About the album
This album presents a rare recording of Hekel Tavares’ Concerto in Brazilian Forms, Isaac Albeniz’s vibrantly percussive Spanish Rhapsody, Op. 70 and ambitious Piano Concerto No. 1 (Concierto fantastico), Op. 78. Hekel Tavares (1896 – 1969) was the son of a wealthly plantation owner and lived close to the land and people of Brazil. He cared more for the evocation of the spirit of national folksong and dance than with their use as melodic material.
Tavares wrote some 100 songs of which Casa de caboclo (published in 1928) was his biggest success.
Between 1949 and 1953 Tavares travelled throughout Brazil collecting folk material for use in his own works. This research found expression in works such as his tone poem O Anhanguera which calls for Tucuna Indian percussion instruments.
Hekel Tavares: Concerto in Brazilian Forms for piano and orchestra
The Concerto in Brazilian Forms for Piano and Orchestra is a brilliant, evocative, richly coloured and full-blooded work. The juxtaposition of elemental, sometimes barbaric, rhythms and long, expressive melodic paragraphs gives the concerto a spice and piquancy of the sort that could only grow out of its own particular background
The musical skill and mature imagination of Hekel Tavares weld the different ingredients into a thoroughly convincing whole.
Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909) was born in Spain and at the tender age of nine ran away from home to Puerto Rico. For the next few years he toured Central America and the Western United States and settled briefly in England before studying in Brussels and Budapest.
At the age of thirty-three he retired as a concert performer. This was made possible by the patronage of Francis Burdett Money-Coutts, heir to the banking fortune of Coutts & Co. He devoted himself to revealing the rich resources of the music of his native country through composition.
Forming close ties with Paul Dukas and Gabriel Faure, Albeniz became a cherished member of the French musical community. In his masterpiece, Iberia, he created a source of inspiration the Spanish composers who followed him, as well as for Debussy and Ravel.
Isaac Albeniz: Spanish Rhapsody Op 70
Written in 1895 as an orchestral composition, the Spanish Rhapsody was later rescored by Albeniz for solo piano and orchestra and has become known as the second piano concerto. It is also popular as a piece for solo piano.
As in much of Albeniz’ piano writing, the solo instrument is called on to reproduce percussive rhythmic effects which suggest guitars and castanets.
Isaac Albeniz: Piano Concerto No 1 (Concierto fantastico) Op 70
Albeniz’ first piano concerto, Concierto fantastico is certainly one of his most ambitious projects and perhaps one of his finest achievements. Described as ‘Chopinesque’, it was written in 1886 and is in 3 movements Allegro ma non troppo, Reverie e Scherzo and Allegro.
11Concerto in Brazilian Forms for Piano and Orchestra No.2, Op 105 Modinha: Tempo di batuque (Lento con simplicita)
12Concerto in Brazilian Forms for Piano and Orchestra No.2, Op 105 Ponteio: Largo (molto cantabile ed espressivo)
13Concerto in Brazilian Forms for Piano and Orchestra No.2, Op 105 Maracatu: Lento ma vigoroso
14Spanish Rhapsody Op 70
15Piano Concerto No 1 (Concierto fantastico) Allegro ma non troppo
16Piano Concerto No 1 (Concierto fantastico) Reverie e Scherzo
17Piano Concerto No 1 (Concierto fantastico) Allegro