Castellanos: Santa Cruz De Pacairigua/ El Rio De Las Siete Estrellas/ Suite Avilena (Naxos: 8.572681)
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Evencio Castellanos belonged to the generation of Venezuelan composers who established a new nationalistic style in the first half of the 20th century. One of his best known works, Santa Cruz de Pacairigua pays homage to the construction of a church in Guatire, near Caracas, quoting popular dance rhythms and melodies, as well as a Venezuelan medieval carol. El Rio de las Siete Estrellas (The River of the Seven Stars), inspired by a poem about the Orinoco River, describes events of pre-colonial Venezuelan history leading up to the country's independence in 1821. The Suite Avilena, a compilation of scenes alluding to the coastal mountain of El avila, borrows from popular songs and Christmas carols, and features the cuatro (a four-stringed version of the European classical guitar) and maracas, two of the most typical Venezuelan folk instruments.
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