Roadtrip through Latin America
Discover the rich musical heritage of Latin America with the selections in this playlist. Get in the car and let us take you on a musical road trip, starting in Mexico and ending in Chile!Read more…
Our journey begins with 'Huapango' by Mexican composer Juan Pablo Huancayo. Huapango is a Mexican musical genre from the Huasteca region that accompanies a traditional dance normally performed in colourful, flowery, or white traditional garments. Its lively rhythm combines elements of indigenous, African and Spanish music. Arturo Marquez's Danzón No. 2 is undoubtedly one of Latin America's best-known works, and this version is performed by Venezuela's Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra.
Puerto Rican flavours are provided by a Salsa-based symphonic movement and 'Loíza', in honour of the northeastern town of the same name.
Cuban saxophonist Yuniet Lombida Prieto, along with four other young Cuban composers, was commissioned to write 'the first ever Cuban horn concerto' for Sarah Willis's 'Mozart and Mambo' project. A showcase of Cuba's most iconic dances continues in Ignacio Cervantes' 'Danzas Cubanas' (Cuban Dances) – the perfect blend of European musical traditions and Cuban rhythms to enjoy while drinking a glass of Cuban rum!
Both Manuel Martínez-Sobral and Ricardo Castillo are inspired by the beauty of Guatemala's geography, with its magnificent Mayan ruins, tropical forests and volcanoes, which they translate into dreamy harmonies.
Further south, the guitar works 'Preludio, Paráfrasis y Juga' and 'Bambuco en Mi menor' by Colombian composers Héctor González and Adolfo Mejía respectively showcase native Colombian rhythms: Juga, normally played at funerals and at Christmas, and Bambuco, which accompanies an elegant dance.
Peruvian music is strongly influenced by the rhythms and harmonies of the beautiful Andes mountains, but also by Spanish and Italian influences. In these minuets from the ‘Cuaderno para Vihuela’, both European and indigenous musical traditions intertwine creating an homage to the history of Latin America.
Brazilian music is a world of its own, and Heitor Villa-Lobos is one of the most important Brazilian composers, who masterfully incorporates the uniqueness and beauty of Brazilian popular music into his compositions.
Astor Piazzolla's fusion of classical music, tango, and jazz gave Argentine classical music its well-deserved recognition. While Piazzolla’s compositions portray the hectic and intense lifestyle of the city, Alberto Ginastera explores indigenous sounds and the life of land workers in the Argentine pampas.
Finally, in the southernmost country you can get to, Chilean composers Alfonso Leng and Enrique Soro present two approaches to orchestral music that can be classified as Romantic, but with a characteristically Chilean twist on rhythms and harmonies. Traditional tunes are uniquely and perfectly incorporated into the landscape, just like flowers in the Atacama during the desert bloom season.