Xavier Montsalvatge: Piano Music, Vol. 1

Xavier Montsalvatge: Piano Music, Vol. 1

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by Jordi Masó
     
 

The music of Catalonian composer Xavier Montsalvatge, essentially neo-classic in spirit, features traces of the French 1920s scene in which he came of age, of jazz, of Latin American and Caribbean music, of Iberian nationalism, and, on occasion, of broad Romantic melody. All these elements cohere into a brilliant whole, ably represented here by Catalonian pianist… See more details below

Overview

The music of Catalonian composer Xavier Montsalvatge, essentially neo-classic in spirit, features traces of the French 1920s scene in which he came of age, of jazz, of Latin American and Caribbean music, of Iberian nationalism, and, on occasion, of broad Romantic melody. All these elements cohere into a brilliant whole, ably represented here by Catalonian pianist Jordi Masó. The program is roughly chronological, showcasing Montsalvatge's discovery of each of these elements. Some of these pieces were originally premiered by Alicia de Larrocha, and most deserve wider exposure. The "Three Impromptus" of 1933 are in a thoroughly Milhaud-like vein, but Montsalvatge's own voice emerges in the lovely "Siciliana" (1940), in which that folk rhythm disappears in a mist of abstraction as the piece proceeds. "Ritmes" (1942) is a fine example of Montsalvatge's engagement with the music of the Western hemisphere, including jazz. In later music such as the "Sonatina pour Yvette" of 1961, such influences are more muted but still present. A special attraction of the album is the presence of a world premiere: the piano-and-string-orchestra version of Montsalvatge's "Recóndita Armonia," originally written as a string quintet and arranged by the composer himself, in great old age, into three separate versions that include a piano. The piano is generally integrated into the texture of this Romantic but quirky score, which would make a fine entry on a modest-sized symphonic program with a visiting pianist; it's fun, it doesn't require a Horowitz at the keyboard, and there's a certain hard-to-pin down joy pervading the whole. Highly recommended for fans of Iberian music. Brief but cogent booklet notes, by Masó himself, are in English and Spanish.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/25/2010
Label:
Naxos Spanish
UPC:
0747313074471
catalogNumber:
8570744
Rank:
224399

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Divagación, for piano  - Xavier Montsalvatge  - Jordi Masó
  2. Sonatina for Yvette, for piano  - Xavier Montsalvatge  - Jordi Masó
  3. Divertimentos (3) sobre temas de autores olvidados, for piano  - Xavier Montsalvatge  - Jordi Masó

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Album Credits

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