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Denise Ball
CBC, December 2013

Cendoya captures the rhythmic swagger and melodic verve that runs through all of these pieces with charming, easy fluency. It’s infectious music, beautifully played—a welcome find among the slush pile of recent CDs. © 2013 CBC Read complete review



Chris Morgan
Scene Magazine, October 2013

Manuel Ponce’s legacy as one of Mexico’s most popular, prolific and nationalist composers is well deserved. This recently released recording…serves as an affirmation of that legacy…There are many highlights: the popular Intermezzo—undoubtedly the composer’s best-known work; the rhythmically sophisticated Scherzino mexicano; Sonatina, a sublime romantic sojourn written in Paris; and Ponce’s last major work for piano, Cuatro danzas mexicanas, which closes out the CD in fine form, offering listeners both dazzle and sensuality. Throughout the recording, pianist Álvaro Cendoya succeeds in channeling the sun-drenched intensity and romantic ambition of Ponce’s vision, and because of his efforts, the music endures. © 2013 Scene Magazine Read complete review



Gary Higginson
MusicWeb International, September 2013

I am enormously impressed both by the recording and by the performances.

Much of the music is virtuosic, but you might not always realise this, such is the skill that serves to hide the expertise. At no point is Cendoya fazed by the requirements of this aspect; instead he revels in the exotic sonorities and technical demands. © MusicWeb International Read complete review



Ryan Vigil
American Record Guide, September 2013

…Alvaro Cendoya…demonstrates skill and artistry in bringing to life the colors and contours of Ponce’s style.

This record contains some very compelling music, especially the late Cuatro Danzas Mexicanas.

Cendoya’s playing is taut and impressive. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




KDFC Radio, April 2013

In honor of Cinco de Mayo on Sunday, this week we’re featuring a collection of music by Mexican composer Manual Ponce as performed by Basque pianist Alvaro Cendoya. Manuel Ponce was the founder of Mexican musical nationalism, often incorporating the melodies of folk-songs into his music. He studied in Europe, at first in Bologna and then, between 1925 and 1933, as a pupil of Paul Dukas in Paris. He died in Mexico City in 1948. This is the first of eight volumes from Naxos devoted to Ponce’s complete piano music. Hear selections on the air throughout this week on KDFC. © 2013 KDFC Radio



David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2013

Today the name of Manuel Maria Ponce is little known outside of the guitar world, though a hundred years ago everybody was seemingly singing Estrellita.Rather unexpectedly it had become a top selling ‘pop’ song of its time for the Mexican classical composer, and even today - though you may not know its name - you will recognise the melody. It was one of his many salon pieces included in this first of an eight disc series, almost all of the twenty-six tracks lasting within the two to four minute duration. Born in a provincial Mexican town in 1882, Ponce wanted to do everything his elder sister did, and it was she who taught him the piano. That he was by far the most gifted quickly became apparent, and he was taken to Mexico City to study piano and composition. His progress soon outstripped the educational potential in Mexico, and he moved to Italy and France to complete his studies. He was to write many orchestral scores, with concertos for both violin and piano, though it was only his meeting with the guitar virtuoso, Andres Segovia, that sparked his interest in that instrument. In modern terms he was a fine ‘tunesmith’ who could produce hundreds of attractive pieces that came precious close to the ‘light music’ category. Here the most extensive score comes with the three movements of the more weighty and hugely attractive Sonatine. The disc is played by the Spanish-born, Alvaro Cendoya, one of his nation’s leading keyboard exponents whose concert career finds him in demand throughout the world’s major concert venues. Most at home when the music becomes ‘serious’, as in the three Mazurkas, his clarity is complemented by the excellent sound quality of the Spanish recording. © David’s Review Corner





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