Length: c. 10 minutes
Mexican-born Arturo Márquez (b. 1950) is a perfect example of a composer who straddles stylistic boundaries and moves between them with aplomb. He studied in Mexico, locally at CalArts, and privately in Paris. Not only has he made his mark as a composer of "serious" music, but he has also captured the imagination of Mexico with his Danzón No. 2. According to the composer, "This music is a tribute to all that gives birth to the danzón (a dance of Cuban origin which has enjoyed great popularity in Mexico). [I] approach the dance rhythms in the closest possible way…to express my respect and emotivity towards genuine popular music."
The work was originally inspired by dancing of the Veracruz region of Mexico, and it begins with a nostalgic rendering of the dance. Midway through, Márquez charms us with a rollicking, spirited version of the danzón as the solo trumpet leads the impertinent brass to an enthusiastic frenzy. First performed on March 5, 1994, the work has enjoyed great success.
- Dave Kopplin is Assistant Professor of Commercial Music at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.