Azumi Nishizawa : Albeniz / Suite Iberia

CD [Cover Art for Azumi Nishizawa / Albeniz / Suite Iberia] Your Price: $42.60
Availability: In Stock
Sell date: 11/2014
Label: CD Baby
Mfg's Catalog#: 5638357
CDC Part#: 1938562
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 Notes & Reviews
Isaac AlbEniz was undoubtedly one of the most outstanding composers of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. A member of the generation of composers (also consisting of Enrique Granados, Manuel de Falla and JoaquIn Turina) that brought new life into Spanish music, taking it to the top of the European artistic world, AlbEniz's works covered practically every genre: songs, operas, choral and symphonic music, but it was his output for the piano that represented his best contribution. 'Iberia is a miracle for the piano; it is perhaps the most sublime of all the great works that have been written for the king of instruments', wrote the French composer Olivier Messiaen. These words perfectly sum up the importance of this legendary work for the piano, whose technical and expressive demands make it especially challenging for the performer. The release of a new version of Iberia -which joins the ranks of others by great performers including Esteban SAnchez, Alicia de Larrocha, Ricardo Requejo, Roger Muraro, Rosa Torres-Pardo and Guillermo GonzAlez, among others- by Azumi Nishisawa is thus a cause for celebration. Nishisawa has specialised in Spanish music in recent years (she has just recorded Manuel de Falla's complete piano works) and delves into the many contrasts of this work with great skill. Isaac AlbEniz, a universal composer Isaac AlbEniz was born in CamprodOn, a small town in Gerona situated on the border between Spain and France, on 29 May 1860. Educated in a middle-class family with liberal ideas, from an early age he was considered a child prodigy on the piano: he gave his first public performance at age four and embarked on various concert tours of Spain (Andalusia, Extremadura, Castile etc.) and Latin America (Puerto Rico, and Havana) as a teenager. It was also during these early years that he began composing short pieces bearing the influence of Chopin, although the Spanish sound so characteristic of his later music was yet to be discerned. In 1876, AlbEniz commenced an intense period of academic training. After spending several months in Leipzig, he was admitted to the Royal Conservatory of Brussels to study with Louis Brassin (an indirect pupil of Chopin), immersing himself in the study of pianistic technique and attaining an even higher level of virtuosity. After graduating avec distinction three years later, AlbEniz continued his concert tours of various European and Cuban cities, arriving in Granada for a second time in 1881 on one of these trips. The composer had visited the city as a child and it had fascinated him to such an extent since then that it became his greatest source of inspiration. It was also during this period that AlbEniz composed his Suite EspaNola and Recuerdos de viaje, two collections of short pieces using folkloric elements to recreate different Spanish (and in particular Andalusian) regions. Another important stage during this decade was his encounter with Felipe Pedrell, an important Spanish nationalist composer and musicologist, who helped him to fully absorb the use of popular melody as a source of inspiration and concentrate on the study of stage music. In 1890, AlbEniz moved to London, where he spent three years composing music theatre with the economic support of Francis Money-Coutts, an English solicitor, patron of the arts and a lover of poetry, who subsequently financed the composer in return for setting his libretti to music. AlbEniz's dedication to stage music produced two works in which he demonstrated his mastery of lyric theatre and an extraordinary ability to adopt the prevailing trends in opera in late-nineteenth-century Europe: Pepita JimEnez, based on Spanish themes and in line with the aesthetics of verismo, and MerlIn, which incorporates elements of Wagner's musical language. In 1893 he settled in Paris and soon joined in the city's cultural and musical life, mixing with important figures including Ernest Chausson, Charles Bordes and Gabriel FaurE; he also studied orchestration and counterpoint with Vincent D'Indy and Paul Dukas and closely monitored the