Expanding your repertoire: ‘Sensemaya’ by Revueltas

Silvestre Revueltas (1899-1940) was one of the most remarkable Mexican composers of the 20th century. His music combines modernist, folkloric and primitivist elements and is notable for its vitality and vibrancy. His most famous work is “Sensemayá,” inspired by a Cuban poem of the same name about an Afro-Cuban religious ritual involving the sacrifice of a snake.

Unusually, the piece is mostly in 7/8 meter, which causes that skip in the beat at the bar lines.

In this recording from 1962, Leonard Bernstein conducts the New York Philharmonic.