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The Scent of Flowers

Donald Macleod explores the two most important relationships of Ponce's life - his marriage to Clementina and his lifelong collaboration with the great guitarist Andres Segovia.

Donald Macleod explores the two most important relationships of Ponce's life: his marriage to Clementina Maurel and his life-long collaboration with the great guitarist Andres Segovia.

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." 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.

In 1915 Ponce went into temporary self-imposed exile in Cuba. The piano works he composed there showed the influence of the music he was hearing around him - and the Cubans appreciated it: "Ponce is a sublime and inspired composer. He has captured our ambiance; he has enclosed our sky's clarity and beauty and has distilled our flowers' scent into his music." Donald Macleod also considers the close, supportive and creative relationship between Manuel and his wife Clema and recalls Ponce's first meeting with Segovia.

Tres canciones populares mexicanas - I. La Pajarera
Eliot Fisk, guitar

Suite cubana
Jorge Federico Osorio, piano

Chapultepec
The State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra
Enrique Batiz, conductor

Sonata mexicana (A major) - I. Allegro moderato II. Andantino affettuoso III. Allegretto in tempo di serenta
Gerard Abiton, guitar

Theme, Variations and Finale
Stephen Marchionda, guitar.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Manuel Ponce

    3 Canciones populares Mexicanas - I. Allegro

    Performer: Eliot Fisk.
    • EMI.
    • CDC 7 47760 2.
  • Manuel Ponce

    Suite Cubana

    Performer: Jorge Federico Osorio.
    • Cedille Records.
    • CDR 90000 086.
  • Manuel Ponce

    Chapultepec

    Performer: Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México. Conductor: Enrique Bátiz.
    • ASV.
    • CD DCA 926.
  • Manuel Ponce

    Sonata no. 1 (Mexicana)

    Performer: Gerard Abiton.
    • Mandala.
    • MAN 4889.
  • Manuel Ponce

    Theme varie et finale

    Performer: Stephen Marchionda.
    • ASV.
    • CD QS 6249.

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