Population and economic conditions. -According to a 1992 estimate, the Platensian republic counted 3,131,000 residents, denoting a very low population growth (0.6% in the five-year period 1988-92), more in line with the European average values than with those of the South American continent. The capital, Montevideo, seat of the main economic, financial and cultural activities of the country, had 1,383,660 residents. to a 1992 estimate.
Agriculture (9.3% of GNP and 13.2% of the active population employed in the sector in 1992) still makes a fundamental contribution to the trade balance: the export of live animals, meat and skins totaled 36% of the value exports in 1992. Wheat and rice prevail among cereal crops; then there are oil crops (flax, sunflower, peanuts and soybeans), and sugar crops (both cane and beetroot), as well as viticulture and citrus growing. The Uruguay it lacks mineral resources and the import of hydrocarbons weighs heavily on the trade balance; however the Uruguay is an exporter of electricity, mainly of water origin. The manufacturing sector (30% of GNP and 25% of the workforce in 1992) is mainly based on agri-food, textile, clothing and leather, transportation construction industries and chemical industries. Tourism makes a substantial contribution to the balance of payments, so much so that it is equivalent to about a quarter of the total value of exported goods. For Uruguay 2000, please check neovideogames.com.
The economy of the Uruguay, in the mid-nineties, is going through a difficult moment, being plagued by a high budget deficit, by a very high inflation rate (74.8% per year in the period 1985-93) and by a progressive loss of competitiveness, especially in the industrial field. An economic adaptation program, approved by the International Monetary Fund, which also responds to the need to reduce the level of external debt, provided for the adoption of a series of austerity measures, such as the reduction of public spending, the increase in taxes and tariffs for public services, as well as a privatization program for state-owned enterprises, which, however, is met with strong resistance.
Music. – To the current of musical nationalism of the first quarter of the century, which had in E. Fabini (1882-1950), author of the symphonic poem Campo (1922), the greatest representative, together with A. Braqua (1876-1946) and L. Cluzeau-Mortet (1889-1957), different orientations came alongside, such as the impressionist one of G. Santorsola (b.1904), composer of Italian origin, during the thirties and forties, and the neo-classicist one of H. Tosar Errecart (1923) during the 1950s. In this same period also S. Baranda Reyes (b.1910), R. Lagarmilla (b.1913), A. Soriano (b.1915), J. Lamarque Pons (b.1917) and P. Ipuche Riva.
With the Sixties and Seventies, the adherence to the most advanced composition techniques by the representatives of the new avant-garde constituted the moment of greatest renewal of Uruguayan musical life. Among the notable figures are those of L. Biriotti (b. 1929), A. Mastrogiovanni (b. 1936), JL Iturriberry (b. 1936), and J. Serebrier (b. 1938).
Of Biriotti’s compositions in the 1960s, we should mention the Suite Concertante, for violin and orchestra (1963), the Concertino for trumpet and strings (1963) and above all the ” Ana Frank ” Symphony for strings (1964). At the end of the decade Biriotti devoted himself to integral serialism and experimentation with the electronic medium, in works such as Espectros for 3 orchestras (1969), Permutaciones for chamber orchestra (1970), Laberintos for 5 instruments (1970), Simetriasfor 9 instruments (1970). Mastrogiovanni – a pupil of Tosar in Montevideo and of AE Ginastera, G. Gandini and F. Kroeppfl at the Latin American Center of Altos Estudios Musicales of the Di Tella Institute in Buenos Aires, where he also studied electronic music – made use of the serial technique in his compositions such as the Symphony for chamber orchestra (1965); Reflejos for seven instruments (1970), Sequencial I for large orchestra (1970) and Sequencial II on magnetic tape (1970) belong to a new stylistic phase. Iturriberry, a pupil of C. Estrada, is the author of vocal and instrumental works: in 1969 he won the annual composition prize of the Conservatorio Nacional with Varacionesfor piano. Serebrier, a pupil first of Santorsola, then of Estrada at the Conservatorio Nacional in Montevideo, and of A. Copland in Tanglewood, made a name for himself in 1956 with La leyenda de Fausto and the Sinfonia ; The first performance of one of his most significant works, Colores Mágicos, dates back to 1971 and was conducted by the author at the 5th Inter-American Music Festival in Washington.
Also belonging to the same generation are D. Legrand (b. 1928), R. Storm (b. 1930), LR Campodonico (b. 1931), E. Gilardoni (b. 1935) and RM Rivero (b. 1935). The music scene of the last two decades has been dominated by composers of the generation of the 1940s, including A. Martinez (b.1940), S. Cervetti (b.1940), D. Diaz (b.1942) and B. Lockhart (b. 1944).
In particular, Lockhart, a student of Estrada and Tosar, followed a specialization course in modern techniques of instrumental and electronic composition with Ginastera, Gandini and Kroeppfl at the Di Tella Institute in Buenos Aires. Among other things, he composed Ecos, for orchestra (1970), Tema y variaciones for piano (1970) and Exercise I for electronic music (1970).
Among the younger composers we still remember C. Aharonian, F. Diez, H. Gutiérrez, MA Marozzi, R. Pietrafesa, G. Prilassnig, Y. Rizzardini, C. Silva and S. Vives.
Cinema. – A modest pioneering activity developed at the end of the 19th century by the Spanish F. Oliver. In 1919, the first feature film with a subject was made, Puños y nobleza: it is the story of a famous Uruguayan boxer directed by E. Figari, a director who worked during the 1920s alongside E. Peruzzi and C. Alonso, to whom we owe the most famous film of the silent period, El pequeño heroe del arroyo de oro (1929).
In 1936 the late advent of sound, with Dos destinos by J. Etchebehere, did not open new perspectives for national production, which remained sporadic and not very relevant for over twenty years, dominated by the Argentine film industry (Vocación by J. Erecart, 1938 ; Soltero soy feliz by JC Patrón, 1938; Radio Candelaria by the French H. Maurice, 1938; Los tres mosqueteros by J. Prades, 1946; Detective a contramano, by A. Fabregat, 1949; Pupila al viento, by D. Trelles and by the Italian E. Gras, 1949).
In the 1950s, the foundations of a vibrant film culture were laid, with the creation of a sizeable network of film clubs, some festivals, university-level cinema teaching (1950) and the Uruguayan Cinemateca (1952) which was responsible for distributing films banned from the commercial circuit, publishing a magazine (since 1977) and producing (1982) his first feature film: Mataron a Venancio Flores by JC Rodríguez Castro. This cultural fervor was matched by an intense film and documentary activity oriented towards political commitment.
Around the Sixties, with short films of neorealistic ancestry (Un vinten pa’l Judas, 1959; Como el Uruguay no hay, 1960), Uruguay Ulive represented the progenitor of this trend, subsequently followed by authors such as M. Handler (Carlos, cineretrato de un caminante, 1965; Elecciones, 1965, directed in collaboration with Ulive; Me gustan los estudiantes, 1968; Liber Arce, Liberarse, 1969), M. Jacob and E. Terra. On the other hand, the production of feature films was almost non-existent. Remember Ay! Uruguay! made in 1971 by F. Musitelli, M. Castro, JC Rodríguez Castro and J. Bouzas.
Following the exile of the main filmmakers of the 1960s, the best-known director abroad was for many years E. Darino, author of animated films (such as La leyenda del Amazonas, Carousel, Pasaporte, Guri, etc.) appreciated for its technical experiments. At the end of the 1960s, a group of authors, Marxists and Catholics, launched an appeal in favor of a militant Third World cinema, but the political and economic difficulties proved insurmountable. With the end of the military dictatorship (1984), national cinema nevertheless showed signs of recovery thanks to the creation of a national audiovisual institute and the success of young authors such as B. Flores Silva (La historia stradali verdadera de Pepita la Pistolera, 1993), director of a new film school; J. Rocca (Patron, 1994) and P. Dotta (El dirigibile, 1994). Among the not a few authors of animated films we mention W. Tournier (Nuestro pequeño paraiso, 1984).