A PERFORMANCE-ORIENTED ANALYSIS OF THE INFLUENCE OF ARGENTINIAN FOLK DANCES IN ALBERTO GINASTERA’S SUITE DE DANZAS CRIOLLAS, OP. 15


This contribution briefly illustrates my doctoral research on the reworking of Argentinian folk dances in the Suite de danzas criollas (“Suite of Creole dances”), op. 15 (1946) for piano by Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983) and its implications for the interpretation of the work. I adopt an approach that combines theoretical and analytical perspectives, along with technical aspects of piano performance practice, to show how practical knowledge of folk dances can orient choices in interpretation. First, by analysing the score, I will illustrate how rhythmic elements from three Argentinian folk dances (the zamba, the gato and the malambo) constitute a recurrent and integral part of the work. Then, I will describe how these rhythmic patterns are traditionally implemented in folk dance and percussion performances (focusing on the bombo legüero, one of the most common percussion instruments used to accompany these dances). Finally, I will show how knowledge of rhythmic patterns in folk dances and their implementation in dance and percussion dynamics can inform the interpretation of Ginastera’s Suite, specifically focusing on beat, accents and timbre.