LABELS: BMG Catalyst
WORKS: Homenaje a Federico García Lorca; Sensemaya; Ocho x Radio; Toccata; Alcancías; Planos; La noche de los mayas
PERFORMER: New Philharmonia Orchestra/ Eduardo Mata; London Sinfonietta/ David Atherton; Jalapa SO/Luis Herrera de la Fuente
CATALOGUE NO: 09026-62672-2 DDD
The Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas (1899-1940) began composing only in 1930. Nevertheless, in the ten years before his death, he created a rich musical legacy of colourful scores that arrestingly combine classical and popular musical styles. Two convulsively brutal pieces, Homenaje a Federico García Lorca (1936) and Sensemaya (1937/8), offer representative examples of the composer’s orchestral output, and the New Philharmonia’s thoroughly idiomatic performances convey their highly addictive character to thrilling effect.
Revueltas’s chamber music ranges from relatively lighthearted works such as Ocho x Radio and Alcancías to severely modernist pieces such as Planos. In this repertoire, the London Sinfonietta achieves ideal balance between detail and ensemble effect through sharply focused textures. In particular, the Sinfonietta’s powerfully compelling, hypnotically menacing effects in Planos are most impressive.
The longest work on the disc is the film score Night of the Mayas (1939). Played by the Jalapa Symphony Orchestra, directed by Luis Herrera de la Fuente, this spacious and evocative music’s opposition of nostalgic lyricism and lively rhythms culminates in a truly enchanting finale of awesome power. Overall, the impact is enhanced by outstanding digital remasterings of late Seventies and early Eighties recordings that bring out the full brilliance and passion of this beguiling music. Nicholas Rast