Revueltas: Composing a Revolution

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A hundred years after the start of the revolution in Mexico, people are finally paying attention to a Mexican composer who mixed his music with his political convictions. As WNYC’s Sara Fishko tells us in this edition of the Fishko Files, the results were dramatic.

Silvestre Revueltas was a Mexican classical music composer, violinist, and conductor whose work included everything from chamber music to film compositions.

Composer Aaron Copland wrote about Revueltas and his music in a 1937 New York Times article.

“Revueltas is the type of inspired composer in the sense that Schubert was the inspired composer. That is to say, his music is a spontaneous outpouring, a strong expression of his inner emotions. There is nothing premeditated or unspontaneous about him. When seized with the creative urge, he has been known to spend days on end without food or sleep until the piece was finished.”

“Revueltas' often highly spiced, like Mexican food itself. It is full of whims and sudden quirks of fancy and leaves one with a sense of the abundance and vitality of life."

Scheduled for release on June 1 on the DG label is a new recording of the Reveueltas composition La Noche de los Mayas (Night of the Maya) featuring conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Boliver Youth Orchestra of Venezuela.

Mexican Music Festival on Q2
For more on Revueltas and others, tune to WQXR’s on Tuesday, May 25 for a celebration of the past century of Mexican classical music, hosted by conductor Alondra de la Parra.

Playlist for Revueltas radio feature

  • Revueltas, La Noche De Lost Mayas
  • Revueltas, Ocho Por Radio
  • Revueltas, La Coronela
  • Revueltas, Sensamaya
  • Revueltas, Musica Para Charlar