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El Clarin, Wednesday, July 18, 1984
Buenos Aires, Argentina
(Translation/ Excerpts)

A most important revelation by a composer of the organ was the local premiere, by the composer himself, of “CREDO” by the argentine Norberto Guinaldo, today a resident of California after being formed as an instrumentalist, in our country with Maestro Hermes Forti. It took place in the church of Santo Domingo.

To compose for the organ in Argentina today is not so rare as it was forty years ago or longer. In the last century some local composers used the “King of Instruments”, to reinforce or accompany a choir; but it fell on Julio Perceval, a Belgian organist residing in Buenos Aires since 1926 the honor to initiate the thrust towards the propagation of organ performance and organ composition. His works are perhaps the first geared toward the concert work world born in our midst. With the “Toccata Villancico y Fuga” of Ginastera (1947) the production appears more nurtured. Hector Zeoli in the ‘50s. Silvano Picchi, Rodolfo Arizaga y Juan Carlos Paz are almost pioneers (……) a long list which is not at all complete and to which from now has a prominent place Norberto Guinaldo.

It is important to point out that some of them were once or are now organists, with the advantages implied in the thorough knowledge of the possibilities of the instrument...Norberto Guinaldo is, without doubt, a notable organist-composer. As organist he has an impressive dexterity of hands, feet and registration. As an author, his “CREDO” deserves the most serious attention and it is a grave cultural fault that he was given so little of it from our musicians, be them conservative or advanced. The former would have discovered the possibilities of serial writing in a subject not to be taken lightly. The advance would have known the singular coherence, exceptional in our day, of a mind that does not choose easy roads, but works the same with dazzling inventive. Length, is not equivalent with importance, but to maintain the cohesion of the musical thought throughout more than an hour (twelve numbers of different character, all integrated in ample spiritual conception) means more than wring :”Largo”

The composer manifested his personal preference for religious organ music. We may observe than even Lizt and Cesar Franck and later Max Reger and in our day Gyorgi Ligeti, not always reflected in their work that inclination, and neither Guinaldo limits himself to prayerful melodic lines nor rejects musical textures that may provoke devotion as well as aural interest. Nowadays religious function does not make the organ. Organists could admire in his work the use of the pedal as an independent voice, a rich registration, a coloristic know-how that provokes visual images and a wise use of the pedal in the middle register, leaving for the left hand the low notes that are usually taken by the pedal.

The common listener did not get bored, not even an instant, because its rhythmic reaches does not permit it. Outstanding was No.5 “Crucifixion”, a mournful march not at all cast in the usual two-beat measure but in free measures that achieve an effect of instrospection and pathos. The influence of Messiaen is noticeable, but does not take away one farthing from the richness of thought of Norberto Guinaldo. His work may have been heard by only one hundred people but it was one of the memorable musical events of 1984.
Napoleon Cabrera
La Prensa,   Buenos Aires, Argentina
“CREDO”, Moving work of N. Guinaldo
(Translation/Excerpt) is a work of great magnitude. It has a length of about 65 minutes including some pauses for changes of registration, in which can be seen mature thinking molded on religious ideas that act a as programmatic support. However, there are not, in the theological discourse that presents any pious inconsistencies or simple hymn-like formulas. On the contrary, it consists of vigorous expositions of sound of noble proportions and extraordinary expressive strength, which through is twelve sections…it reveals a notable creative imagination and solid knowledge.  

The composer, excellent organist and consequently knowledgeable of the transcendental works written for the instrument in our time, succeeds in evading influences, showing a sovereign inventive, which makes its way through procedures derived from the twelve-tone system, which Guinaldo applies here, with a personal criteria that is rigorous and demanding. He obtains in this way, moments of high spirituality and majestic aesthetic pictures corresponding to the text that supports this work. The tonal resources, the sounds used in the changing registrations that succeed each other along the development of the work, be it harmonic masses of impressive density, be it in delicate design of a slender line that captivates in its transparency, give “Credo” a renewed aural interest, underlining the episodes of great drama with emphatic moments, bordering in what be considered a most impelling sonorous violence. Yet, the work maintains its own sense and cohesion and confining in its vast formal arch, a thought that is powerful, healthy, reflexive, meditated and mature.
Silvano Picchi
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Norberto Guinaldo: Toccata and Fugue 
"…brilliant and witty. . . for nimble fingers…"

Norberto Guinaldo: Toccata and Fugue
”…Guinaldo's Tocata is indeed a prize winner. . . for it has rhythmic and harmonic interest. . .The Toccata figuration do not repeat, ad nauseam, their expected convolution. Glory be. You may count Guinaldo among that rare species: a present-day composer who can employ counterpoint with some assurance."

"His fugue subject…has inspired a logical exposition, episodes of striking polyphony, a brief pedal cadenza, and a delightful exploitation of the subject in diminution. . . a pianissimo adagio followed by a pompous harmonization of the subject for full organ."

Norberto Guinaldo: Prelude for the Passion of the Lord " We shall have many fine works from Norberto Guinaldo. .. His music is stimulating and original. . . he can use counterpoint skillfully without being sterile or conventional, and his rhythmic and harmonic ideas are not trite or commonplace. . . This prelude was indeed inspired by thoughts about the Lord's Passion, for it has an emotional intensity of great power.

Norberto Guinaldo: Five Spanish Carols for Organ
"…He once again proves that he is a real composer. . . has used his fertile imagination to provide inventive rhythms, unexpected harmonies. . . contrapuntal ingenuity to create music. . . fresh and appealing. . I refuse to choose a favorite, for they are all gems."

Norberto Guinaldo: Three Litanies for Organ
" one of the most interesting and practical compositions to cross this reviewer's desk in a long time. . .If you have appreciated the Alain's "Litany" when you have heard it in concerts, try these"

Daniel Cariaga, Music Critic
"Norberto Guinaldo, the Argentine organist-composer, gave a fascinating recital in First Methodist Church Tuesday night. . . what made it different from more ordinary recitals was, of course, repertory, in this case two outer groups (surrounding a central Baroque core) consisting entirely of 20th Century music. . . a program sufficiently rare to warrant our gratitude. And Guinaldo, a secure technician and solid musician, put together and performed his 20th Century groups neatly with affection.

OAKLAND TRIBUNEOakland, California
Paul Hertlendy, Music Critic
"It's refreshing indeed to hear an organist to whom technique is not an impediment. Guinaldo is totally fluent and agile, as dexterous with the feet as with the hands. . . an impressive organist to watch and hear."

Daniel Cariaga, Music Critic
"What more worthy Bicentennial project than the revival of 20 nearly forgotten sonatas written by American composers of the late 19th and early 20th century? Organist Norberto Guinaldo began such a project. . . to be completed in monthly installments ending July 4, 1976. This (first) bouquet of sonatas were played with straightforward sentiment, clarified musicality and pellucid technique.

Timothy Mangan, Music critic
The Stations of the Cross (Marcel Dupre)
Who: Norberto Guinaldo, organ
Where: United Methodist Church of Garden Grove When: Friday evening.

REVIEW: Veteran organist gives rare performance of Dupre's epic work, vividly dispatched.

The hour-long work, set in 14 parts, was improvised in a 1931 performance by Dupre, an organ virtuoso, eventual director of the Paris Conservatoire and teacher of, among others, Olivier Messiaen… 
In the angular gray concrete and wood-pillared main sanctuary, Guinaldo, a student of Alberto Ginastera and Jean Langlais (who was, in turn, a student of Dupre), pursued textural and rhythmical clarity over undue histrionics. Performing on the three-manual, 48-rank Reuter pipe organ, he only rarely let it thunder. The often tumultuous and convoluted music emerged vital and serious, its multiple layers and opposing rhythms all decipherable. At the same time, his playing 
was utterly fluid and effortless, never stiff or lumbering. A listener could focus calmly on the music itself.
James Farley read from the Personal Meditations of Cardinal Newman before the performance.
Tanya Park gave dramatic recitation of Claudel's vivid and angry poetry.
Guinaldo requested the audience to refrain from applause before, during and after the performance. It seemed fitting.

The highlight of an organ convocation comes when Texan Joyce Jones takes over the console. Even in gaunt modern repertory, she proves herself both success and sensation...

Guinaldo premiere
…Further enhancing the mystical event was a world premiere composition by Argentine-born Norberto Guinaldo of Garden Grove. His "Oblations of Remembrance" intertwined a dance of our coastal Miwok Indians, an 800-year-old alabado or Spanish hymn tune, a traditional Mexican song and
 a turn-of-the-century laud in Spanish from Mission Santa Inez down south. He thereby linked key threads of mission cultures.
All of this was fitting, because many of these themes were known to Junipero Serra and the other padres buried under the Cannel basilica.
Guinaldo wove all of these environmental building blocks of music into his 20-minute, three-movement discourse, which made free but hardly jarring use of 12-tone compositional techniques. (Twelve-tone, now more than 60 years old, is still a radical notion among-organ composers, most of whom hew to bygone traditions far more than those in other media).

The effect was of a broad, sprawling narration sprinkled with pertinent quotations, a bit like Messiaen's broad-ranging, meandering forms. Guinaldo found a compatibility between very old chants and his 12-tone modernity, with a starkness of line and a slimmed-down dissonance suggesting classic perspectives.
Though the piece was fully mapped out beforehand, it has the feel of free improvisations on the given thematic material, he wove the multicultural quotations into his framework, and Jones wove all of them into a new page of this deathless mission's history.
The performance got a rousing reception, and Guinaldo took bows after the Wednesday morning event.
The New York Times, October 1, 1987

Music: Noted in Brief;
Catharine Crozier, Modern organ Works
 Catharine Crozier, among the leading organist in the country ... performed on the Aeolian-Skinner organ in Trinity Church on Tuesday evening before a small but appreciative audience. ...Tuesdays program consisted of works by Rorem, Norberto Guinaldo and Sowerby's grand Symphony in G; all works that explored the coloristic possibilities of dissonance without straying from a more conventional vocabulary.
...Guinaldo's"Lauda Sion Salvatorem" built considerable tension after its start, unfolded a gracious second theme based on a Gregorian sequence a concluded with a quiet passage that the organist floated elegantly through the church.