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Reviews: Homenaje a Revueltas - Ebony Band/Herbers

Reviews: 3

Site review by Castor December 24, 2004
Performance:   Sonics:  
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Review by nickc December 27, 2004 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I must admit that I had never heard of Silvestre Revueltas, but, seeing it was Channel Classics I thought I would give it a go. Of course, being Channel Classics I wasn't disappointed but it may not be everyone's cup of tea. As Castor rightly noted the disc sounds likes a Mexicanesque Stravinsky. Some pieces are more tuneful and accessible than others though there is always a level of dissonance that may either cleanse your palette or leave a bitter aftertaste, depending on your tolerance to it. Right from the opening track about a snake slithering through the jungle you can almost feel the hypnotic effect of the heat and the music!
The sound of course is absolutely first class. Though it is a live performance you would have no idea until the applause after the final track. Horns (especially the tuba)sound like they are coming from about five feet behind your front speakers in the corner of your room! One of my favourite things about Channel Classics (and I found the same in the Mercury Firebird) is that they put you up close the musicians almost allowing you to feel the instruments as well as hear them. For the adventurous among you.

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Review by leroyad December 31, 2004 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Most reviews of Silvestre Revueltas’ music try to describe it by calling him a Mexican Stravinsky, a Mexican Prokofieff, a Mexican Bartók, or a Mexican Ives. Alternatively, he might be called a Mexican Villa-Lobos or a Mexican Piazzolla in terms of blending formal European classical training with their countries’ best-known Latin music.

Having just listened to this superb Channel Classics SACD in 5.0 (this label never include a subwoofer channel), I think there is some truth in every one of the comparisons. With that said, everything here is fresh and original, with emotions closer to the surface than any other 20th Century music I have ever heard. (How could it not be so? Revueltas did drink himself to death at age 40.) I personally would place this lesser-known composer with the best of the more familiar ones above. However, if hearing the other names recalls unpleasant musical experiences because of the dissonant and disjoint quality of their works, be aware that you will find the same traits in many of Revueltas’ compositions, although with far more humor.

I found the live performance on this SACD to be utterly perfect. Furthermore, for the first time ever listening to any recording, I was repeatedly startled by the lifelike quality of the sound, particularly the horns, xylophone, and grand piano, which often seemed to have magically appeared in my living room. Highest recommendation.

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