Ensemble Integrales

Pasajes: México

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This is a collection of modernist Mexican compositions, all but one, the opening piano trio by Gabriela Ortiz, combining electronics with a small chamber group. The Hamburg group Ensemble Intégrales specializes in avant-garde music from outside Europe, and they've done well to highlight the Mexican scene. It's comparatively neglected in favor of more nationalistic music from Mexico. And it is noteworthy that this supposedly macho culture produces a set of composers that is half female, something that would be true of a parallel release from few other countries. Several of the pieces contain extramusical references: Georgina Derbez Roque's Non più infelice takes as its starting point a thoroughly fragmented medieval madrigal of the same name by Paolo da Firenze; Juan José Bárcenas refers to a novel by Juan Rulfo (those familiar with the work will have to determine whether the references are at all audible), and Aleyda Moreno's Night Music, the most pleasing piece of the bunch, is a percussion-heavy nocturne in which the electronics flow naturally as part of the musical texture. This is also true of the completely abstract Intersecciones of Alejandro Castaños; the electronic component supposedly "shrewdly analyzes, dissects, and penetrates" the viola part in Arturo Fuentes' Lawine (2009), but this is harder to hear. All the music is new; Ortiz's Trifolium, composed in 2005, is the classic reference point. Thus, those interested in new electronic developments may be drawn to this release, with biographical and musical notes in German, English, French, and Spanish.

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