Mariachitlán

Orchestration: 3.3.3.3 – 4.3.3.1 – timp; 3 perc – pno; hp – str

Year composed: 2016

Duration: 10′

Premiere: December 9, 2016. Teatro Degollado; Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra; Miguel Salmón del Real, conductor.

Awards: 2016 Jalisco Orchestral Composition Prize

Score

Program Note

Mariachitlán (Mariachiland) is an orchestral homage to my birthplace, the Mexican state of Jalisco, where mariachi music originated. The work recounts my experience visiting the Plaza de los Mariachis in Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco, a place where mariachis play their songs in every corner and interrupt each other to win over the crowd.

In Mariachitlán, traditional rhythms such as the canción ranchera (ranchera song) in 2/4 time (choon-tah choon-tah), the vals romántico (romantic waltz) in 3/4 time (choon-tah-tah), and the son jalisciense (Jalisco song) that alternates between 6/8 and 3/4 time, accompany original melodies inspired by the beautiful landscapes of Jalisco. Mariachi instruments such as the trumpet, harp, and violin are featured as soloists in this work. Furthermore, the strings emulate the strumming patterns of vihuleas, while the contrabasses growl like guitarrones.

Near the end of the piece, a policeman blows his whistle in an attempt to stop the party. However, the crowd chants Mariachitlán, gradually increasing in intensity, and is rewarded with more vibrant music that ends the work with great brilliance.

—Juan Pablo Contreras

Performances

September 28, 2018. Foro Boca; Boca del Río, Veracruz, Mexico. Boca del Río Philharmonic Orchestra; Juan Tucán Franco, conductor.

September 27, 2018. Auditorio Lince de la UAdeO; Sinaloa, Culiacán, Mexico. Sinaloa Symphony Orchestra; Miguel Salmón del Real, conductor.

November 24 & 26, 2017. Teatro Macedonio Alcalá; Oaxaca, Mexico. Oaxaca Symphony Orchestra; Román Revueltas Retes, conductor.

October 1, 2017. Teatro Libertador; Córdoba, Argentina. Córdoba Symphony Orchestra; Hadrian Avila, conductor.

September 14 & 17, 2017. Teatro Degollado; Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra; Marco Parisotto, conductor.

July 13, 2017. USC Bovard Auditorium; Los Angeles, California, United States. Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra; Marco Parisotto, conductor.

June 10, 2017. Victoria Fine Arts Center; Victoria, Texas, United States. Victoria Bach Festival Orchestra; Alejandro Hernández-Valdez, conductor.

December 9 & 11, 2016. Teatro Degollado; Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra; Miguel Salmón del Real, conductor.

Reviews

“Mariachitlán is considered to be the Huapango (Moncayo) of the 21st century.”
Juan Carlos Talavera
Excelsior
“Mariachitlán is a lush and colorful work.”
Arturo Márquez
El Informador
"The centerpiece was the U.S. premiere of Juan Pablo Contreras’ Mariachitlán, an 11-minute send-up of the mariachi band tradition. That piece was expertly colored, intricately layered and sometimes delightfully raucous, studded with “wrong” notes, woozy brass, and even a police whistle representing a vain attempt to stop the fun."
Mike Greenberg
Classical Voice America
"Mariachitlán is a vibrant and original work that is at times poignantly chaotic. It combines beautiful folk-like melodies with traffic and city sounds. Near the end, a police whistle tries to end the mariachi party, but is unsuccessful."
Sergio Burstein
Hoy Los Angeles
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