Tone Poem Tuesday

I don’t believe I’ve heard this work before, or even of the composer, Silvestre Revueltas of Mexico. Revueltas lived 1899 to 1940, and was not only short-lived but also a late bloomer, so his output is not large. The work Sensemaya is based on a poem that is in turn inspired by religious cults in the Afro-Cuban culture, with a blend of African and Cuban chants. The work is strikingly rhythmic and redolent of spiritual dance and chant, with rattling percussion instruments and insistent drive. Its energy, constantly growing over the work’s roughly eight minutes, is compulsive. Here is Sensemaya by Silvestre Revueltas.

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