Andrys' Recommended CDs

of Music of the Andes

Music of Peru, Chile, Bolivia

Two of the best compilations around:

Music of the Andes

For me, this is tied with the one below as my favorite 1-CD collection of groups playing Andes music.:
   Caveat, I start enjoying the songs at Track 6 of 17 cuts.
   Quenas (Andes flutes) are sometimes played straight-tone or instead with much flutter. I prefer the former. The first few cuts have more than a little flutter in the playing style, a style popular in Peru.. Mostly upbeat music, with songs I enjoyed while in Peru.
HEMIsphere Audio CD / Released July 26, 1994
Amazon's Price: $11.49
Rough Guide To The Music Of The Andes [IMPORT]

This contains the most interesting track of the two collections, "Atahuallpa," by the group, Rumillajta.
   One of the most poignant songs I've heard, the title refers to the Inca chief who was executed by the Spaniards after he had his people round up (cutting from temple walls) all the gold Pizarro had demanded in exchange for letting him live -- an entire room nearly filled with gold. He was considered too-unifying a force if allowed to live, and after his death the Inca army did fall apart

The song is beautifully constructed. The lyrics and translation are not included here but are on the notes for Rumillatji's CD by that name (see below). The tuning of instruments on this album is better than in the one above, but the other album has a few popular pieces I heard one night at dinner and which I really enjoy hearing again.

   The Rough Guide includes an informative history and description of the various styles of Andes music presented on these recordings as well as notes on the various groups.

Import-UK / Audio CD / Released 1996
Amazon's Price: $11.97

Top notch recordings. I have almost every one of their albums. They play soulful laments as well as upbeat music, making good use of bass panpipes, as well as tenor/alto..

Most of the music by all listed on this page are a fusion of modern rock and ballads with traditional Andes material, the panpipes and quena (flute) dominating.

  • Atahuallpa      Usually $15.49 at Music Blvd,    and $13.99 at Amazon
  • Takiririllasu     Usually $15.49 at Music Blvd,    and $13.99 at Amazon
  • Urupampa      Usually $15.49 at Music Blvd
  • Wiracocha     Usually $15.49 at Music Blvd,    and $13.99 at Amazon
  • Pachamana     Usually $16.97 at Amazon
  • City of Stone  Usually $16.97 at Amazon

    Rumillajta the group
    About the Musicians
    The Music of Rumillajta" - Song descriptions and lyrics

  • BOLIVIA page at Amazon
    Well known groups:
    the Inti Raymi
    and Mallku De Los Andes

    CHILE page at Amazon
    Popular with the public:
    Illapu - they have some wonderful albums out, although "The Best of..." is said to be one to avoid.
    Inti-Illimani- very good group, the quena playing a bit inconsistent
    Quilapayun - a good group though inconsistent
    Victor Jara - noted singer-guitarist who was publicly executed for songs of protest against the dictatorship

    PERU page at Amazon
    Popular are:
    Inti-Illimani - listed under both Chile and Peru
    Sukay - I heard one cut on Rough Guide that was gorgeous but have now heard several others that sound like an entirely different group and not particularly inspiring. At least Amazon lets you listen to several samples

    Included on the Peru page are several CDs of more authentic village and mountain music performed by natives. Some of them can be a tougher listen but are closer to what you may hear as you walk around, while the other CDs listed on my Andes Music page are professional offerings by popular instrumentalists and singers who are primarily entertainers. Both usually contain some beautiful laments along with highly energetic upbeat music. The sound of panpipes played well has a haunting quality. With the authentic village-music cd's, the pitch of an instrument can wander, as is just common with non-professionals, while the music performed by villagers can have the raw power of the genuine article.

    AMAZON Music

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