Indiana University

Orrego Salas: Ciudad Celeste and Other Choral Works

This collection includes premiere recordings of the choral works of composer Juan Orrego- Salas, founder and first director of Indiana University's Latin American Music Center.  Born in Chile in 1919, Juan Orrego-Salas studied with Domingo Santa Cruz, Randall Thompson and Aaron Copland, becoming one of the most important Latin American composers of the 20th-century.

The disc includes the world-premiere of his cantata La Ciudad Celeste for baritone, chorus and orchestra, conducted by Carmen Helena Tellez , and featuring baritone Benjamn Eley. Based on texts from Revelation, it was commissioned to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Evangelization of America in 1992, and  is distinguished by its dazzling colors and  declamatory verve.  Another important work in the collection is the Cánticos Sagrados for chorus and instrumental ensemble, conducted by Jan Harrington, a great example of Orrego-Salas's devotional lyricism. The virtuosic Madrigales for chorus a cappella showcase Orrego-Salas unique brand of modernism, in contrast to the lovely set of early works in neoclassical style based on Spanish Golden-Age poems. The CD features the Indiana University Singers, Contemporary Vocal Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra.