While music knows no cultural boundaries and speaks a universal language, there are definitely however, influences from composers living in different parts of the world.  The music “accent” varies from culture to culture.

This month you will be listening to music written by composers from Latin America and hopefully begin to recognize the sound and rhythms of music from that part of the world.

Ernesto Lecuona y Casado was a Cuban composer and pianist who lived from 1895-1963.  His father was from the Canary Islands and his mother was Cuban.  Ernesto showed remarkable talent at an early age, attending the National Conservatory of Havana and graduating from there at the age of sixteen.  He wrote over 600 compositions, many for the piano but also for voice.  He left Cuba in 1960, unhappy with the rule of Castro and lived out the remainder of his life in the United States.  His music was popularized in the United States by a fellow Cuban and actor by the name of Desi Arnaz.

Malaguena is a Spanish dance, similar to the Fandango, which originated in the Spanish port of Malaga.  Notice how the piece is paced building dynamically and with rhythmic tension from the very beginning to an exciting finish