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Isaac Albéniz: Complete works for piano

This album represents the culmination of an ambitious project that began 25 years ago, when Guillermo González, a great specialist in Spanish piano music, made an exceptional recording of Albéniz’s Iberia, a work judged by Messiaen to be the finest written for piano in the 20th century. Eight more volumes of Albéniz's piano music have followed, featuring recordings by González and five other leading Spanish pianists, all of whom were taught by him. The series as a whole combines a clear unity of character and interpretative school with the individual artistry of each performer, immersing the listener in the fascinating life story and stylistic development of a composer who illuminated the world of piano music in the last century.

Twenty-five years ago, Guillermo González, a great exponent of Spanish music, inaugurated an ambitious project to record all of Isaac Albéniz’s piano music. This ninth volume is the culmination of that project and the recordings have all been made by González or his students, adding interpretative unity to the cycle. The final instalment focuses on Albéniz’s compositional evolution and his use of inspired folk-based melodies, Hispanic nostalgia and vivid dance rhythms, encapsulated by the intoxicating Chants d’Espagne. Additionally, five works are heard in exciting new arrangements for two pianos made expressly for this recording, presented as if in a suite of dances.

Listen to an extract from Chants d'Espagne, Op. 232:
No. 5. Seguidillas
About the Artists

Considered a true specialist in Spanish piano music, Miguel Ángel R. Laiz has given recitals, masterclasses and lectures at prestigious European and American institutions. He has also performed hundreds of recitals and concerts in Spain and in countries across Europe and the Americas, and recorded numerous times for radio and television. Laiz has been awarded eight prizes in national and international competitions, including at the prestigious Concurso Internacional Premio Jaén Piano and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy.

Spanish pianist Santiago L. Sacristán studied at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid with Guillermo González, and made his debut at the age of 15 with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla⁠-⁠La Mancha. In 1997 he premiered Ignacio Morales Nieva’s Cantata in Memoriam, Op. 72 for piano and orchestra. Sacristán has given recitals across Europe as a soloist, with orchestras, and in chamber ensembles, with a repertoire ranging from works of the clavecinistes to contemporary compositions.

A selection from previous volumes in the series
‘ … invariably charming, melodious, and pianistic. It is played superbly by Miguel Ángel R. Laiz.’
American Record Guide
‘Pianist Hernán Milla … plays with a sympathy and flair that seems just right for the music … there are moments of true brilliance to be heard here.’
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
‘Mr. Sacristán plays with a crisp, tangy tone that is just right for this music.’
American Record Guide
‘ … sensitive and intelligent interpretations … Ramiro performs with a captivating impression of spontaneous improvisation.’
MusicWeb International

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