolla's themes in Libertango.

Videos from Cuba of performances of Piazzolla's work are quite rare. This is only the second one I have found in nearly two years of monitoring virtually all Piazzolla videos on YouTube. The video, unfortunately, has mechanical flaws which make viewing not a completely satisfying experience but the Camerata Romeu deserves your attention.

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