Concert celebrates Dia de los Muertos
Music Director Mei-Ann Chen will lead the Chicago Sinfionetta. | Courtesy of Chicago Sinfionetta
8 p.m. Nov. 2
Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville
(630) 637-7469; northcentralcollege.edu/showtix
Updated: October 31, 2012 11:30AM
El Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a night of reflection and celebration in the Latin communities that dates back to the Aztecs.
The Chicago Sinfonietta presents a concert dedicated to this theme at 8 p.m. Nov. 2 at North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville. Joining the Chicago Sinfonietta will be Uruguayan conductor Gisele Ben-Dor and bandoneón master and Latin Grammy Award-winner Raul Jaurena, said Sinfonietta executive director Jim Hirsch.
“This will be our third year presenting a concert loosely organized the around the Mexican celebration Dia de los Muertos. It’s a really interesting cultural celebration where people of Mexican background remember and lovingly celebrate the lives of their lost relatives,” Hirsch said.
In the first half of the concert, expect to hear a couple of pieces by Manuel de Falla, including “La Vida Breve” and “El Amor Brujo.” The concert meanders through other music, Hirsch said, like Silvestre Revueltas’ “La Noche de los Mayas” and an Astor Piazzolla piece called “Adios Nonino.”
“That will actually highlight our soloist, a really wonderful musician named Raul Jaurena,” he said. “Raul plays an instrument called the bandoneón. It’s like a little accordion. It’s the sound of tango music. Anytime you hear tango music, that’s the instrument you’re probably hearing.”
The first half of the concert ends with the theme from the movie, “The Postman” by Luis Enríquez Bacalov, which also features the bandoneon.
The second half of the concert features a piece by Maurice Ravel titled “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (Pavane for a Dead Princess); “Danzon No. 4” by Arturo Marquez; and Blas Galindo’s “Poema de Neruda.”
The show closes with José Pablo Moncayo’s “Sinfonieta.”
“It’s going to be this lovely rollicking romp through the music of Mexico and South and Central America,” Hirsch said.
Although death is a grim subject matter, the occasion isn’t a solemn and somber one, he said.
“The idea of Dia de los Muertos is that it’s a wonderful, happy memory of [your lost loved ones] lives and the time that you spent with them,” he said.
And you don’t have to speak a word of Spanish to be able to enjoy the music.
“In fact, in some ways, I think it would be even more fun to come and let the sense of the occasion just wash over you,” Hirsch said.~.