MANUEL MARÍA PONCE (1882⁠–⁠1948)




‘A prolific composer, Manuel Ponce is known today mostly for his guitar music. However, he was a brilliant pianist in his own right and left behind a wealth of works for the piano of over 200 pieces that remain largely unknown and range from salonesque dances to the most learned of fugues. In these works he combined his affinity for Musical Romanticism with French impressionism, Neoclassic models, and Mexican folk songs, while still projecting his own compositional voice.

I wanted to show three contrasting parts on this album, the first one dedicated to the instrumental virtuosity of the composer´s youthful years and his studies in Berlin with Martin Krause, a pupil of F. Liszt. The second part features twenty easy pieces on Mexican themes, with their creativity focused on children’s music, ranging from indigenous themes to popular airs that emerged during the time of the Mexican revolution such as “La Cucaracha”, “La Valentina” and “La Adelita”. Finally, in the third part is one of my favourite Ponce pieces: Mazurka n°23. It is also an honour for me to include in this album the piece Vespertina in its world premiere recording.’ – Álvaro Cendoya