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A writer, blogger, historian, and web designer born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, and now based in London. read more

A Miscellany of Mexican Music

Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla was born in Malaga, Spain in 1590 but moved to New Spain in 1620, and was appointed choirmaster of Puebla Cathedral in 1628. His corpus is massive, with over 700 works surviving. His Stabat Mater is above, but you should also hear his Missa ego flos campi.

Antonio de Salazar (1650–1715) was one of Padilla’s successors as choirmaster at Puebla, but eventually was elevated to the same post at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City. As with his motet, O Sacrum Convivium, Salazar’s style looked back to Palestrina, but he also composed lighter villancicos for Yuletide.

Santiago de Murcia (1673–1739) is a mysterious figure about whom relatively little is known, and today some scholars even doubt he was ever in Mexico at all, but we will ignore that for the time being.

Ignacio de Jerusalem (1707–1769) was born in Puglia and also held the important post of choirmaster of the Mexico City Cathedral. His Matins for Our Lady of Guadalupe were composed just five years before his death.

Rompa la Esfera by Ignacio de Jerusalem.

Manuel de Sumaya (1678–1755) was arguably the most famous New Spain composer in his day, and was responsible for the first opera written in the New World, Partenope, now lost. He was the first mestizo appointed choirmaster at the Cathedral of Mexico City.

While the golden age of Mexican music was undoubtedly the renaissance and baroque period, one can’t fail to mention mariachi music. Here is the most famous mariachi song, El Jarabe Tapatio.

La Bamba was a traditional Mexican folk song that Ritchie Valens “rockified” and released in 1958, an instant hit.

Mexico still produces composers of some renown. Arturo Márquez (1950– ) is the oldest of nine siblings from Sonora and his Danzón No. 2 was specifically commissioned by the University of Mexico (UNAM), whose orchestra debuted the work in 1994. Above it is played by the Simon Bolivar Orchestra, part of ‘El Sistema’, the unique and highly productive system of classical music training and education established in Venezuela in the 1970s. Danzón No. 2 has become a regular number during the Bolivar Orchestra’s tours abroad, and is a popular favourite.

This post was published on Monday, October 25th, 2010 7:06 pm. It has been categorised under Art Mexico and been tagged under , , , .
30 Oct 2010 6:08 am

Since we’re including popular music, and fitting the tone of this blog, I take the freedom of linking to this “corrido cristero” by the great Vicente Fernández:

30 Oct 2010 6:45 am

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