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Penguin Guide, January 2009

The Mexican composer and violinist Silvestre Revueltas is essentially remembered for his colourful tone-poems, which are strongly influenced by Mexican folk music. His music is approachable: rhythmic, vibrant, even gaudily orchestrated, often with strong elements of popular Hispanic-American cultures in scores which also have strands of Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Chavez. The popular Sensemayá (1938), based on a poem by the Afro-Cuban revolutionary Nicolás Guillén, is about the killing of a snake. It is an exciting work, notable for its battery of drums and terrific rhythmic drive, building up to a huge climax, and here heard in its orchestral (as opposed to the original vocal and orchestral) form. La noche des los Mayas (‘The Night of the Mayas’) was written for a 1939 film; it forms the colourful 30-minute suite assembled by the composer José Yves de Limantour in 1960 recorded here. In the (unfinished) ballet La Coronela, written in 1960, Revueltas’s obvious rhythmic flair produces some excellent, spicily balletic numbers, with the emphasis on rhythm and bold colour rather than long melodic lines. Not that there are no tunes: Don Ferruco’s Nightmare starts out as a lovely Waltz and gets gradually more quirky as it goes on. Vibrant recording to match the performances.

Daniel Buckley
The Tucson Citizen

"This current CD with the Aguascalientes Symphony Orchestra of Mexico under music director Enrique Barrios collects Revueltas' three most powerful orchestral scores - the ritual-inflected "Sensemaya," the film score "La Noche de los Mayas" and the unfinished ballet "La Coronela." Fans of the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico will recognize the former two brilliant orchestral and tumultuous scores. The writhing percussion episodes of the final movement of "La Noche de los Mayas" has several times brought Tucson audiences to their feet in recent visits.

This collection has many pluses. First, it's the sole disc that collects all three major orchestral works. Second, it's priced at about $8 retail. This Naxos collection will more than fit the bill."

Terry Barfoot
MusicWeb International

"With some typically informative Naxos documentation, this disc of music by a little known but immensely gifted composer can be recommended with much enthusiasm."

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