Ensemble Works

NEOS 10945CD NEOS 10945CD

Silvestre Revueltas (1899-1940) is considered, alongside Carlos Chávez, the most important and quintessentially Mexican composer of his country from the first half of the 20th century. With the liberation of Mexico from the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz, artists strove to create a culture marked by national identity. In contrast to other composers, however, Revueltas did not quote from the folk and dance music of his country; nor did he attempt, like Chávez, to reconstruct the music of the original inhabitants. Far more than that, Revueltas discovered the purely Mexican character within himself and his surroundings: present-day Mexico with its festivals and markets, its street music, landscapes, the habits and customs of its people. These are reflected in the titles of many of his compositions: Caminos (Streets), Ventanas (Windows), Esquinas (Street Corners), Colorines (named after the flaming trees that brighten up the otherwise dark landscape of Mexico). Thus Revueltas arrived at a highly original and powerful musical language with complex polyrhythms, brilliant melodies, extraordinary harmonies, fascinating timbres, and terse, dense structures. His most important work is considered to be Homenaje a Federico García Lorca for chamber orchestra, which is also one of his most Mexican and modern pieces (performed here). Revueltas achieved this connection between nationalism and modernism especially in his chamber works, in which the smaller ensembles allowed him to focus more sharply on timbre, dynamics, rhythmic articulation, and contrast. His pieces are performed here by the Ensemble KNM Berlin: Rebecca Lenton, flute; Gudrun Reschke, oboe; Winfried Rager and Helge Harding, clarinets; Theo Nabicht, bass clarinet; Roman Reznik, bassoon; Daniel Costello, horn; William Forman and Naama Golan, trumpets; Daniel Ploeger, trombone; Robin Hayward, tuba; Angela Gassenhuber, piano; Dirk Rothbrust and Alexandre Babel, percussion; Ekkehard Windrich and Elfa Rún Kristinsdóttir, violins; Ringela Riemke, violoncello; and Arnulf Ballhorn, double bass; with Gabriel Urrutia, baritone/speaker and Roland Kluttig, conductor.