Compositor mexicano estrena obra sinfónica en el Reino Unido

Bachiana Mexicana No. 5, for string orchestra, timpani and solo clarinet, written by Mexican composer Venus Rey Jr, will have its World Premiere at the Gala Opening Concert of the MusicFest Aberystwyth, on Saturday July 27, 8pm, at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre, University of Wales, Penglais Campus.

It is the first time that a musical work by Venus Rey Jr is performed in the United Kingdom and the first time that the MusicFest Aberystwyth includes a musical piece by a Mexican composer.

The performers in this World Premiere are the Sinfonia Cambrensis and Mexican clarinetist Ángel Cedillo, all conducted by David Russell Hulme, who is a Naxos label artist.

The work has four movements and lasts 20 minutes. The piece is part of a series of compositions named Bachianas Mexicanas. They are named “Bachianas” –following the model created by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos– because in all these works Rey Jr uses musical forms and composition techniques from the Baroque era. And they are “Mexican” because the author always introduces an element from Mexican culture and art.

Award winning Aberystwyth Arts Centre is Wales’ largest arts centre and is recognized as a 'national flagship for the arts’. The premiere of Venus Rey Jr’s work will take place at the Great Hall of this Centre.

Mexican composer premieres symphonic work in the United Kingdom

Movimientos / Movements

I. Passacaglia
II. Aria
III. Sandunguita chueca
IV. Finale: Tarantella

The first movement is a Passacaglia, a musical form originated in Spain in the XVII Century. It is written in a slow triple metre. The main feature of a passacaglia is the ostinato bass. The movement has three sections. The outer sections share the same materials. The inner section begins with the clarinet playing solo a poignant melody which gradually intensifies with the accompaniment of the strings and the timpani.

The second movement is an Aria. The melody is both sad and sensual. The oneiric character of the music is interrupted by a section of disturbing arpeggios played by strings and timpani. The initial materials are then performed again. The movement closes with a melody on the clarinet accompanied by pizzicato string. This last melody will play an important role at the final movement.

The third movement is called “Sandunguita chueca”, which means “crooked little Sandunga”. Sandunga is a traditional waltz from Southern Mexico, very popular in the Tehuantepec region. The composer used this musical song to build the movement. And it is “crooked” because the meter is not 3/4, like in any waltz, but 5/4. This metre gives the music an unbalanced sensation. The music opens with the same melody used in the second movement, after which the Sandunga melody is first heard. The composer develops the materials throughout the movement.

The Finale is a Tarantella. The tempo is very fast and the clarinet part is highly difficult. The central section of the movement has a Beethovenian drive, similar in spirit to the Scherzo of the Ninth Symphony. At the end, there is a section which must be played at half the time to give a sense of ease after the tour de force that has just taken place. The movement ends with a frenetic coda.

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David Russell Hulme

La Bachiana Mexicana No. 5, para orquesta de cuerdas, timbales y clarinete solista, del compositor mexicano Venus Rey Jr, tendrá estreno mundial en el Concierto de Gala de la apertura del MusicFest Aberystwyth, el sábado 27 de julio de 2019, a las 20 horas, en el Aberystwyth Arts Centre de la Universidad de Gales.

Es la primera ocasión que la obra de Venus Rey Jr se interpreta en el Reino Unido y la primera vez que el MusicFest Aberystwyth incluye la pieza de un compositor mexicano. 

En el estreno participarán la Sinfonia Cambrensis y el clarinetista mexicano Ángel Cedillo en la parte solista, todos bajo la dirección de David Russell Hulme, artista del sello discográfico Naxos.

La obra consta de cuatro movimientos y tiene una duración aproximada de 20 minutos. Pertenece a una serie de composiciones denominadas “Bachianas Mexicanas”. Se llaman “Bachianas”, siguiendo el modelo concebido por Heitor Villa-Lobos, porque en estas obras el compositor utiliza formas musicales y técnicas de composición de la era del barroco. Y son “Mexicanas” porque el autor siempre introduce algún elemento de la cultura y el arte de México.

El Aberystwyth Arts Centre es el complejo cultural más importante de Gales y es reconocido como un Estandarte Nacional de las Artes (National Flagship for the Arts). La presentación de la obra de Venus Rey Jr tendrá lugar en la Sala Principal (Great Hall) de este Centro.

Ángel Cedillo

The Aberystwyth Arts Centre