September 7, 2023

The LA Phil and Gustavo, together with Platoon, to release new album 'Fandango'

Platoon and the LA Phil announce the release of 'Fandango', a new album featuring the LA Phil and Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel performing Alberto Ginastera’s "Four Dances" from 'Estancia' and Arturo Márquez’s new violin concerto 'Fandango', with violinist Anne Akiko Meyers. Fandango will be released globally on streaming platforms, including Apple Music Classical, on September 15.

The new collaboration will increase the already prolific global reach of the LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel. The renowned pairing are part way through their Pan-American Music Initiative—a 5-year project exploring more than 30 new commissions and numerous creative partnerships, emphasising the importance of Latin American heritage—a vital part of Dudamel’s life’s work. The dynamic conductor is known for his deep belief in the power of music as a force for social change. Through his extensive work within Latin American communities, he has used music as a means of profound social transformation—it is never merely viewed as entertainment. Part of Dudamel’s legacy is his advocacy of neglected or rarely performed music by Latin American composers. The repertoire on this album is by composers that the Venezuelan maestro has supported throughout his career.

Dudamel helped cement the reputation of the Mexican composer Arturo Márquez with his championing of Danzón No. 2. Fandango features the world premiere recording of Márquez’s Fandango, a powerfully energetic concerto for violin and orchestra in three movements, commissioned by violinist Anne Akiko Meyers. The fandango is known worldwide as a popular Spanish dance, appearing in the 18th century in Spain and moving to the Americas, where it acquired a personality according to the land that adopted and cultivated it. Márquez was familiar with this music since his childhood and says, “For centuries it has been a special festivity for musicians, singers, poets and dancers. Everyone gathers around a wooden platform to stamp their feet, sing and improvise décimas for the occasion.” Anne Akiko Meyers embodies this celebratory atmosphere in the performance captured here, partnered with verve by the LA Phil and Dudamel.

"In 2018, after hearing Danzon No. 2, music that made my heart and soul dance, my dream for a mariachi-inspired violin concerto was reignited,” said Akiko Meyers. “Soon after, I approached the great Arturo Márquez, and he shared with me that his late father was a mariachi violinist and he was waiting to write this music that stirred in his heart for decades.”

Meyers continued, “Fandango was soon born when I gave the world premiere at the Hollywood Bowl in 2021, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel conducting (and dancing). The joyful, soulful music has thrilled audiences from Mexico City to Carnegie Hall and this live recording will undoubtedly touch your heart and make you fall in love with his music, much like I did.”

Also included on the album is Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera’s Four Dances from the ballet Estancia, another work that pays homage to the land from which it originates. The composition pulses with life, and a wildness, enchantingly juxtaposed with a beautiful Gaucho dance. This recording features the rich-voiced baritone Gustavo Castillo as both narrator and soloist.

Gustavo Dudamel says “Sharing the extraordinary music of Latin American composers has been a part of my musical mission since the very start, and this new album with the LA Phil is a beautiful expression of two of Latin America's greatest talents: Argentina’s Alberto Ginastera and Mexico’s Arturo Márquez.

“Ginastera’s ballet Estancia is a musical representation of the Argentine gaucho, the cowboys of the South American plains, and it speaks to both the beauty and the challenges of that land. And my wonderful friend Arturo Márquez's Fandango, which we gave the premiere of in 2021, is a love letter to the dance music of Sonora Mexico. For centuries, the fandango has been one of the more popular Latin dances in the repertoire and has been performed in dance halls across the world (Arturo and I have been dancing in many of these halls ourselves!), it has become almost like the heartbeat of Mexican culture.

“These works represent the rhythm and soul of Latin America, and I'm so proud to release them in partnership with Platoon, who are at the cutting edge of exploring new and exciting ways to share recorded music with the world.”

“We are delighted to be partnering with Platoon on the release of Fandango, featuring the work of composers Arturo Márquez and Alberto Ginastera,” said Meghan Umber, Chief Content Officer at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. “LA Phil Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel has championed the work of Latin American artists from the start of his career and, in the process, has reshaped American orchestral repertoire. Through our collaboration with Platoon, we are able to build on Dudamel’s border-transcending and inclusive vision by making the music of these Latin American musical giants available to all.”

Denzyl Feigelson, CEO and co-founder of Platoon says “Platoon has been building an increasingly dynamic classical roster, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome the LA Phil and Maestro Dudamel to the family. We are immensely proud to partner with this trailblazing organization and their dynamic Music & Artistic Director. Their tireless advocacy and belief in the power of classical music, both in the core canon and in showcasing the vibrancy and talent of Hispanic composers, really resonated with our ethos to amplify musical voices around the globe.”