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David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2020

Born in Spain in 1959, but educated in Italy, Sira Hernandez has had the dual career of pianist and composer, many of her works having been inspired by Italian artists.

Belonging to the modern school of Spanish composers, she has remained tied to tonality, so far as it will take her individuality. Never afraid to appeal to a wide audience, she at times strays into the worlds of populist melody, and so equally relaxed in shape and style, you could well imagine you are listening to improvisation. That feeling is soon apparent in the opening ‘Initiation to the Shadow’, a short piece that acts as the overture to the three substantial scores of the disc. There are Angels in Heaven is the first part of a ballet, Terra Santa (Holy Land), and explores the effects of madness the composer experienced in a psychiatric hospital that then relates the unfettered freedom of expression. And so the disc continues, the Fantasia, with the sub-title, To stitch the wounds, tells a story related in the enclosed booklet, whilst in almost the same time span—twenty-two minutes—the 2019 score Don’t Forget About That—sounds angry as atonality takes over. Certainly the composer has given herself some challenging music to perform © 2020 David’s Review Corner

Records International, May 2020

The distinguished Spanish composer and pianist Sira Hernández is known especially for her involvement with multi-discipline arts projects at major international festivals and cultural events. Many of her works are inspired by Italian artists as can be heard on this album. Minimalist techniques and the significance of tonality and timbre in communicating darkness and light are heard in Iniciación a la sombra and the sewing-machine ostinatos of Fantasía para piano. The presence of God amidst the bleak spaces of madness are expressed in Terra Santa, and the intensity of Don’t Forget About That (for Primo Levi’s 100th birthday) invites us to resist oblivion. © 2020 Records International

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