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Tradition and Innovation

Donald Macleod explores Ponce's early career and the influence on his music of the landscape in which he grew up and the folk songs he heard as a child.

Donald Macleod explores Mexican composer Manuel Ponce's early career and the influence on his music of the landscape in which he grew up and the folk songs he heard as a child.

In a tribute shortly after Manuel Ponce's death, his great friend and collaborator the guitarist Andres Segovia said "Anyone who loves the guitar, unless he be hard-hearted and empty-headed, must revere the memory of Ponce. He lifted the guitar from the low artistic state in which it had lain. He undertook the crusade, full of eagerness to liberate the prisoner. Thanks to him, the guitar was saved from music written only by guitarists."

Ponce was also instrumental in connecting classical music with the folk tradition. He wrote "I consider it the duty of every Mexican composer to ennoble the music of his native country, giving it artistic form, dressing it with polyphonic clothing and preserving with love the popular melodies which are the expression of the natural soul." This philosophy wasn't always well-received by the Mexican musical establishment and he recalled in his early days being accused of "making music that smelled like Indian sandals." Manuel Ponce was one of Mexico's greatest composers, musical innovators and educators, yet he wore his genius lightly. His contemporaries described him as affable, intelligent and modest.

Today Donald Macleod recalls Ponce's childhood, growing up in Aguascalientes in the highlands of Central Mexico and charts the early stirrings of a nationalistic feeling in his music, inspired by Mexican art and folk traditions.

Concierto del Sur - I. Allegro moderato
Andres Segovia, guitar
Symphony of the Air
Enrique Jordá, conductor

A la orilla de un palmar
Tito Schipa, tenor

Balada Mexicana
Jorge Federico Osorio, piano

Piano Trio (Trio Romantico) - II. Andante romantico & III. Scherzino - vivace
Trio Tulsa

Estrellita
Rebeca de Vivar, singer
Luis Miranda, guitar
Orchestre La Belle Epoque
Miguel Pacheco, conductor

Estampas nocturnas - I. La Noche
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Enrique Batiz, conductor.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 8 Feb 2016 18:30

Music Played

  • Manuel Ponce

    Concierto Del Sur

    Performer: Andrés Segovia. Orchestra: Symphony of the Air. Conductor: Enrique Jordá.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON : 471-431-2.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON.
    • 5.
  • Manuel Ponce

    A la orilla de un palmar

    Performer: Jorge Federico Osorio.
    • Nimbus.
    • NI7870.
    • 15.
  • Manuel Ponce

    Balada Mexicana

    Performer: Jorge Federico Osorio. Orchestra: San Luis Potosi Symphony Orchestra.
    • ASV: CD DCA 874.
    • ASV.
    • 1.
  • Tulsa Trio

    Trio romantico - II. Andante romantico & III. Scherzino - vivace

    • ASV.
    • CD DCA 053.
    • 7.
  • Manuel Ponce

    Estrellita [little Star]

    Orchestra: Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México. Conductor: Enrique Bátiz.
    • Playasound:PS65906.
    • Playasound.
    • 12.
  • Manuel Ponce

    4 Estampas Nocturnas - La Noche

    Performer: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Enrique Bátiz.
    • ASV : CDDCA-738.
    • ASV.
    • 11.

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