Review: Trinity Wall Street Presents Ginastera’s Raging ‘Cantata Para América Mágica’

Julian Wachner
The New York Times

By Zachary Woofle 

In 1961, two works by Alberto Ginastera - his Piano Concerto No. 1 and "Cantata Para América Mágica" - were given their premieres in Washington as part of the second Inter-American Music Festival. Have they ever been played in such proximity since?

It's unlikely. But New York got a rare opportunity last week: Over a few days, it was possible to hear the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel and the pianist Sergio Tiempo in the concerto at David Geffen Hall, then the forces of Trinity Wall Street in the cantata at Trinity Church.

Trinity and its indefatigable music director, Julian Wachner, have begun a 15-concert celebration of Ginastera, "Revolutionaries," in honor of the centennial of his birth. (He died in 1983.) Many of the programs pair this Argentine atonalist with late works by Beethoven, but Thursday afternoon's concert followed the bristling, brilliant "Cantata Para América Mágica" with Stravinsky's bristling, brilliant "Les Noces": an hourlong event that encapsulated Trinity's considerable artistic ambitions and achievements.


Shimmering, twinkling fragments and half-heard rustles trail off from timpani beats and rolls. This is a sonic landscape as sensitive as it is muscular, and both those qualities were present in the vibrant performance led by Mr. Wachner, featuring players from the Trinity ensemble Novus NY. 


Like "Cantata Para América Mágica," "Les Noces" is the work of a composer fascinated by his cultural heritage and seeking to bring it in line with the contemporary avant-garde. With Mr. Wachner at the podium, the incomparably alert Choir of Trinity Wall Street, a quartet of pianists - Steven Beck, Pedja Muzijevic, Daniel Schlosberg and Charity Wicks - and a quartet of singers - Melissa Attebury, Joseph Beutel, Jacquelyn Stucker and Vale Rideout - brought it to vigorous life.

Read the full review here