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At-A-Glance

Composed: 1994

Orchestration: first violin, second violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, alto saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, harp, piano

About this Piece

Arturo Márquez (b. 1950; Sonora, Mexico) is the oldest of nine children, but despite his grandfather being a folk musician and his father performing mariachi, Arturo was the only one of his siblings who became a musician. He began composing at 16 and eventually earned advanced degrees at the Mexican Conservatory and at CalArts. Márquez is known for fusing Mexican nationalistic styles with classical composition techniques. He is particularly celebrated for a series of nine danzones that were inspired by the golden age of danzón in the 1940s, when it was very popular in Mexican ballrooms and dance halls, particularly in Veracruz. His Danzón No. 1 highlights a series of wind solos and groupings, gradually adding instruments and volume much like a more genteel version of Ravel’s Bolero.