Seattle Symphony

Leonard Bernstein designated his song “America” as being in “tempo di huapango,” and the term refers to any music in that distinctive, rapidly shifting, duple/triple Mexican folk rhythm: 1-2-3, 1-2-3/1-2, 1-2, 1-2. Huapango is also the title of a bonbon by José Pablo Moncayo (1912-1958), about as much fun as you can have in eight minutes in a concert hall. The piece connects several folk tunes Moncayo collected in the state of Veracruz, and its irresistible appeal made it that country’s most popular orchestral work. (It’s been called a second national anthem and “the Rhapsody in Blue of Mexico.”) In 1942, the year after he wrote it, Moncayo visited the Tanglewood summer music festival to study with Aaron Copland, where he met—you guessed it—Bernstein. Today, Seattle Symphony associate conductor Eric Garcia leads Huapango—as a slightly belated bicentennial tribute?—on an all-American program as part of the orchestra’s “Discover Music!” family series. GAVIN BORCHERT

Sat., Oct. 16, 11 a.m., 2010

 
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