Leo Brouwer – Alsino y el Cóndor

Leo Brouwer - Alsino y el Cóndor LP front cover
Leo Brouwer - Alsino y el Cóndor LP back cover
Leo Brouwer - Alsino y el Cóndor LP lado 1

A co-production between Nicaragua, Mexico, Costa Rica and Cuba, the 1982 film Alsino y el Cóndor was directed by Chilean Miguel Littín, who was at the time exiled in Mexico after Pinochet’s takeover in Chile. Shot in Nicaragua, the film is a political allegory about a child’s dreams of freedom during the Contras vs Sandinista Junta turmoils in Nicaragua (a detailed description of the film is available here). Alsino was widely distributed worldwide and won several international prizes, including an Academy Award in the US. The soundtrack is by Cuban influential composer and director of ICAP Leo Brouwer and was released on LP by Intermusica F.M., possibly in Mexico, under license from EGREM.

♫  Divided into extremely short pieces, between 30s and 1mn, usually, the score is interpreted by the Nacional symphonic orchestra, even if the score often calls for small ensemble playing. The music includes romantic parts from the string section, as well as solo oboe, acoustic guitar and piano parts. A recurring theme is played on a strangely distorted celesta, the instrument made famous by Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker in 1892 (and Harry Potter‘s soundtrack!). The celesta and music perfectly conveys the magic realism of the movie and seem less heavy-handed than the film – cf. trailer below.

38 tracks
Total time 38:53

Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Cuba
[Manuel Duchesne Cuzán, cond.?]

LP released by Intermusica F.M., [Mexico?], 1982


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8 Responses to “Leo Brouwer – Alsino y el Cóndor”

  1. 1 Joaquín Mendoza Sebastián June 30, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I watched this movie a long long time ago, the music of the film is outstanding.

    Brouwer is a great composer, is great to see him represented in your blog, I learned a lot about Brouwer through one of my students, who is a diehard fan of Brouwer’s work(that’s the beauty of teaching =))



  2. 2 continuo June 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    I like the idea that you learn a lot being a teacher.

  3. 3 Stephen Maki July 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Thank you so much…Leo Brouwer is iconic and it’s nice that you are making some of his recordings available to us.

  4. 4 continuo July 5, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    He’s a great composer and I enjoy his contemporary and film music – more than his solo guitar works.
    Thanks for your comment, Stephen.

  5. 5 Christian July 6, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    It was nice to come across this on your blog. I just read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Clandestine in Chile,” a wonderful recounting of the exiled Miguel Littin’s return to Chile in 1985 as told to Marquez.

    Littin disguised himself as a Uruguayan businessman and had three camera crews roaming around Santiago and the outskirts, all under the pretense of being various foreign TV crews shooting documentaries. The crews for the most part believed thats what they were doing, Littin providing direction through various producers who he’d meet in parks and on bridges around the city. Total spy stuff.

    It’s a pretty exciting story, and very heartbreaking—Littin had been exiled for 12 years, and was hardly prepared for the emotions that his return unleashed.

    As always, thanks for the great music and great insight.

  6. 6 continuo July 6, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    There should be a film on Miguel Littín’s life, you would think, possibly based on Garcia Marquez’s book – I haven’t read it yet, though.
    Thanks for your wonderful account, Christian.

  7. 7 juan alvarado March 6, 2012 at 4:12 am

    hola amigos, un saludo desde Ecuador, queria comentarles que no se activan los liks com MULTIUPLOAD, quisiera por favor me ayuden para ver como puedo descargar los albumes de Leo Brouwer ALCINO Y EL CONDOR; LA TRADICION SE ROMPE, le pido de favor ayudeeeeen
    Juan Alvarado

  8. 8 continuo March 6, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    See the re-up section for all re-upload requests.

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