The music evokes pre-Columbian
landscapes and images with a cinematic grandeur, sweep and colorfulness
that go beyond the merely picturesque. The suite reaches its climax (in
more ways than one) in the fourth section, "Night of Sorcery," featuring
no fewer than a dozen percussion instruments--drums, gourds, rasps, even
a conch shell--leading a Mayan sacrificial dance. Think of a manic cross
between "The Rite of Spring," Carlos Chávez and Philip Glass and you will
get an idea of this astonishing finale. In his brief spoken remarks as
well as in his rousing, rhythmically charged performance.
-- John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, on "La noche de los Mayas"
Recent performances (see "Redes
with film,"above) and recordings have helped address the lack of
attention given Revueltas' music in the decades since his death. His monumental
La Noche de los Mayas, with a finale requiring 11 percussionists,
has thrilled audiences of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony,
and the American Composers Orchestra in recent years. The Los Angeles
Philharmonic's all-Revueltas CD on Sony Classical, with Esa-Pekka Salonen
conducting, won the 1999 Diapason Award. On Koch International Classics,
Giséle Ben-Dor leads the Santa Barbara Symphony and English Chamber Orchestra
in Revueltas' last work La Coronela, along with orchestral works
Itinerarios and Colorines. For a more comprehensive
set, try BMG Classics' "Silvestre Revueltas: Centennial Anthology
For an essay by Roberto Kolb Neuhaus on the life of Revueltas, click the link to the left. And click here for an extensive website on Revueltas (in Spanish).