REVUELTAS La Noche de los Mayas TRIGOS Concerto No 2
Revueltas composed his music for the film La noche de los Mayas (his sixth film score) in 1939. While Chano Urueta’s film has descended into obscurity, Revueltas’s score has enjoyed a degree of celebrity – and controversy – through José Ives Limantour’s four-movement concert suite (1959). In the final two movements, Limantour allegedly recomposed Revueltas’s music, adding spectacular percussion parts and the famous conch shell, though some aver Limantour realised, rather, folk-barbaric elements created for but not used in the film.
It was not the first concert extract, however, Hindemith having created a two-movement suite – closer to the spirit of the music heard in the film and half the length of Limantour’s – after meeting Revueltas’s sister Rosaura in Mexico City in 1946. There is little in Hindemith’s version of the elemental writing for percussion (and no conch shell) that now divides commentators, including guitarist Raúl Zambrano, whose booklet-note also implies an affair between the German composer and Mexican actress.
Zambrano takes centre stage in Concierto Hispano, Juan Trigos’s second concerto for guitar (2005 06, based in part on his earlier Homage to Manuel Ponce). Another diptych, the opening wistful span builds quietly and slowly over a quarter of an hour from a ‘series of acciaccaturas’ in the guitar which are gradually extended and embellished. The finale is more varied in tone, alternating fast and sedate passages in what might be called a variation or elaboration of a sonata-form structure. The concerto is an engaging piece and Zambrano has its measure. The Tempus Fugit Orchestra play both challenging scores very ably, the performances recorded in Mexico City’s Sony Music studio in June last year. Quindecim’s sound is vivid and bright.