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Distant Neighbors

Though we share a very long border with Latin America, we live in two very different worlds. Their history is thousands of years old, and ours is younger. Come on this journey with us to the deep and rich musical history of our neighbors to the south. Mexico’s early history of many indigenous cultures and its colonization by Spain in the early 16th century make for a fascinating evolution of its classical music. This week we travel through the centuries of Mexican music, from an Incan flute song, a waltz from Mexico City, Over the Waves (Sobre las Olas) by Juventino Rosas (and until recently attributed to Johann Strauss II), and Bill finds Mexican mazurkas by Manuel Ponce.


Program 1

Perhaps implementing their new losses into their compositions, after Cortes conquered the Aztec Empire, many Mexican composers began to create choral pieces inspired by their torn cities once they reached America. Hear the exotic sounds of Latin America develop from their beginnings in the New World that was Western America, with the promiscutiy of Marizapalos and those who spun such sounds their own way. 

But Spanish composers were not the only ones in Mexico. Get a taste of the African sound combined here with the Mexican. 

Anon: Inca Flute Tune from Apurimac
Golden Apple 7552

Franco: Regina Caeli
Capella Cervantina/Franco,c.
Quindecim QP008

Padilla: Stabat Mater
The Sixteen/Christophers
Coro 6059

Padilla: Versicle and Response: Deus in adiutorium
Westminster Cathedral Choir/O’Donnell
Hyperion 66330

Escalada: Villancico – Canten Dos Jilguerillos
The Harp Consort/Lawrence-King
Harmonia Mundi 907293

Anon: Marizápalos A Lo Humano – Marizápalos Bajó Una Tarde
The Harp Consort/Lawrence-King; Hargis, s.
Harmonia Mundi 907293

Zavala: Diferencias Sobre Marizápalos
The Harp Consort/ Lawrence-King
Harmonia Mundi 907293

Zespedes: Guaracha – Convidando Está La Noche
The Harp Consort/Lawrence-King
Harmonia Mundi 907293

Lienas: Lamentatio
Schola Cantorum of Boston; Boston Camerata
Erato 45977

Enriquez: Recordando a Juan de Lienas
Orquesta Filarmónica del Bajío
Coro A.M.E.N. 10152

Murcia: Saldivar Codex No.4; Cumbées
The Harp Consort/Lawrence-King
Harmonia Mundi 907293

Bolivian Indian tune: En Cha En Cha
Golden Apple 7552

Program 2

The Age of Enlightenment dawns on the artistic world and is accompanied with such awakening, cheerful sounds as Cucú and instruments as conk shells. With the new age, a hopeful and celebratory tone is delivered within not only the titles, but the aural messages of such composers as Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz.

Salazar: O Sacrum convivium
Westminster Cathedral Choir/O’Donnell
Hyperion 66330

Murcia: Jácaras De La Costa
The Harp Consort/ Lawrence-King
Hyperion 66330
4:08; 1:46 (excerpt)

Murcia: Praeludium & Allegro (rec. NYC, Jan. 1958)
Andrés Segovia
Hyperion 66330

Murcia: Gaitas
Chatham Baroque
Dorian 90263

Murcia: Zarambeques O Muecas/Ya Que El Sol Misterioso
Chatham Baroque
Dorian 90263

Jerusalem: Matins for the Virgin of Guadalupe
Sanctus; Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim; Te Deum Laudamus

Chanticleer/Chanticleer Sinfonia/Jennings
Teldec 21829
0:50; 2:26; 2:48

Anon: Sonata in mi bemol for flute and continuo- Allegro
Capella Cervantina/Franco
Quindecim QB050

Juan del Ensina: Cucú
Hesperus, Rosa Lamoreaux, soprano
Golden Apple 7552

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz 3 Villancicos-
  Mesa: Las flores y las estrellas
  Mesa: Los que tienen hambre
  Flores: A este edificio célebre

Ensemble Elyma/ Garrido
K 617106
4:48; 3:50; 2:37

Chavez: Obertura La huerfanita
Conjunto de Camara de la Ciudad de Mexico
Cuartro Estaciones

Sumaya: Oh feliz culpa nuestra!
Conjunto de Camara de la Ciudad de Mexico
Primer Gran Festival Ciudad de Mexico-
450 Años de music

Sanz: Canarios/Alegres Luces Del Día
Chatham Baroque
Dorian 90018
Excerpt (1:34)

Program 3

With the help of composers such as Felipe Villanueva, Mexico may have been introduced to Ragtime, perhaps a reflection on the newly gained Mexican independence. Here are some examples of the work of peasants rising well past their impoverished backgrounds, and earning worldly respect with their masterpieces. Julian Carillo, the 19th born in his family, was even asked to represent his nation in the international music conference in Italy. 

And finally, an onslaught of piano concerto geniuses infests the nation. Concluding is a piece from the youngest composer of this playlist, Manuel Ponce.  

Ricardo Castro: Vals Bluette
Max Lifchitz, p.
North South 1010

Rosas: Sobre las Olas (Over the Waves)
London Symphony Orchestra/Gibson
Main Street 6605

Villanueva: Dos Danzas 2. Venus
Eva Maria Zuk, p.
Serie Siglo XIX Vol I

Villanueva: Vals poético
Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México/Fuente
Clasicos Mexicanos 21004

Carrillo: Alborada “Los Naranjos”
Orquesta Sinfoniaca Lamoureaux de Paris/ Fromat
San Luis Instituto de Cultura

José Paulino de Jesús Rolón: El festín de los enanos
Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México/Fuente
Clasicos Mexicanos 21004

Ponce: Piano Concerto
State Of Mexico Symphony Orchestra/ Batiz
Jorge Federico Osorio,p.
Asv 926
6:00; 9:56; 4:25

Murcia: Saldivar Codex No.4; Cumbées
The Harp Consort/ Lawrence-King
Harmonia Mundi 907293
1:16 (excerpt)

Program 4

The period preceding WWI accompanied a range of compositional styles from melancholy to an incoporation of European styles into Mexican composers' own. Political emotions were developing in Mexico and Silvestre Reveultas escaped from the war in Spain that he was sent to fight in. His return home brought about his musical, seven-beat rendition of Nicolas Guillen's "Sensemaya," which may be a reflection on the dangers he dodged.

Ponce: Mazurcas: No. 23 in A Minor
Jorge Federico Osorio,p.
Cedille Records 86
1:48 (excerpt)

Ponce: Concierto For Violin & Orch.
  Mvt. 2, (“Estrellita”)

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Batiz
Henryk Szeryng, v.
Asv 952
7:25 :59

Ponce: Concierto del sur
  III. Allegro moderato e festivo

New York Philharmonic/Serebrier; Isbin,guitar
Warner Clasics 60296

Ponce: Malinconia
Luzam 2000-001

Jiménez: Angelus
Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México/Fuente
Clasicos Mexicanos 21004

Chavez: Adelita Y La Cucaracha
Max Lifchitz, Piano
North South 1010

Chavez: Suite For Double Quartet: Preludio
Southwest Chamber Music Ensemble
Cambria 8850

Revueltas: La noche de los mayas: Noche de los mayas
Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Mexico/Diemecke
Sony 470801

Guillen: Sensemaya
Guillen reading the poem at the Library of Congress

Revueltas: Sensemayá
Orquesta Filarmónica De La Unam, Ronald Zollman
Quindecim QP040

Program 5

Introduce yourself to a slew of instruments that Americans impressed Europeans with on the street, using their newly acquired musical skills. Hear the marimba and accordion, two of many new additions to the symphony orchestra. Although such instruments were found in the Americas, Bill feels a European vibe ongoing throughout these new discoveries. 

Copland/Bernstein: El Salón México
Tocco, p.
Pro Arte 109
:54 (excerpt)

Chavez: Sinfonía India
UNAM Philharmonic Orchestra/Zollman
Unam MN 30

Chavez: Symphony No. 4, “Sinfonia Romantica”
  3 Vivo non troppo mosso

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Batiz
ASV 942

Chavez: Postludio
Southwest Chamber Music Ensemble
Cambria 8850

Moncada: Crepúsculo; Son De Huapango
María Teresa Frenk,p.
Quindecim QP013

Trad. Año Nuevo
Marimba Indigena Flor Bataneca
Arhoolie 341

Anon: El Ferrocarril De Los Altos
Various Artists
Caprice 21598

Trad.: La Tijerita
Lopez, a.
Arhoolie 341
:32 (excerpt)

Trad.: La Primavera
Arhoolie 341
:32 (excerpt)

Anon: Gregorio Cortez
Maya Y Cantu
Arhoolie 341
1:13 (excerpt)

Olsen: La Bamba
Garland Handbook Of Latin American Music
1:02 (excerpt)

Fender: How Bad (Que Mala)
Freddie Fender
Arhoolie 341
:46 (excerpt)

Trad: La Llorona
Chavela Vargas
Antología de la Canción Ranchera

Dominguez/Prutsman: Perfidia
Kronos Quartet, Carlos Garcia, musical leaf
Nonesuch 79649

Ponce: Estrellita
Repin, v.; Markovich, p.
Erato 25487


The Exploring Music streaming website is supported by Mr. & Mrs. William Gardner Brown and the Richard P. and Susan Kiphart Family.  
You have opened up the world of Classical Music to me, where previously, it seemed too complicated.
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