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Fiestas of Chiapas & Oaxaca ()

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Part of David Lewiston's uber-extensive Explorer series on Nonesuch in the '70s, this album is a re-release on CD of the original installation for Mexico. The music featured herein hails from two locations, both in southern Mexico. The music from Oaxaca is generally a bit more diverse, but both musics draw heavily upon multiple factors: Spanish-introduced instrumentation, Mayan performance styles, imported African instrumentation, a multitude of languages, etc. As it stands on this album, the marimba figures heavily in the scene, with the Mexicans making use of their own innovation in marimbas: making them large enough to allow three or four players simultaneous access. The harp is also featured prominently. Much of the music was recorded during the festival of Guadalupe, as well as some from around Christmas (not that long afterwards). The nice thing about Lewiston's recordings is that he generally attempted to capture as many forms of music as possible to include all on the compilation. Here, the listener gets secular entertainment music, ritual music, and a couple forms in between those two. For a nice, if outdated, look into Mexican music (and more specifically, Mexican tribal music/Mexican rural music), take a look into this album. ~ Adam Greenberg, Rovi Hide synopsis

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