NPR logo Concierto: A Latin Twist On Classical Music

Concierto: A Latin Twist On Classical Music

This limited-edition stream has concluded, but you can hear more of WDAV's Concierto programming anytime by visiting Concierto.org.

Concierto host Frank Dominguez. hide caption

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The Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra leads the Philharmonic of the Americas. Brian Hatton hide caption

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The Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra leads the Philharmonic of the Americas.

Brian Hatton

Concierto is a weekly bilingual radio program from WDAV Classical Public Radio that presents classical music in English and in Spanish. Classical standards performed by Hispanic artists and orchestras alternate with selections by Spanish and Latin American composers in a celebration of the Latin contribution to classical music, as well as an eclectic representation of the diversity of Hispanic culture. In choosing the selections for this Concierto mix at NPR Music, I've focused on music that seamlessly blends classical forms and structures with authentic Latin feeling and flair.

Pieces by Spanish masters such as Enrique Granados, Isaac Albeniz and Federico Moreno Torroba draw on the rich mosaic of European Spanish culture, composed of the influences of Arab, Jewish and Gypsy music. There are unexpected selections, such as Mexican waltzes that follow the Viennese model in terms of tempo, but reflect a strong Spanish melodic influence and incorporate instruments used in Mexican folk music. This tradition of blending dates back to the Spanish Colonial period, and is reflected by selections from Lucas Ruiz de Ribayaz, Juan Gutierrez de Padilla and Santiago de Murcia.

There are also contributions by a number of composers who effortlessly crossed genres, such as the "Cuban Gershwin," Ernesto Lecuona; the "Father of New Tango," Astor Piazzolla; the "Father of the Modern Mexican Song," Manuel Ponce; and film and television composer Lalo Schifrin. Some of the music is from pioneering figures such as Juan Pablo Moncayo, Ricardo Castro and Blas Galindo.

Finally, there are compositions representing composers who would have been giants of 20th-century music whatever their ethnicity, such as the Mexican Carlos Chavez, the Argentine Alberto Ginastera and the Cuban Leo Brouwer, as well as picturesque pieces from lesser-known figures such as Gustavo Campa, Jorge Olaya Munoz and Alfredo Caturia.

The Playlist

  • Isaac Albeniz, "Rapsodia espanola (Spanish Rhapsody)"
  • Leo Brouwer, "Suite No. 2"
  • Gustavo Campa, "Melodia (Melody)"
  • Francisco Cardenas, "Viva mi disgracia (Long Live My Disgrace)"
  • Ricardo Castro, "Vals capricho (Waltz Caprice)"
  • Alfredo Caturia, "Tres danzas cubanas (Three Cuban Dances)"
  • Carlos Chavez, "El tropico, from Caballos de vapor (Horsepower)"
  • Carlos Chavez, "Sinfonia india (Indian Symphony)"
  • Ernesto Cordero, "Sonatina tropical (Tropical Sonata)"
  • Santiago de Murcia, "Jacaras de la costa (Dances of the Coast)"
  • Juan Gutierrez de Padilla, "A la xacara, xacarilla (Dance the Dance, Little Dancer)"
  • Lucas Ruiz de Ribayaz, "Chaconas y marionas (Chaconnes and dances)"
  • Carlos Espinoza, "Noche azul (Blue Night)"
  • Blas Galindo, "Sones de mariachi (Mariachi Songs)"
  • Enrique Granados, "Allegro de concierto (Concert Allegro)"
  • Alberto Ginastera, "Bailes de Estancia (Dances from Estancia)"
  • Ernesto Lecuona, "Malaguena"
  • Ernesto Lecuona, "Siboney"
  • Ernesto Lecuona, "Canto de guajiro (Peasant's Song)"
  • Jose de Jesús Martinez, "Magdalena"
  • Juan Pablo Moncayo, "Huapango"
  • Jorge Olaya Munoz, "Semblanzas (Aspects)"
  • Astor Piazzolla, "Otono porteno (Buenos Aires Autumn)"
  • Astor Piazzolla, "Invierno porteno (Buenos Aires Winter)"
  • Manuel Ponce, "Concierto del sur (Southern Concerto)"
  • Juventino Rosas, "Sobre las olas (On the Waves)"
  • Lalo Schifrin, "Concierto caribeno (Caribbean Concerto)"
  • Federico Moreno Torroba, "Suite castellana (Castillian Suite)"

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