Muzio Clementi · Keyboard Sonatas & Fantasia
Muzio Clementi’s legacy to pianists is recognised as highly significant for his introduction of a new virtuosity and exploration of the possibilities of the then recently invented fortepiano. His three Sonatas, Op. 23 were published in London in 1790, their style reflecting Haydn’s tremendous popularity in the city at that time. The later Sonata, Op. 34 offers more dramatic contrast, sparkling with chains of thirds, hand- crossing and much use of octaves, comparable resources also being explored in the Fantasia con variazioni on the familiar song ‘Au clair de la lune’.
Manuel de Falla · Complete Piano Music
Manuel de Falla’s small oeuvre includes symphonic, instrumental, vocal and theatrical music. Yet for each genre the piano is clearly Falla’s source of inspiration, Therefore a recording of Falla’s complete piano music is both an ideal entry into his musical world for beginners and the key to understand his orchestral and other music for connaisseurs.
Robert Schumann · 4 Marches · 4 Fugues
Schumann’s Four Fugues, Op. 72 were written during a period of ill-health in 1845 but these masterly pieces reveal nothing of his private turmoil. The Album für die Jugend followed in 1848. In this recording we hear the alternative version of Wilder Reiter (The Wild Rider), with its slightly more ambitious ending, as well as those pieces Schumann excised from the first edition. The Revolutionary year of 1849 brought resurgence in his creativity in the form of the Four Marches, Op. 76 which are imbued with a martial spirit. The Albumblatt: Ahnung (Album Leaf: Foreboding) was only rediscovered in 2007.
José Gonzalo Zulaika / Francisco de Madina
The pairing on this album is unquestionably apt, bringing together as it does works by perhaps the two most famous "aitas" - priests - in Basque music: Father José Antonio de Donostia and Father Francisco de Madina. Whatever the similarities and differences between the two men, the former born twenty-one years earlier than the latter, both composers succeeded in incorporating, with exquisite elegance, a profound sense of local folk traditions into their music, creating works that have since earned classic status in Basque culture.
Ludwig van Beethoven / Manuel de Falla / Isaac Albéniz
The Piano Sonata op. 111 by Beethoven is one of the most representative of all his repertoire. Composed in 1822, this piece contains an entire inner world in two movements, as a composer's spiritual legacy. The Albaicín, work inspired by the Granada's quartier of the same name, is considered by many musicians the most masterly piece of the whole Iberia Piano Suite. Composed in 1908, contains a deep lyricism which contrasts with alternating rhythms elements that refer to strumming arpeggios typical of flamenco guitar.