Friday, March 7, 2008

Piano 101: 6. Danza del Gaucho Matrero

The final Argentinian Dance is the Dance of the Cunning Cowboy. The opening instruction on the score is "Furiosamente ritmico e energico" ("furiously rhythmic and energetic"), and it doesn't let up from beginning to end. You really have to work out how to keep the energy up without hammering on every note, because your arms won't make it to the end. I've found that stressing the inner voices in the big chords gives power and brings out the melody while avoiding exhaustion.

There are plenty of examples of the 2x3 vs. 3x2 rhythm throughout, as well as a new twist in the chordal melody sections where Ginastera inserts some bars of 9/8 among the 6/8. That adds a 3x3 grouping to the mix. There are a few other bizarre accent patterns that can completely throw your timing if you're not careful.

Anyway. Strap on your seatbelt...

Track 6: Danza del Gaucho Matrero (Alberto Ginastera)


  1. Wow!!

    Thank you

    Uncle Ed

  2. Kenneth,
    It was well worth waiting for this third dance piece by Ginastera. You are amazing!

    In the meantime, I have listened to your five other piano selections many times over. As they are becoming familiar to me, I enjoy and appreciate them all the more. I am even starting to relate some of what you say about the music to the way you play the selections.

    You are really making me listen closely, Kenneth, and I can honestly say that I am beginning to love this music.


  3. Hey, Kenneth,

    Makes you wonder about Argentinian cowboys, doesn't it? If they were as furious and energetic as this piece, the cows must have been pretty disturbed!

    Nevertheless, it is thoroughly enjoyable. thank you.


  4. I love the tempo at which you take this piece, a bit slower than most pianists. I've heard many recording of this work and it is often played so fast that it blurs into dissonant noise.

    I love being able to hear every note and the complex rhythmic relationships. The reality that this piece is actually beautiful as well as exciting surely comes out in your performance.

    There are some good recording of great work here. I'm now a fan. Keep up the good work.
    Thanks, Robert