Today: Michelle Smith Performing Arts CLOSED

PostClassical Ensemble: Mexican Revolution

Sat, May 10, 2014
Dekelboum Concert Hall

Image for PostClassical Ensembles performance of Mexican RevolutionPostClassical Ensemble (PCE) presents vibrant cross-disciplinary programs that give audiences deeper context for musical works and the times in which they were written. This season PCE will present Mexican Revolution, a multi-event, multimedia program that explores themes of human rights and cultural expression.

The first half of the May 10 performance is a bilingual multimedia presentation narrated by WBJC’s Jonathan Palevsky and features songs from the Mexican Revolution performed by the legendary singer Eugenia León and PostClassical Ensemble. In the second half of the program, audiences experience the Mexican film masterpiece Redes (1936), an iconic product of the Mexican Revolution, accompanied by Silvestre Revueltas’ scorching symphonic score performed live by PCE.

Redes is a 60-minute black-and-white film with lush cinematography by renowned photographer and cinematographer Paul Strand; it was co-directed by Emilio Gómez Muriel and Fred Zinnemann, who later directed High Noon, From Here to Eternity and A Man for All Seasons. In telling the story of poor fishermen victimized by monopoly control of their market, Redes argues for organized resistance as a necessary means of political reform. PCE will also record the score for a future release on the Naxos label.

To learn more about the PostClassical Ensemble, composer Silvestre Revueltas, performer Eugenia León, and the themes and subjects explored in this performance, visit the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library:

  • Films featuring scores performed by the PostClassical Ensemble 

Highlights of this list include:

The City: The Classic 1939 Documentary with a Newly-Recorded Soundtrack of the Score — PostClassical Ensemble, Ralph Steiner, Willard Van Dyke, Aaron Copland
Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library — Paged Collections Room
Call Number:
Commissioned by the American Institute of Planners and at the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair, The City is a cinemagraphic and musical exploration of the festival’s theme, “The World of Tomorrow.” Modern urban life is placed in direct comparison with an idyllic vision of life in the country, and directors Ralph Steiner and Willard Van Dyke supply arresting images of the dirty and oppressive city that contrast sharply with the model community of Greenbelt, Maryland. Aaron Copland’s film score, composed in his signature “Americana” style, depicts the two extremes in a soundtrack re-recorded by the PostClassical.

The Plow that Broke the Plains and The River — PostClassical Ensemble, Pare Lorentz, Virgil Thomson
Hornbake Library — Media Services Desk
Call Number:
E179 .P686 2007
This compilation of two documentary films dating from the 1930s explores the social and economic history of the mid-West through the eyes of the cattlemen, farmers, and river captains. Written and directed by Pare Lorentz, these films were intended to promote President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Through images of the devastation caused by over-farming and soil erosion, Lorentz highlights the struggles of the many Americans that would benefit from the programs designed to help the country to recover from the crippling effects of the Great Depression. Virgil Thomson’s scores for the restored films are conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez and performed by the PostClassical Ensemble.

  • Recordings by the PostClassical Ensemble held in the collections of MSPAL
  • Recordings and scores of Silvestre Revueltas's soundtrack for the film Redes
  • Silvestre Revueltas: recordings, film, and scores featuring works by this versatile composer
  • Film featuring legendary Mexican singer Eugenia León
  • Want to learn more about the history of the Mexican Revolution? Explore these print and film resources, available in the collections of the University of Maryland Libraries.

Don't miss a pop-up exhibit on display in the lobby of The Clarice from
May 4-11:

In conjunction with The Clarice’s presentation of Mexican Revolution, the University of Maryland Libraries are proud to feature posters and selected items from the archives of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO).  Redes is a film that focuses on labor issues and explores themes of human rights, social justice, and cultural expression, and like the film, these posters make a strong case for organized resistance and political reform. The AFL-CIO Archive is housed in UMD's Hornbake Library and is open to the public. Want to take a virtual tour of this exhibit? Visit MSPAL's Flickr!