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Mi Alma Mexicana (My Mexican Soul) CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, August 3, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

DE LA PARRA ALONDRA MI ALMA MEXICANA (2CD)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Huapango (1941)
  2. Melodía for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 1, "1890"
  3. Intermezzo de Atzimba (1900)
  4. Imágenes (1927)
  5. I. Allegretto
  6. II. Andante
  7. III. Allegro moderato e festivo
  8. Sobre las Olas

Disc: 2

  1. Danzón No. 2 (1994)
  2. Sensemayá (1938)
  3. El trópico (from H.P. Suite)
  4. Sinfonía No. 2 (1993)
  5. Concerto for Improvised Piano, II (2006)
  6. Clepsydra (1990)
  7. Ínguesu (2003)


Product Details

  • Conductor: Alondra De La Parra
  • Composer: Alondra De La Parra
  • Audio CD (August 3, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • ASIN: B003T8BWRK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,880 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Conductor Alondra De La Parra's recording debut on this 2-CD set from Sony Classical features an excellent overview of Mexican classical music, from its inception in the late 19th century to the present. Parra conducts the orchestra she formed, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, in famous and lesser known works from the gamut of the Mexican repertoire, delivering first-rate, and sometimes exceptional, performances of all works featured here. Those who are looking to introduce themselves to the world of Mexican orchestral music should buy this CD set without hesitation. Most of the works featured are relatively unknown and are performed very well. Parra, who is Mexican, clearly has a close affinity for this music and these recordings convey that affinity well.

Several works are more well-known, including Revueltas's "Sensemaya" and Marquez's "Danzon No. 2," both of which were included in Gustavo Dudamel's "Fiesta" CD (a compilation of Latin orchestral music). I prefer Parra's Sensemaya, as it, like Dudamel's, is on the slower side, but succeeds in conveying both menace and excitement, while I found Dudamel's account to be lacking in the latter quality. I still prefer Enrique Batiz's account on Naxos above them all, as it is as pulse-poundingly exciting as classical music gets, with tempos nearly a minute faster than Dudamel and Parra. Dudamel toys with the tempos in Danzon, making it sound like a Latin dance piece that is only vaguely related to traditional classical music--and some may prefer it this way. I prefer Parra's, which conveys both the dance rhythms and the classical structure simultaneously.
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Format: Audio CD
There are a lot of countries that have been known as hot beds of classical music, but many of them have tended to be European, Russian, or American. And Mexico, the great if often troubled nation that is directly below us on the map, is not normally thought of as one of those classical music hot beds. Into this breach, however, has stepped in Mexican-American conductor Alondra De La Parra with her own Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas to let it be known that Mexico has indeed produced a good deal of modern classical music in its time, much of it extremely accessible to audiences north of the border. Indeed, the 2-CD collection here, titled "Mi Alma Mexicana" or "My Mexican Soul", while it might get confused with any number of Mexican mariachi records, crams a great deal of music in that it almost feels as if Ms. De La Parra might become the female equivalent to Leopold Stokowski.

Well, perhaps that's a little hyperbole on my part. Nevertheless, this collection is likely to get American audiences more interested than ever in the Mexican approach. The vibrant combination of Spanish and Mayan rhythms that make up both the Mexican style of classical music and, subsequently, the mariachi and ranchera styles that eventually filtered into American popular and classical music too. Among the works featured here are one of the great classical guitar concertos, Manuel Ponce's "Concierto Del Sur", very much the Mexican equivalent of Joaquin Rodrigo's "Concierto De Aranjuez", with Pablo Saenz Villegas as the soloist; "Sensemaya" by Silvestre Revueltas, which may very well have influenced John Williams and his scores to Steven Spielberg's films JURASSIC PARK and THE LOST WORLD; "Huapango" by Jose Pablo Moncayo; and the most recent work, the 2006 Piano Concerto of Eugenio Touissant.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The orchestra on this CD was formed by the conductor to allow for the music of composers from south of the border to be appreciated. This CD illustrates why this is important. The music is exciting and very very well conducted. We had the pleasure to experience her talents conducting the Dallas Symphony this past fall and she selected two numbers from this collection as part of her program. That performance was a most pleasurable experience. Her talent with our orchestra is illustrated by her talent with her orchestra that plays on this CD. If you like exciting music with a bit of a Latin flavor, you will love this CD as I have.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Let me state upfront that I bought this album because of this album's conductor, Alondra de la Parra (more on that later).

"Mi Alma Mexicana: My Mexican Soul" (2 CDs; 15 tracks; 127 min.) is a compilation of Mexican classical music, released in 2010 at the occasion of the bicentennial of Mexico (the "United Mexican States", to be entirely accurate). I will admit that most of the music was new to me, and as a result this was quite the journey of discovery. And guess what I found: there are some wonderful Mexican classical composers whom I had never heard of but who have composed some delightful classical music. On CD1 I loved Gustavo Campa's "Melodie pour violon et orchestre, Op. 1". Also very much enjoyed Candelano Ponce's "Concerto del Sur para guitara y orquestra" (in 3 movements) and the last track Juventino Rosas' "Sobre Las Alas". CD2 is geared towards more recent composers and I will admit that I am not playing it nearly as much as CD1. But in all, I am really pleasantly surprised with this album. Kudos as well for the 36 page booklet that comes with the album. It includes detailed liner notes on all the compositions, as well as on the orchestra's background and primary players and of course de la Parra too.

Music Director Alondra de la Parra conducts the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, which she herself founded to highlight classical music from the Americas. As it happened, I was in Guadalajara a few weeks back, and was thrilled to have the chance to see de la Parra conduct the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra. They brought a fantastic performance (with pieces from Liszt and Beethoven). And to think de la Parra is still only in her early thirties! After that performance, I decided to check out her recordings (there are only a few), hence my purchase of this album. Glad I did!
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