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100 Years Of Mexican Music For Wind Quintet

Quinteto Latino
Release Date: 02/14/2012 
Label:  Con Brio   Catalog #: 5637904091  
Composer:  Jose Luis HurtadoCarlos ChavezArturo MárquezMario Lavista,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quinteto Latino

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


HURTADO Son La Bruja. Tenue. CHÁVEZ Soli No. 2. MÁRQUEZ Danza de Mediodía. LAVISTA Cinco Danzas Breves. PONCE Estrellita Read more

The San Francisco-based Quinteto Latino is made up of: Armando Castellano, French horn; Kyle Bruckmann, oboe; Shawn Jones, bassoon; Diane Grubbe, flute; and Leslie Tagorda, clarinet. These musicians, who like to explore new twists on traditional folk songs, are also dedicated to playing works by living composers. Founded in 2001 by Castellano, the ensemble hopes to expand the cultural boundaries of classical music by playing it for entirely new audiences. Composer José-Luis Hurtado, who teaches at the University of New Mexico, is the pianist of the Nueva Música Dúo and a founding member of Álta Voz. His 2007 piece Son la Bruja is based on a popular folk melody from Mexico’s Vera Cruz area and shows its Afro-Mestizo influences. La Bruja exclaims, “How wonderful it is to fly at two o’clock in the morning.” I’m not sure I would agree with that when I am riding a “red-eye” flight, but it’s a lilting tune that you might still be singing at daybreak and it’s a great way to start the recording. Also in 2007, Hurtado wrote another piece for the Quinteto, Tenue, and this one allows them to demonstrate more of their consummate virtuosity. It deals with light and shadows by venturing into some newer sonorities, so it shows an entirely different side of this talented composer. Carlos Chavez called the next work on the Quinteto’s program Soli because each of the instruments in the quintet, first the flute, then the clarinet, followed by the oboe, the bassoon, and finally the horn becomes the soloist in one of the movements. With its serial technique, this work is a good representation of mid 20th-century musical style, and it allows the members of the Quinteto to display myriad individual skills. Soli No. 1 was written 1933 and he wrote the one heard here in 1961.

Arturo Márquez’s 1996 opus, Danza de Mediodía, (Noon Dance) is a result of the composer’s interest in the Danzon, the official dance of Cuba which evolved from the habanera and can also still be found in Mexico and Puerto Rico. Some aspects of the habanera can be heard in the Márquez composition. While not as passionate as a tango, similar chemistry is there in a more lyrical form. The ghost of Mérimée’s Carmen is back in a lyrical 20th-century guise. Cinco Danzas Breves (Five Short Dances) by Mario LaVista were designed to be of use at social functions and I do think they could be a good background for a sophisticated party. However, I would also like to see them danced by a fine ballet company. I hope that their sometimes-acidic tones combined with interesting harmonies will attract a forward-looking choreographer. Manuel Ponce wrote Estrellita in 1912, and I can remember singing it on a children’s radio program too many years ago to mention. Adam Lesnick made this arrangement in 1995, almost 50 years after Ponce’s death, but it still keeps the poignancy of the simple request intact, and the Quinteto’s thought-provoking rendition makes an excellent finale for this fascinating disc. Comparisons are hard to find. Keri-Lynn Wilson conducted the Orchestra of Simon Bolivar in a version of the Danza de Mediodía for Dorian Recordings that was released in 1998. Carlos Chávez’s Soli No. 2 is recorded by Southwest Chamber Music on Volume II of the complete recording of his chamber music that was released in 2004. Hurtado’s music, written since those recordings were made, makes this an important disc for lovers of contemporary Latin American music to have in their collections.

FANFARE: Maria Nockin
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Works on This Recording

Son La Bruja by Jose Luis Hurtado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quinteto Latino
Tenue by Jose Luis Hurtado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quinteto Latino
Soli for Wind Quintet no 2 by Carlos Chavez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quinteto Latino
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1961; Mexico 
Danza de meliodía by Arturo Márquez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quinteto Latino
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1997; Mexico 
Danzas (5) breves by Mario Lavista
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quinteto Latino
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Mexico 
Estrellita by Manuel Ponce
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quinteto Latino
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; Mexico 

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