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Ariel Ramirez

Ariel Ramirez  Biography

Born in Santa Fe, Argentina in 1921. He is a non-Jewish composer.

Ariel Ramirez began his piano studies in Santa Fe, and soon became fascinated with the music of the gauchos and creoles in the mountains. He continued his studies in Córdoba where he met the great Argentinian folk singer Atahualpa Yupanqui. Following a suggestion from Yupanqui, he visited the Nordeste and deepened his research into the traditional rhythms of South America. At the same time continuing his academic studies as a composer at the Conservatorio Nacional of Buenos Aires. In 1946, with RCA, he made his first recording.

He went on to study classical music in Madrid, Rome and Vienna, from 1950 to 1954. On returning to Argentina, he collected over 400 folk songs and popular songs and founded the Compañía de Folklore Ariel Ramírez.

In 1964, Ramírez’ composition Misa Criolla marked the beginning of a period of high musical productivity which also saw the composition of Navidad Nuestra (1964), La Peregrinación (1964); Los caudillos (1965); Mujeres Argentinas (1969), and Alfonsina y el Mar (1969), all written together with poet Félix Luna.

Misa Criolla is by far his best known composition:

  • a mass for tenor
  • mixed chorus
  • percussion
  • keyboard
  • Andean instruments

Entirely based on traditional rhythms (chacarera, carnavalito, estilo pampeano), it is also one of the first masses to be celebrated in a modern language – being contemporary to the Second Vatican Council. Ramírez wrote the mass in 1963-1964 and it was recorded in 1964 by Philips Records, directed by Ramírez himself with Los Fronterizos as solo performers (Philips 820 39 LP, including Navidad Nuestra). It was not publicly performed until 1967 in Düsseldorf, Germany, during a European tour which eventually brought Ariel Ramírez before Pope Paul VI. Equally famous are the recordings with the great solo voices of George Dalaras (1989), Jose Carreras (1990), and Mercedes Sosa (1999).

Today, Ariel Ramírez is president of the Society of Authors and Composers of the Republic of Argentina (SADAIC).

Other major compositions by Ramirez include the Cantata Sudamericana (again with text by Félix Luna, 1972) and another mass: Misa por la paz y la justicia (with liturgical texts by Félix Luna and Osvaldo Catena, 1980).

3 thoughts on “Four Divine States of Mind”

  1. I am reaching out to you on behalf of Saiph Stars, a non-profit organization developed for children battling illnesses, providing them with resources such as videos, songs, games, magazines, etc. to entertain and inspire them while undergoing treatments during their long hospitalizations.
    BH, we have a wide range of performers, singers, storytellers such as Yakov Shwekey, Mordechai Shapiro, Ari Goldwag, Baruch Levine, YBC, Uri Davidi, Rabbi Ashear, Rabbi Lish, Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation, Rabbi Erps, Rebbee Hill, Rabbi Pesach Krohn, and many more who have joined our project by allowing us to use their material. In addition, subscriptions such as Mishpacha, Binah, The Circle, Spotlight, JWOW have all joined our project as well BH. All the material will be uploaded to locked iPads and is streamed thru the Saiph Stars App designated to be used by these children.
    We would love to include your material as it would mean a lot to the children.
    Please check out our website for more info at http://www.saiphstars.com.
    It should be a tremendous zechus for you! Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

  2. Felice Glazer says:

    I was just sitting at my piano looking over a very old book of songs called the songs we sing by Harry Cooper Smith. I got this book when I went to Anshe emet Sunday school in Chicago. That was in the late forties and fifties. This book is falling apart but I love it and will never part with it until I pass away. Something today just made me decide to look up the name of Harry Coopersmith and that’s how I found this site.

  3. Philip Joseph Brody says:

    Joseph Brody was my great grandfather. Murray Brody was my grandfather and Joseph Brody was my father. I am Philip Joseph Brody born in Queens N.Y. My halfbrother Brian is a saxophone player. Unfortunately I think musical talent skipped me. My great grandfather died before my father was born. Unfortunately my father died around 59 years old. I’m about to be 52 so hopefully I won’t pass before my time.

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