Cuba’s heritage of classical music is composed largely of three strands: the inheritance of colonial times and the subsequent influence of African and European musicians. But even after three hundred years of development, most Cuban composers remain unknown to international audiences. This first recording in a series intended to uncover some of those lost voices presents piano pieces by José Comellas (1842–88), of Catalan descent. Most of them are salon works that blend Chopin and Gottschalk, but Comellas’ ambitions also went further, with the first sonata published by any Cuban composer.
José Raúl López, piano
Sonate Brillante, Op. 21 (publ. 1876) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0347/08.mp3
Catalogue No: TOCC0347EAN/UPC: 5060113443472Release Date: 01.10.2016Composer: José Comellas Artists: José Raúl López
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Rob Barnett :
‘The piano sings out confidently courtesy of Lopez complemented by the recording team. The liner-essay is also at the hand of López. His writing is as expected: thorough and fully-detailed. He delves through Comellas’ life but also touches on a host of other Cuban composers we may yet perhaps see advocated by Toccata and López. … The titles and sound of Comellas’ musical world may remind you of the gentler side of Gottschalk’s sentimental piano works. … It’s affectionately done. There we have it then – nicely fashioned and lovingly played music treated with integrity and never a smirk in sight.’ –Music Web International, November 2016
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