Danzón No. 4

Arturo Márquez

Date of Composition: 1996
Duration: 11 minutes

Music was a way of life for the family of Mexican composer Arturo Márquez (b. 1950). His grandfather was a folk musician and his father a dance-hall performer in a mariachi band. Thus, Márquez grew up listening to popular Mexican songs and dances, which later influenced many of his own compositions. Among these is a set of eight Danzónes, written between the years of 1994 and 2004 for a variety of instrumental combinations. Danzón No. 4, like the others, finds its flavor in the clave rhythms of the Mexican danzón, a style based on the original Cuban dance that evolved within Cuban-Mexican communities in Veracruz. The work’s sensual woodwind lines mingle with a rich string foundation, while alternating 4/8 and 5/8 meters keep listeners off balance just enough to move audience members to the edge of their seats—if they are not already dancing in the aisles!

© Dr. K. Dawn Grapes, 2023