Gabriela Montero plays Chopin, Falla, Ginestera, etc. [Includes Bonus CD]

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
Improvisation is almost a lost art in classical music; in the 19th century it was the province of virtuoso pianists like Franz Liszt, but long ago the magic of spontaneity was ceded to jazz. No one seems to have told Gabriela Montero, however, for the young Venezuelan pianist is equally at home performing the music of the Romantic masters as she is improvising freely on their themes. It's no wonder that Martha Argerich has called Montero a "unique artist," for few pianists would have the courage to put their creative inspiration in the spotlight as Montero has done on this recital. The first disc in the set is straightforward enough: short pieces by Rachmaninoff and ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
Improvisation is almost a lost art in classical music; in the 19th century it was the province of virtuoso pianists like Franz Liszt, but long ago the magic of spontaneity was ceded to jazz. No one seems to have told Gabriela Montero, however, for the young Venezuelan pianist is equally at home performing the music of the Romantic masters as she is improvising freely on their themes. It's no wonder that Martha Argerich has called Montero a "unique artist," for few pianists would have the courage to put their creative inspiration in the spotlight as Montero has done on this recital. The first disc in the set is straightforward enough: short pieces by Rachmaninoff and Chopin, reaching forward to the otherworldly Preludes of Scriabin, the Spanish flavors of de Falla and Granados, and the exciting rhythms of Ginastera's Danzas Argentinas. As fine as this traditional recital is, it's the second disc, featuring 12 of Montero's own improvisations, that truly breaks the mold. Whether she's starting from a theme by Bach, riffing on the rhythms of the tango, or letting her creative juices flow with total freedom as on the last two tracks, it's always engrossing and inspiring to hear Montero cutting loose at the keyboard. You can listen to these improvisations either as an encore to the recital or as a main course, but you can't deny that compared to today's other piano virtuosos, Gabriela Montero has a gift that sets her distinctively apart.
All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Improvisation at the piano in the classical music medium is as old as the piano itself, although one wouldn't know it to the extent that it has found representation on recordings. The improvising of Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz was captured on wax cylinders in 1910, and Sergey Rachmaninov's intense improvisation on Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2" recorded for Edison in 1919 was willful enough to move the Wizard of Menlo himself to describe Rachmaninov as "a banger." Improvisations once were an integral part of the reproducing roll trade, as well. More recently jazz pianist Marcus Roberts recorded a partly improvised performance of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" that, while interesting, was distractingly eclectic. Therefore, it can be a mixed blessing, and classical record companies seldom pursue this course. EMI Classics has decided to make an exception in the case of intriguing Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero, and have developed an interesting platform from which to spring this risky prospect. Gabriela Montero: Piano Recital is a two-disc set priced as one, with a conventional selection of core classical piano works on the first disc and 12 improvisations on the second. In some cases, the improvisations follow the works represented on the first disc, but not all, and a few of the pieces are original. Montero is an extraordinary talent -- her Rachmaninov is stern, yet flexible, her Scriabin is fluid and sensuous, her Ginastera fiery and percussive. The recital disc is sufficient to soften the toughest pianophile. However, the improvised portion of the program proves most exciting. Montero's jazzy approach to glossing the classics is not unlike that of Bill Evans, and it shows great sensitivity and respect for the models to the extent that one does not worry about what happened to the originals -- if such is a concern, revisit the first disc. Montero's originals are meltingly beautiful, in particular the Spanish-themed pieces and the memorable, touching "Song for Natalia and Isabella." EMI Classics is to be congratulated for showing restraint in that it did not succumb to the temptation of packaging Gabriela Montero: Piano Recital as a typical crossover item. As outstanding as the conventional recital may be, the listener might find one's self returning with more frequency to the second.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/13/2005
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • UPC: 724355803924
  • Catalog Number: 58039
  • Sales rank: 8,526

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Moments Musicaux (6) for piano, Op. 16: No. 4 in E minor - Sergey Rachmaninov & Gabriela Montero (3:07)
  2. 2 Prelude for piano No.16 in G major, Op. 32/5 - Sergey Rachmaninov & Gabriela Montero (3:03)
  3. 3 Etudes-Tableaux, for piano, Op. 39: No. 9 in D - Sergey Rachmaninov & Gabriela Montero (3:40)
  4. 4 Prelude for piano in D flat major, Op. 17/3 - Alexander Scriabin & Gabriela Montero (1:38)
  5. 5 Prelude for piano in E flat minor, Op. 16/4 - Alexander Scriabin & Gabriela Montero (1:47)
  6. 6 Prelude for piano in G major, Op. 13/3 - Alexander Scriabin & Gabriela Montero (1:04)
  7. 7 Etude for piano in C sharp minor, Op. 42/5 - Alexander Scriabin & Gabriela Montero (3:11)
  8. 8 La Vida breve, opera, G. 35/39 (2 versions): First Spanish Dance - Manuel de Falla & Gabriela Montero (3:31)
  9. 9 Goyescas (Dandies in Love), pieces (6) in 2 books for piano, H. 64: Quejas ò la maya el ruiseñor - Enriqué Granados & Gabriela Montero (6:52)
  10. 10–12 Danzas argentinas, 3 pieces for piano, Op. 2 - Alberto Ginastera & Gabriela Montero (7:42)
  11. 11 Nocturnes (2) for piano, Op. 27, CT. 114-115: No. 2 in D flat - Frédéric Chopin & Gabriela Montero (5:38)
  12. 12 Fantasy-Impromptu for piano in C sharp minor, Op. 66, CT. 46 - Frédéric Chopin & Gabriela Montero (5:11)
  13. 13 Mephisto Waltz (I & II), for piano No. 1 (Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke), S. 514 (LW A189) - Franz Liszt & Gabriela Montero (11:39)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Improvisation on Rachmaninov's Vocalise, for piano - Gabriela Montero & Gabriela Montero (4:15)
  2. 2 Improvisation on Bach's Goldberg Variations, for piano - Gabriela Montero & Gabriela Montero (4:10)
  3. 3 Improvisation on Chopin's Nocturne in D flat, for piano - Gabriela Montero & Gabriela Montero (2:07)
  4. 4 Improvisation on Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 (second movement), for piano - Gabriela Montero & Gabriela Montero (4:40)
  5. 5 Improvisation inspired by Scriabin, for piano - Gabriela Montero & Gabriela Montero (3:41)
  6. 6 Improvisation on Duérmete mi niño, for piano - Gabriela Montero & Gabriela Montero (4:10)
  7. 7 Improvisation in the style of a Tango, for piano - Gabriela Montero & Gabriela Montero (3:44)
  8. 8 Improvisation on Granados' Quejas ó la maya el ruiseñor, for piano - Gabriela Montero & Gabriela Montero (4:14)
  9. 9 Improvisation in the style of Bach, for piano - Gabriela Montero & Gabriela Montero (2:32)
  10. 10 Improvisation on Chopin's Prelude in A, for piano - Gabriela Montero & Gabriela Montero (4:19)
  11. 11 Improvisation in Blue, for piano - Gabriela Montero & Gabriela Montero (4:09)
  12. 12 Song for Natalia and Isabella, for piano - Gabriela Montero & Gabriela Montero (4:07)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Gabriela Montero Primary Artist
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