Review


Alice Gomez
El Huapango “Guango”:
Brass quintet

Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Publisher: Potenza Music
Date of Publication: 2013
URL: http://www.potenzamusic.com

Score and parts

Genre: CHAMBER MUSIC

El Huapango “Guango” is a new composition by Alice Gomez, director of programs for the San Antonio (TX) College Department of Music. Gomez is a member of ASCAP and she has served as the Composer in Residence with the San Antonio Symphony, the Midland Odessa Symphony, and the Performing Arts Center of Gallop, New Mexico. More information on the composer can be found at www.alicegomez.com.

In the program notes the composer states: “El Huapango “Guango” was initially inspired by the popular orchestral classic Huapango by Jose Pablo Moncayo. In south Texas the Spanish word guango (pronounced wongo), is slang for describing something that is loose or wobbly. Although my huapango begins with traditional Mexican rhythms and harmonies, it rapidly takes many twists and turns through a harmonic vortex causing it to stray from the familiar huapango style. El Huapango “Guango” is my attempt to create a new style of this musical genre for the 21st century.” The piece is in ABA form with a slower B section complementing the upbeat beginning and ending. Two short trios of higher and lower instruments break up the texture. Some octave leaps and faster eighth-note passages liven up the tuba part, but few other range or technical challenges exist for the college level or professional player. The key does modulate through several centers including D major before ending in F major. Score and parts are clear and easily readable. Two challenges exist for the quintet. First, the softer dynamics are less frequent and must be accentuated in order to provide contrast. Second, apart from the previously mentioned trios, the texture involves five parts for the majority of the work. Care must be taken by the performers to once again create the essential contrast. This is an interesting work that can be exciting and enjoyable for both performer and audience. It is certainly a rarity in the genre, and that plus the quality of the work are reason enough to investigate this composition.

Reviewer: Thomas Zugger
Review Published February 2, 2019