Programme Notes

Isaac Albéniz and Franz Liszt; two very different men with a lot of common points, both of them expanding their musical nationalism, exploring the limits of the piano and writing for the culmination of the virtuosic era.

Spanish Flavour

Isaac Albéniz is one of the most important Spanish composers. His Suite Iberia, the piece with which he passed to the “hall of fame” of music history, consists of twelve pieces divided in four books. Two pieces from the last book will be performed: Jerez, being an evocation of this southern city, with slows melodies, background guitar effects and typical gipsy songs, everything surrounded by an impressionistic atmosphere; and Eritaña, rhythmically contrasting and full of colours, is a “Sevillana”, maybe the most popular dance in Spain.

Many prestigious composers and performers praised this work; as for example Olivier Messiaen, who said: "Iberia is the wonder for the piano; it is perhaps on the highest place among the more brilliant pieces for the king of instruments".

Beyond the limits

To talk about Franz Liszt is to talk about the piano world. It’s to talk about development of the piano in many directions, and to talk about a revolutionary man who changed the concept of the artist. He looked for something else, and he went beyond the limits.

Liszt's piano music is known, among other things, as extremely difficult: full of contrast, beauty, and virtuosic demands. My choices for this recitals are two completely different pieces which, none the less, share those characteristics: the joyful and dancing Spanish Rhapsody and the deep, mysterious and mystic Sonata in B minor. These two pieces, both challenges for any pianist, define the two faces of our composer.