Pampeana No. 2

Alberto Ginastera

Pampeana No. 2

Op. 21

About this work

Ginastera gave the name "Pampeana" -- relating to the Argentine pampas -- to three rhapsodic works evoking his country's low-lying plains without quoting specific folk songs or dances. Although the third is a large-scale orchestral work, the first two are more compact pieces for violin (No. 1) or cello (No. 2) and piano. Written for cellist Aurora Natola, Ginastera's future second wife, the second Pampeana begins with a cello proclamation related to the declamations in gaucho singing competitions. The piano, initially restricted to sharp, intermittent chords, launches a vigorous folk rhythm and engages the cello in a brief dance, but soon the cello spins off into its own cadenza, full of double stops and pizzicato. The piano spends a couple of bars trying to lure the cello back to the dance floor, but the cello answers with low growls. Soon, the two instruments unite in a slow, nocturnal meditation; this continues at length, but eventually the instruments fall into a final, frenzied dance with hints of the malambo.