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Kenneth Keaton
American Record Guide, July 2019

This youth Orcshestra was founded in 2011 by conductor Gustavo Rivero Weber, and they sound magnificent here. They are associated with Eduardo Mata University, and they consist of the finest young musicians of Mexico. The play with real mastery and joy—ensemble is precise, no matter how difficult the music; and the strings, in particular, can sound really lush and lovely. Anyone with interest in Mexican music should have this—or guitarists who are looking for a new, exciting work with orchestra. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Phillip Scott
Fanfare, July 2019

This collection comes from a youth orchestra based in Mexico City, comprised of promising young musicians and named for the late conductor Eduardo Mata. The orchestra’s first Artistic Director was Jan Latham-Koenig; the position is currently held by the conductor of this disc, Gustavo Rivero Weber.

The OJUEM strings are a definite asset in the evocative short piece by Iannarelli, originally written for solo guitar. Depicting the final meeting at a café between a teacher and his star student, it forms a gentle coda to the rest of the program and is beautifully played by guitarist Pablo Garibay. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

Cinemusical, March 2019

The piece [El arbol de la vida] draws the listener in with its overall accessible language. The orchestra here works very well to support the soloist in what is a stunning performance all around. The work itself, and this performance, is worth the price of the album. Overall, it is a fascinating blend of modern orchestral writing with many nods to the 20th Century Nationalist pieces included here.

Weber’s program really helps illustrate the abilities of this younger group of players. He is able to help maintain a focus that results in musical, and thoughtful performances. One can hear the exuberance along the way… © 2019 Cinemusical Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2019

A disc featuring five of the most colourful scores composed in Mexico during the Twentieth century, and presented in outgoing and highly enjoyable performances. Opening with one of my favourite pieces, the folk inspired dance, Huapango, from Jose Pablo Moncayo, who died tragically young at the age of forty-six, robbing Mexico of potentially one of its finest composers. With exuberant use of percussion, it mixes subtle colours with a riot of happiness, its mood an excellent prelude to Silvestre Revueltas’s La noche de los mayas. Composed in 1939—two years before Huapango—and the year before he died at the age of forty-one, it was music for a film whose origins influenced by folk music. Using a battery of percussion, including many Mexican instruments, it has the savagery we find in Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, and you could well imagine the potential for a ballet. From the film score the conductor, Jose Yves Limantour, fashioned a four-movement symphonic suite, each depicting a different night in the South American world once inhabited by the Maya people, the quiet third night offering a respite before the final frenzied dance. The disc’s most recent work, completed three years ago, is Hebert Vasquez’s El arbol de la Vida (The tree of life). Scored for amplified guitar and orchestra, its mix of Spanish-style strumming and melodic invention intended to picture the roots of the tree extending into the ground, the conclusion just about as noisy as you can get. Also for guitar and orchestra, Simone Iannarelli’s El ultimo cafe juntos, verges on ‘pop’ music, while Ricardo Castro, born in 1864, proved that it all began with West European music in his brief Minuetto. The orchestra providing all the sheer virtuosity required has been created from young and highly gifted Mexican musicians who must be exceedingly proud of their achievement. The guitar soloist is Pablo Garibay, and Gustavo Rivero Weber is the conductor. Add to this eulogy a quite spectacular recording, and I beg of you to hear the disc. © 2019 David’s Review Corner

Records International, January 2019

The process of linking folk influence with classical techniques, as exemplified by the three dead composers here (at least two of whose works you know quite well) continues to the present day with Vazquez’s ‘The Tree of Life’, a single-movement concerto of 19 minutes which uses the folk style known as the son. Iannarelli’s four-and-a-half minute piece is a lyrical and nostalgic in memoriam work for the French guitarist with whom he studied. © 2019 Records International

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