This week’s offering from the archives of the Bard Music Festival celebrates the music of two seminal composers from south of the border: Carlos Chávez and Silvestre Revueltas. In times of political uncertainty, they fused the rich indigenous heritage of Mexico with modernist techniques and a political message, creating an art that was national, modern, and universal.
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Barbara Haskell, curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, traces the impact of Mexican muralists on American art and the resulting cultural exchanges in “Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945,” an exhibition that has been called the “most relevant show of the 21st century” (New York).
Chávez and His World
Chávez’s work has been hailed as the musical equivalent of the murals of Diego Rivera, with the Sinfonía India most closely tracing the themes of Rivera’s canvases and the Sinfonía de Antígona, a prime example of a Universalist aesthetic meant to convey drama and intensity. Revueltas’s Redes—a concert suite distilled from his score for Paul Strand’s film of the same name—remains one of the most significant scores of the 1930s.
Conducted by Leon Botstein, music director