Notes and Editorial Reviews
"Music that makes one think is intolerable, excruciating. There are people who like it; as to myself, I adore music that puts me to sleep". So Revueltas on one much-quoted occasion. Many readers would no doubt gladly have suggested a long list of music for his adored repertory. I certainly would have done myself; but the long list concerned would include none of Revueltas's own music, which would seem to me to be proof against successful inclusion. It is always colourful, almost always lively, and whether in dancing or more lyrical vein adored, in turn, by the Mexican people; understandably, for its idioms are largely those of Mexican folk-music raised to a higher, symphonic degree.
Try Janitzio, for example. Janitzio is a fishing village which has, like much of Mexico, been taken over by the tourists. To the hotels and postcards Revueltas has added his grain of sand (his words, not mine); and in the upshot if you ever have the luck to get to Mexico, and know this record, you will be hard put to it to leave Janitzio off the itinerary. No doubt to get there you will need to take some of the Caminos which offer Revueltas another title, and another excuse for one of those Latin fiestas which certainly inhibit the sleep he was so ardently recommending. Curiously, Me Itinerarios themselves inhabit a slightly different world; a new note of seriousness enters the music at this point, from which it may or may not be thought to benefit. Perhaps the variety of Redes will appeal more; this was originally a film score (The Wave) which will quite certainly have illuminated the soundtrack of any serious film in 1935 over and above the call of precedent. Finally Sensemayd, which exploits colour rather than variety; a pretty fixed rhythm is expounded by the orchestra to the extent of some six minutes.
But it is a captivating rhythm, and the New Philharmonia's exposition is splendid. I will not pose as an expert on the true Mexican sound, if there is such a thing; only observe that if a true Mexican sound is any noticeable improvement on this particular variety of true London sound then it will be worth going to Mexico to hear it. The colour, the attack, and especially the warmth of the orchestra are very well caught by the quality of recording.
-- Gramophone [5/1978, reviewing the New Philharmonia performances of Sensemayá, Redes, Caminos, Itinerarios, and Janitzio]