program notes by composition > D > Danza Final

Danza Final

Alberto Ginastera/trans. David John

Danza Final is an adaptation from the ballet Estancia (Argentine Spanish: “ranch”). The ballet tells the story of a city boy in love with a rancher’s daughter. At first, the love affair is one-sided, as the girl finds the boy spineless, at least in comparison with the intrepid gauchos (cowboys). By the final scene, however, the hero has won the girl’s heart by outdancing the gauchos in a traditional contest on their own terrain. Through its references to gaucho literature, rural folk dances, and urban concert music, this piece evokes images of the diverse landscape of the composer’s homeland. This concluding movement is inspired by the flamboyant malambo dance of the Argentine gauchos.

This is the final movement of a four-movement orchestral suite. It is cast in the form of a malambo, an Argentinian dance with roots dating to the 1600s. Only males are allowed to participate, and it is often used by gauchos to prove their manhood. The clapping of hands and a use of the feet akin to tap dancing are the hallmark of this style.

Alberto Evaristo Ginastera (1916–1983) was an Argentine composer of classical music. He is considered one of the most important twentieth-century classical composers of the Americas. Born to a Catalan father and an Italian mother, he preferred the Catalan pronunciation of his name, with a soft “G” rather than a Spanish “J” sound. He studied at the conservatory in Buenos Aires and taught at the Liceo Militar General San Martín. He studied with Aaron Copland. He moved to the United States, and then to Europe. He died in Switzerland.

Last updated on May 9, 2016 by Palatine Concert Band