The San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle
Neglected Revueltas Gets His Due
Silvestre Revueltas has been called the Mexican Falla but in truth he is very much his own man. True, like Falla in Spain, he absorbed the rhythms of his Hispanic heritage and created sounds that carry logic and dance to their own intricate beat. "La Coronela" was his last work, a ballet that premiered at Mexico City's Palacio de Bellas Artes in 1940 soon after the composer's death.
This first-ever recording of that score is a winner. The dance episodes, based on a series of drawings of skeleton figures by Jose Guadalupe Posada, create a parade of musical postcards from a society about to unravel: waltzes lead to intricate meters set against each other, outrageous harmonies emerge between steps, a military trumpet eerily calls all to order and a sweet little dance tune returns as if unharmed.
The recording includes other pieces by Revueltas, each worth a listen. And perhaps the biggest revelation here is Gisèle Ben-Dor, a conductor whose passion and intensely personal involvement with this music go a long way to convince listeners not only of the delicious talents of the Santa Barbara Symphony, but also of the immense pleasures of the unjustly neglected Revueltas.