Franz Lizst: Les jeux d'eau a la villa d'Este.

​This work, composed in 1877, is no.4 from Années de pèlerinage book III. It is a musical impression after the fountains of Villa d'Este in Italy, which Liszt had visited years before. Over the music, Liszt placed the inscription, "Sed aqua quam ego dabo ei, fiet in eo fons aquae salientis in vitam aeternam" ("But the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life"), taken from Gospel According to John.

Performance: St. James-Piccadilly, London. 16th January 2012.

 

Isaac Albéniz: Evocación, from Iberia book I.

Considered by many as the most brilliant Spanish piano work, and one of the greatest piano works of all times, Albéniz's suite Iberia starts with this slow and evocative piece, composed in Paris in 1905. It is the only one of the 12 pieces from Iberia that does not refer to a specific place in Spain. The structures is a clear sonata form, characterized by long thematic sections and short transitions between them. Themes and rhythms recall traditional Spanish forms such as jota and fandango.

Studio recording. London, November 2013.

 

Isaac Albéniz: Almería, from Iberia book II

​This piece, one of the longest from the whole Iberia, is the second one from book II. Written in G Major, it is full of lyricism, optimism and light, with some hints of folkloric rhythms. The title refers to the Andalusian city of Almería, located in the south coast of Spain, watching the Mediterranean sea. The mixture of rhythms and emiolias at the beginning could metaphorically remind to the smooth movement of waves, contrasting with the lyric and extremely beautiful middle section or "copla". Almería represents one of the finest examples of Albéniz's style, mixing with mastery folklor and lyricism.

Performance: Old Royal Naval College Chapel, London. 22nd October, 2013

 

Joseph Haydn: Piano Sonata Hob.XVI:49 in E flat (I. Allegro)

​The E flat Sonata Hob. XVI:49 was composed around 1790, and is representative of Haydn's return to the most strict classicism after his incursion in the Sturm und Drang some 20 years before. The sonata was dedicated to Anna von Gerlischek, a housekeeper in the service of the Esterházys. The first movement, shown in this video, is open and lively. It includes two contrasting themes, making a difference with other first movements by Haydn that are monothematic. 

 

Performance: St. James-Piccadilly, London. 16th January 2012.

Joseph Haydn: Piano Sonata Hob.XVI:49 in E flat (I. Adagio cantabile)

​The second movement of Haydn's Sonata Hob. XVI:49 is probably the most developed and innovative movement of the three. It includes a contrasting middle section in minor mode, expressive and drammatic, that Anna Gerlischek particularly disliked due to the crossing-hands technique that it demands.

 

Performance: St. James-Piccadilly, London. 16th January 2012.

Franz Liszt: Après une lecture de Dante. Fantasia quasi sonata.

​Based in Dante's Divine Comedy, this piece was completed by Liszt in 1849. It closes the second volume of Années de pèlerinage, volume that reflects on the art and literature from Italy. Liszt did not limit the music to be a mere description of Dante's reading; instead, it is a poetic-narrative-descriptive reworking of the text. It shows a solid structure with the two contrasting themes characteristic of the sonata form, but used with freedom in the manner of a fantasy.

 

Performance: St. James-Piccadilly, London. 16th January 2012.

 

Updated: June, 2019

© 2017 by Manuel López Jorge. All rights reserved.