WorldView Episode 33: Macedonio Alcalá and Héctor Angulo

       Episode thirty-three of WorldView features two Central- and South-American composers: Mexican violinist Macedonio Alcalá and Cuban artist Héctor Angulo. Despite having been born more than one hundred years apart, both are remembered in their nations for their contributions to classical music. 

       Macedonio Alcalá Prieto was born in 1831 in the capital of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. He began studying music at a very young age, and his talent as a violinist was evident by his teenage years. He soon became a commodity in Oaxaca, asked to perform at festivals and dances in the capital. After briefly studying in Mexico City and taking several leadership positions in local orchestras, Alcalá returned to his home town and started a family with Petronila Palacios. However, his orchestral earnings were not sufficient to sustain his family, and the composer slowly became depressed and addicted to alcohol. A bout of tuberculosis sent him to a nearby convalescent facility, where he composed the work featured in this episode of WorldView. In 1967, Alcalá was able to secure a position as Professor of Music at a local school, but he passed away in 1969. 

       This hour features Alcalá’s “Dios Nunca Muere (God Never Dies)”. It was written during his convalescence, and remains his most famous work. Since Alcalá’s passing, the piece has become an unofficial anthem in Oaxaca and is still frequently performed. In this episode, the well-known waltz is performed by the Cuarteto Latinoamericano. 

       Rounding out this episode is a work by Cuban composer Héctor Angulo, who was born in Santa Clara in 1932. Though he originally began a career as an architect, Angulo was able to attend a course at Tanglewood Music Center in 1959, cementing his future as a serious composer. He studied at the Manhattan School of Music and in Cuba, where he worked with Leo Brouwer (WorldView Ep. 4). Many of his works feature elements of traditional Cuban music, which the composer worked to incorporate. Angulo wrote actively for more than half a century before his death in 2018. WorldView episode thirty-three ends with Angulo’s work “Cantos Yoruba de Cuba”. Guitarist WIlliam Kanengiser performs.  


WorldView Episode Thirty-Three Playlist:

Macedonio ALCALÁ, “Dios Nunca Muere”,  {Cuarteto Latinoamericano} – Dorian

Margaret RUTHVEN LANG, “Rhapsody in E Minor Op. 21”, {Artem Belogurov (pf)} – Piano Classics

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, “Quintet in B flat Major”, {Capricorn} – Hyperion 

Héctor ANGULO, “Cantos Yoruba de Cuba”, {William Kanengiser (gtr)} – GSP Recordings


Notice something different about this post? Keep an eye out for a special Halloween episode of WorldView on October 31st!

       WorldView is a classical music radio show featuring composers from everywhere in the world – except Western Europe. Tune in to hear works by lesser-known artists such as Irving Fine and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, and widen your knowledge of classical music. Hinke Younger hosts each week’s episode of WorldView on Mondays at 9AM and 6PM (with a rebroadcast Saturdays at 2PM) on

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