Cantos Aztecas is a collection of provocative and mystical poems written by an Aztec prince more than 900 years ago, set to music composed and conducted by Lalo Schifrin. This astounding work features Placido Domingo as principal soloist, a 100-piece orchestra, a 120-person choir, and four soloists. Recorded live at the pyramid of the moon in Teotihuacan, the work is sung in the original language of the Aztecs, Nahuatl.
Available on CD, VHS and DVD, Cantos Aztecas is Aleph Records' premiere video release. All three formats feature a 32 page booklet, and the DVD version contains extra features, such as photos, bios, individual track selections, and additional chapters.
From the liner notes...
In the last decade I have been traveling often to Mexico to guest conduct the Philharmonic Orchestra of Mexico. During those journeys I visited the Pyramids of Teotihuacan as well as the Museum of Anthropology. I have always been attracted to the Indo-American culture, but in this case the experience became almost mystical. I came across poems written in the 12th century by an Aztec Prince, Nexahuacoyotl, and I felt compelled to set music to their magical images, as well as their universal thoughts. I studied the grammar and the vocabulary of the ancient language of the Aztecs, Nahuatl, with the help of Georges Baudot, a linguist who teaches at the University of Toulouse France. I wrote the music in a trance-like state. The whole process, including orchestration, took only two months. Placido Domingo has told me that the mythology of the Aztecs is richer than the old German legends on which Wagner based his operas. I hope your listening experience is as moving as the creation of this work was for me.