La Noche de los Mayas


                         La Noche de los Mayas is a four movement work for full symphony orchestra. The first movement, Noche de los Mayas, is riddled with heavy percussion, heavy, loud (fortissimo) brass sections, and melodic primitive woodwind and string sections in a softer (piano) dynamic.  It alternates between 4/4 meter into complex meters. The rhythm is not very complex, but instead fairly repetitive. The second movement of the work, Noche de Jaranas begins with more complex rhythms in the melody and what sounds to be more traditional Mexican instruments such as the cabeza. The melody passes bac01ak and forth between the woodwinds to the strings and brass. As each instrument group takes the melody, the style changes. There is always an underlying ostinato accompanying the orchestra as well. The meter of this movement is generally complex to accommodate the complex rhythmic melodies. The third movement, Noche de Yucatan, has a similar feel to it as the rest of the works at the beginning, having a very prominent percussion part accompanying complex rhythmic melodies, but it quickly transitions into a beautiful simple meter melody in the strings with a trombone solo. Revueltas uses woodwind instruments as soloistic instruments in this movement. The final movement of the work, Noche de Encatamiento, begins with percussion playing abrupt interruptions to a woodwind solo and woodwind accompaniment. It begins with a very hectic feel to it. However, it begins as the only movement with a very clear meter. The percussion in the middle section play the most traditional sounding rhythms and instruments of the four movements. In this section, the meter is a bit more unclear due to the use of hemiolas.  It even includes a congo solo and is by far the most enjoyable movement for me to listen to.

                     This work, having been written in the later part of Revueltas’s career, in 1939, was written for the film with the same title, “La Noche de los Mayas” (Mayan Night) by Antonio Bolio. In listening to the music, you can hear very intense sections. I would like to speculate that this work was written for a very dark movie, or maybe historical of the Mayan people, based on the title.

-Joshua Lott


Mayer-Serra, Otto. “Silvestre Revueltas and Musical Nationalism in Mexico.” The Musical Quarterly 27, no. 2 (1941): 123-45.

“FILMOGRAFÍA.” Artes De México, Nueva Epoca, no. 2 (1992): 54-55.

LEFERE, ROBIN. “Memoria Crítica, “working Memory” Y Pensar Novelesco En “La Noche De Los Tiempos” De Antonio Muñoz Molina.” Revista Canadiense De Estudios Hispánicos 40, no. 1 (2015): 157-73.

“CRONOLOGÍA.” Artes De México, Nueva Epoca, no. 2 (1992): 78-81.


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