Par Marc Leblanc – Audituri Te Salutant!

Today I offer you sunshine, liveliness, Latin rhythms and twirling curls with one of the most jubilant tracks of the century, Danzón No. 2 by Mexican composer Arturo Marquez.

The danzon is a dance and a musical genre of Cuban origin, derived from the contradanza and the habanera, in a freer version (it seems obvious but you might as well specify it). The current composition of orchestras performing this genre, typically charangas, is close to a classical orchestra, with the addition of “Latin” sounding percussion: piano, violin, cello, güiro, clarinet, flute, double bass and timpani.

Arturo Marquez is one of the most popular and frequently performed composers of contemporary classical music in Mexico. Danzón No. 2 was commissioned by the Autonomous University of Mexico and was established in 1994 in Mexico City. The piece focuses on accents rather than beats, so that the tempo seems to vary when it does not, and the precision remains very constant in each measure. Marquez wrote this piece, inspired by visiting a ball in Veracruz.

The piece is conducted here by Gustavo Dudamel, Venezuelan conductor, at the controls of the Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. Cuban rhythm, Mexican piece, Venezuelan interpretation, all the South American know-how is brought together to make you vibrate. Let’s push the chairs, turn up the volume, and Danzon!