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Jorge Bolet: His earliest recordings
From the mid 1970’s until his death, Cuban born Jorge Bolet emerged as one of the world’s truly great pianists and one of the last representatives, along with the likes of Cherkassky, Horowitz and Earl Wild, of the great Romantic tradition of pianism. His pedigree was marvellous - a student of Godowsky-disciple David Saperton at the Curtis Institute, there he was also able to play for Godowsky himself and Josef Hofmann. He won the Naumburg competition in 1937 and looked set for a great career, but the war interrupted the flow of things and he struggled through the 1950s & 60s, mainly playing in the USA and not quite making the international ‘big-time’. His big break came with an RCA contract and the release on LP of a stunning live Carnegie Hall concert in 1974. Shortly after, he was signed to Decca and went on to make many award winning discs. But what of the early years? There’s not much, but here, for the first time on CD, we have the four LPs he made in the 1950s. His very first disc was of Latin-American repertoire that he was never to record again. Here also is the first ever recording of Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto in a performance that is still up there with the best.
These almost unknown discs are sure to fascinate, and fill an important gap in the mystery of Bolet’s early career.
“This invaluable reissue of discs dating from 1952-53 is a reminder of Jorge Bolet's early stature. The first-ever recording of Prokofiev's malignant, ferociously demanding Second Concerto is of so much more than documentary interest...nothing can dim one's sense of Bolet's massive and unswerving authority, a quality at once lyrical and magisterial...A true aristocrat of the keyboard, his warmth and humanity strike you at every turn.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2011
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Transcriptions for guitar
Stephen Marchionda (guitar)
The American-Spanish guitarist Stephen Marchionda lends new colours to these much loved compositions. Stephen Marchionda resides in Barcelona and is a proven expert in the field of Spanish music. This is his second release on MDG, his first being Scarlatti Sonatas arranged for guitar, MDG9031587.
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Albéniz: Spanish Music for Classical Guitar
To follow his critically-acclaimed album Sonidos Latinos, award-winning guitarist David Russell explores the music of Isaac Albéniz. Albéniz’s influence on the future of Spanish music was very profound, and transcriptions of his music have become an important part of the repertoire of the classical guitar.
David Russell is recognised worldwide for his mastery of the Spanish guitar repertoire. His new CD features distinctive works by the composer Isaac Albéniz, including movements from the critically-acclaimed “Doce Piezas Caracteristicas” and the picturesque “Cantos de España” to enchanting Gypsy-inspired dances like the “Zambra Granadina”. Suite Española No. 1 of 1886 is among the earliest of Albéniz's characteristic compositions. Albéniz composed the seven musical postcards of his Recuerdos de Viaje ("Souvenirs of a Journey") in Madrid in 1886-1887 in the styles of traditional Spanish dances. Rumores de la Caleta ("Murmurs of La Caleta"), which refers to the popular beach in the historic centre of the ancient city of Cádiz, is modeled on the malagueña, a gently swaying dance that originated in Málaga.
Winner of the 2005 Grammy® Award for Best Instrumental Soloist, Scottish-born guitarist David Russell is internationally renowned for his superb musicianship and inspired artistry. Russell has appeared regularly at prestigious halls in main cities, such as New York, London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Madrid, Toronto or Rome. Since 1995, he has recorded exclusively for Telarc International, with whom he has recorded 16 CDs, among them the Grammy® award winning Aire Latino. Named a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Music in London in 1997 (where he is now also Visiting Professor), Russell has also won the Medal of Honour from the Conservatory of the Balearics, along with numerous international competitions, including the Andrés Segovia Competition, the José Ramírez Competition and Spain's prestigious Francisco Tárrega Competition. He has had a street named after him in Es Migjorn, the town in Minorca where he grew up, and after winning the Grammy®
Award, he received the Silver Medal of Nigrán, the town in Northern Spain where he lives. Both of David Russell’s last two Telarc albums, Sonidos Latinos and For David were awarded Editor’s Choices in Gramophone.
“As always, Russell's playing is a masterly blend of musical intelligence and poetic inspiration...Russell references the piano in his sharply incised accompanimental figures and fulsome melodic lines - yet colours and textures akin to those found in Moorish architecture are the result.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011
“Although Russell's playing acknowledges the folk and flamenco inspiration behind these pieces, most noticeably in his lightly dancing rhythmic pulse, he doesn't try to interpret them as such; instead he remains firmly on the classical side and the melodic layers are more apparent...Russell's new recording possesses the same charm, timbral beauty and depth of musical understanding which has been consistent throughout his outstanding performing career.” International Record Review, September 2011
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Les Musiques de Picasso
Rafael Orozco, Alfred Cortot (piano), Shlomo Mintz (violin), Paco Cortés, Montoyita, José Antonio Rodriguez, Moraito, Pedro Bacan (guitar), Pascal Moragues (clarinet), Sergio Azzolini (bassoon), Lluis Claret (violin-cello), Enrique Morente, Ines Bacan, Ian Bostridge, Maria Lluisa Muntada & Maria Bayo (voice)
Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire de Paris & Joven Orquesta Nacional de España, Edmon Colomer & Charles Munch
‘The music of Picasso’ takes us on a wonderful journey illustrating the influence of music upon Picasso’s life and career.
From Flamenco to Satie, from Stravinsky to Granados, the music of Picasso are those he liked to hear and sing, those for which he conceived sets and texts, and finally those which directly evoke an aspect of his imaginative universe. They are gathered in this set, to give a new light on the work of this immense artist.
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Live - Byw
“Her playing has striking freedom and an appealing spontaneity, and her technique is dazzling. The highlight is the Albéniz Asturias which has all the atmospheric magic of the orchestral version, and something, too, of the bolder profile of the guitar, especially in the haunting middle section.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2006
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