Review: Fort Worth Symphony premiere of Antonio Juan-Marcos’s “Canto de Semillas”

Posted on: October 30, 2018

“Fort Worth Symphony music director Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Peruvian-born, has made quite a point of exploring and programming works by Latin-American composers born here and south of the Rio Grande,” writes Scott Cantrell in Saturday’s (10/27) Dallas Morning News. “Friday’s FWSO concert … included the world premiere of Canto de Semillas (Song of Seeds) by Antonio Juan-Marcos … a native of Mexico City … now working on a composition doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley. In pre-performance comments, Juan-Marcos explained that the 18-minute, three-movement work was inspired by his love of nature—and, specifically, by excerpts from poems by Octavio Paz. The first movement evokes seeds germinating, as if interpreting time-lapse videos in sound. Pointillistic effects contrast with more sustained music, little bits of melody emerging from solo violin (played by concertmaster Michael Shih) and paired bassoons and oboes…. The finale evokes a poem’s singing bird with musical renderings of actual Mexican birds’ songs…. I suppose you’d call this modern Mexican impressionism, and the imaginative colors and textures proved appealing…. The piece was a logical setup for a classic of French impressionism—also evoking burbling waters and birdsong—the Second Suite from Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé.”

Posted October 30, 2018