• The piano music of Manuel Ponce is generally not as well known in the United States as in Mexico, Latin America and Europe. Anyone hearing or playing his pieces will be thoroughly rewarded and surprised to discover it.

    Newly published and available now from our catalog are six splendid piano solos:

    ‹ Arrulladora Mexicana

    ‹ Gavota

    ‹ Intermezzo #1

    ‹ La Estrellita

    ‹ Romanza de Amor

    ‹ Scherzino Mexicano

    For descriptions of these pieces and to view, print or hear samples, see their catalog listings under PIANO or click on "HOME" at the bottom of this page.

    You can buy complete recordings of these superb Ponce piano works along with nine others on a CD entitled BALADA MEXICANA CD-DCA-874 (Academy Sound & Vision, Ltd), and on a CD entitled MEXICAN PIANO MUSIC BY MANEL M. PONCE CD-90000-086 (Cedille) with pianist Jorge Federico Osorio. Highly recommended. Also 19 of Ponce's piano works have been recorded on CD by David Witten. Marco Polo label - 8.223609. Also recommended.


  • Manuel Maria Ponce (1882-1948) was born in Zacatecas, Mexico. His family moved shortly after his birth to Augascalientes where Ponce always considered home. A musically precocious child, he composed his first piece at the age of 5 while recuperating from small pox. By the time he was 22, Ponce had been a church organist, piano teacher and press critic. After briefly studying at the National Conservatory in Mexico City, he sold his piano and sailed for Europe to study in Bologna and Berlin.

    Four years later in 1908, Ponce was forced to return to Mexico for financial reasons. He loved the folk melodies of his native country and fought off prejudices that existed against "indigenous" music to become Mexico's first nationalistic composer.

    A year later he met his future wife, Clementine, a singer of French heritage. Ponce moved to Cuba for a short time. While there he composed many pieces incorporating native rhythms and melodies and all romantic in nature. In 1917 he returned to Mexico and married Clema. Around this time he became director of the National Symphony Orchestra.

    In 1923 Ponce met guitarist Andrés Segovia (1893-1987) who was on tour in Mexico. Segovia asked him to write for the guitar since at the time there was little music for the classical guitar. Ponce readily obliged and wrote" Sonata Mexicana". Not only had Segovia discovered the most important composer for the guitar in the 20th century, but also a friendship that would last the rest of their lives.

    In the 1920s, Ponce went to France to study with Paul Dukas. Among his classmates were Joaquin Rodrigo and Heitor Villa-Lobos. These were very formative years in his career. Highly influenced by French Impressionism music, he incorporated this into his already romantic and nationalistic style.

    Dukas was so impressed with Ponce's compositions that he gave him a score of 30 out of a possible 10 at the end of his course! He returned to his country in 1933 and became director of the National Conservatory the following year.

    In the last decade of his life, Ponce was honored with decorations and medals. Unfortunately, he was plagued with illness and died of an uremia attack at 66.


    ‹ La Batalera - Traditional Spanish Three-Step available in solo piano or 4-hands/1 piano

    ‹ Malagueña - Traditional Spanish Dance (not the one by Lecuona)

    ‹ Recuerdos de la Alhambra (Memories of the Alhambra) - Tárrega

    ‹ La Violetera - Padilla

    ‹ Adios - Carrasco

    For descriptions of these pieces and to view, print or hear samples, see their catalog listings under "Piano." Click "Piano" at the bottom of this page.

    To access the main catalog, click on "HOME."

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