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Dave Brubeck - La Fiesta La Posada
[IM 36662]

CBS Master Sound Audiophile 1979

This is a problematic release, for it is a so-so realization of a wonderful piece of music, Brubeck's most frequently performed choral concert work. An evocation of a Mexican Christmas festival, the piece works for several reasons -- a tight structural game plan, marvelous tunes injected with Mexican folk material, catchy off-kilter rhythms and a youthful naive exuberance that masks the rigors of counterpoint and all the other technical stuff that went into its writing. Conductor Dennis Russell Davies hurries through the piece with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Dale Warland Singers, and even Brubeck, in three brief appearances with his trio, seems to go through the motions. Moreover, this was one of the earliest experimental digital productions -- issued on an audiophile LP in its time -- and the sound is wiry and dim, mastered at a very low level on the CD (you really have to crank up the volume). La Fiesta can really shine -- Brubeck's exultant live performances of the work prove that -- yet this recording only conveys the outlines of a terrifically uplifting experience. Alas, this is the only recording we have, so buy it and pray that Telarc or someone else records a new one someday. by Richard S. Ginell

Side 1.

1. Prelude
2. La Posada
3. Processioal
4. In The Beginning
5. Where Is He?
6. Gloria
7. We Have Come To See The Son Of God
8. Behold! The Holy One
9. Run, Run, Run

Side 2.

1. Gold, Frankincense And Myrrh
2. My Soul Magnifies The Lord
3. Sleep, Holy Infant, Sleep
4. In The Beginning
5. Neither Death Nor Life
6. God's Love Made Visible
7. La Piñata

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CBS Records
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