Orlando Otey | Tenochtitlán 1325

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Tenochtitlán 1325

by Orlando Otey

The selections in this album were written and performed by Mexican-born U.S. Pianist/Composer Orlando Otey, who became known as “The Chopin of Mexico” by the age of 15.
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Fantasía Mexicána
4:05 $0.99
2. Sonata "Adelita" 1982: I. Allegro Con Passione
6:12 $0.99
3. Sonata "Adelita" 1982: II. Andante Con Moto
4:34 $0.99
4. Sonata "Adelita" 1982: III. Allegro Scherzando
6:16 $0.99
5. Preludo Y Tocata "Alacrán": Preludo
3:17 $0.99
6. Preludo Y Tocata "Alacrán": Tocata
2:51 $0.99
7. El Mar De Galilea
5:34 $0.99
8. Sonata "Tenochtitlán" 1948: I. Allegro Non Troppo
5:21 $0.99
9. Sonata "Tenochtitlán" 1948: II. Andante Mistico
4:13 $0.99
10. Sonata "Tenochtitlán" 1948: III. Grave Religioso Molto Meditativo
3:58 $0.99
11. Sonata "Tenochtitlán" 1948: IV. Presto Molto Brioso
1:55 $0.99
12. Arabésque
2:49 $0.99
13. Seis Pequeños Estudios, Estudio 1
1:11 $0.99
14. Seis Pequeños Estudios, Estudio 2
1:25 $0.99
15. Seis Pequeños Estudios, Estudio 3
2:02 $0.99
16. Seis Pequeños Estudios, Estudio 4
2:01 $0.99
17. Seis Pequeños Estudios, Estudio 5
1:45 $0.99
18. Seis Pequeños Estudios, Estudio 6
2:39 $0.99
19. Para Diáne
2:50 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
About the Music

Tenochtitlán was the capital of the Aztecs founded in 1325 that fell to the Spanish in 1521 and became what Mexico City is today. The selections in this album were written and performed by Mexican-born U.S. Pianist/Composer Orlando Otey (b. 1925), who became known as “The Chopin of Mexico” by the age of 15. The following descriptions of his music provide insights about Otey's life and influences growing up in Mexico before moving to the United States in 1946:

Fantasía Mexicána (Mexican Fantasy) written in 1939 is based on the unique dance and ballad styles of Mexico's colorful folkloric music.

Sonata "Adelita" 1982 is based on jazz idioms within a classical framework. During the revolution to overthrow the dictator Porfirio Diaz in 1910, a song called "Adelita" was born in Mexico. This Mexican theme is analogous to the 1861 U.S. Civil War themes "Dixie" in the south and "Battle Hymn of the Republic" in the north. The Otey second sonata is called "Adelita" because Otey uses this theme of the Mexican Revolution in the second movement. A bi-tonal arpeggiated bass line is distinctive in Otey’s music and is used in the third movement to represent the complexities during the changes in Mexico following the revolution.

Preludio y Tocata "Alacrán" (Prelude and Toccata "Alacrán") written in 1956 is based on the Aztec "Dance of the Scorpion". The Prelude depicts the ebb and flow of Aztec life in the forests and cities. The Toccata, with its driving rhythm of alternating measures of three and four beats, combines idioms of the "Alacrán" with blues harmonies representing the ceremonial fervor of Aztec rituals.

EI Mar de Galilea (The Sea of Galilee) written in 1939 is a Romantic work filled with flourishes and trills. One can hear the sea crashing on the shore in some passages yet feel the calm sunset reflecting off the waves in others. This is one of Otey’s compositions that is so ‘Chopinesque’ in style that it is obvious why he became known as “The Chopin of Mexico”. And, it reflects Otey's own spiritual journey through his life since he ultimately re-titled it from the original work that he wrote at age 14.

Sonata "Tenochtitlán" 1948 depicts the history of Mexico from the first note, and describes the famous flight of the eagle to the cactus plant, where the eagle devours a serpent. This later became the symbol of Mexico and the origin of the city itself. The second theme in the first movement develops on a pentatonic Aztec scale. The second and third movements reflect the European influences imposed on the Aztecs by the Spanish Conquistadors who, led by Hernán Cortés, were awed and speechless when they saw for the first time the beautiful thriving Aztec city, Tenochtitlán. The historical-music timeline continues through to the last note of the fourth movement, which depicts the Mexican War of Independence in 1810. It features the folkloric Mexican theme, "El Coconito", arranged into a vivace classical-jazz interfusion.

Arabésque written in 1950 is a gentle dancing composition. The left hand maintains a curling, turning motion while the melody guides you through the dance. This work is much like a clock, in that the motion appears so smooth, yet the construction is complex using a bi-tonal arpeggiated bass line. The Otey Music Theory System was in its early stages of development when Otey wrote his Arabésque, and this composition marks a transition point in Otey's life, as he pursued perfecting his theory and teaching method thereafter.

Seis Pequeños Estudios (Six Little Etudes) written in 1938, when Otey was 14 years, are Romantic style exercises that critics and audiences alike quipped were “works that Chopin forgot to write!” And, like Chopin, Otey wrote these etudes so he could enjoy practicing.

Para Diáne written in 1990 is a nocturne. This melodious work is gentle and dream-inducing, yet Otey uses interesting harmonics and compositional techniques to construct a more intricate composition than first meets the ear.



to write a review

Eric Houghton

The Chopin of Mexico
Orlando Otey's Tenochtitlan 1325 is a marvel. All original works, the pianist/composer electrifies and satisfies with every offering. Running passages gallop along at incredible speeds, all performed flawlessly. The left-hand is particularly pronounced and really helps emphasize the virtuoso nature of many of the works. Otey is recognized as "The Chopin of Mexico" for good reason! His romantically-inspired, yet Latin-all-the-way music reminds the listener of the great master, but speaks to us in a different way, as well. Wonderful pianism and terrific music all the way around.

D . Anderson

An amazing album, worthy of Grammy Award consideration
Orlando Otey’s piano solo album, Tenochtitlán 1325 begins with “Fantasia Mexicana,” a pure delight. It begins slow and serious, transitioning into a festive and even playful celebratory piece, combining a fascinating Latin style flair with the eloquence of traditional classical music. Mr. Otey plays with the ease and grandeur of Liberance, while simultaneously capturing the elegance of Chopin. His counter melodies and chord progressions are incredibly imaginative, beautiful, even mind bending. When I hear this kind of captivating music, I’m reminded, “There is a God.”

The depth, complexity, speed and variations of Mr. Otey’s piano concertos confirm his brilliance as gifted and sensitive musical genius. The numerous transitions take the listener from emotions of exhilaration and joy to tranquility and deep contemplation. The album finishes with a romantic piece called “Para Diane.” It reflects the music of someone in love, observant, careful, and admiring. From start to finish, Tenochtitlán 1325 is quite exquisite. A master in performance, his album is a gem to be discovered, and I highly recommend it.

Deborah Anderson, M.F.A.
Grammy Awards Recording Academy Member
Emmy Awards Judging Panel (1996)


A Master's legacy
Great performance by maestro Otey interpreting his own compositions. Dr. Otey's Preludio and Tocata "Alacrán" an Aztec dance contrasted well by the pianist's marcato, portamento and staccato articulation. The calmer Preludio sets the stage well for the more epic Tocata. The entire album
(Tenochtitlán 1325 ) is a fine collection of a master's legacy. Leonardo Le San (pianist/composer)

Marjorie Chernikoff

This beautiful cd showcases the talents of a remarkable individual. Otland Otey was a gifted and talented pianist and composer. This cd showcases a lifetime of creating and performing exquisite music. His music is a feast for the ears! ENJOY!