Monday, October 26, 2009

Jose Rolon (1886-1945)

Mexican composer. He began his studies in Guadalajara under Francisco Godinez and continued his studies in Paris from 1904-07 with Gedalge studying harmony and Moszkowski studying piano. From 1907 to 1927 he remained in Guadalajara where in 1916 he founded the Escuela Normal de Musica, and in 1915 he founded the Orquestra Filarmonica de Jalisco. He taught many musicians, as well as gave performances for the first time of the compositions of Milhaud and Varese. He did return back to Paris in 1927 and studied composition with Dukas and studied harmony with Boulanger. Returning to Mexico City he taught composition, harmony, and piano at the Conservatorio Nacional from 1930-1938 and became its director in 1938. His early compositions for the piano show a progression from Romanticism to modernization of his Piano Concerto (1935) which was harmonic and distinctive. Poems of Mexican authors converted to song make up one of the greatest groups of songs in the Latin America under his credit. Zapotlan whose orchestration includes two guitars is one of the works of art of Mexican nationalism and came before work from the composers Revueltas or Galindo. Cuauhtemoc is distinguished by its dramatic energy and the use of Sprechgesang which is a style of singing that incorporates ordinary nonmusical speech. His work is considered comparable to that of Villa-Lobos or Ponce and its contribution to Latin American advancement in music.

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