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American Portraits

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Album Review

On 1999's American Portraits, Flavio Cucchi and the Modi String Ensemble join forces on Oliviero Lacagnina's "American Portraits" suite, which honors Buenos Aires, Indiana, Havana, and New York. The delicate interplay of classical guitar and strings, complex Latin rhythms, and droning, prairie-like spaces evoke the different climates and cultures of the American continents; the jazzy, bustling "New York City" and fluid, rippling "Mexico City" are particularly successful. The main program is augmented by Paulo Bellinati's "Jongo," Carlos Guastavino's "Jeromita Linares," and Oscar Roberto Casares' "Siete Canciones Sefaradies and Danza Hebrea," a collection of Sephardic songs and dances, all of which reflect Cucchi and the Modi' Ensemble's masterful, restrained playing.

American Portraits, Flavio Cucchi
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