A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
The Grand Piano label continues to uncover gems of the piano repertoire. — Fanfare

PIANO CUBANO

Ernesto LECUONA • Carlos FARIÑAS • Andrés ALÉN


  • Yamilé Cruz Montero, piano

Some of the finest, most stylistically diverse and exciting Cuban piano music can be heard on this recording. Ernesto Lecuona is one of the greatest of all Latin-American composers. Malagueña, from the Suite Andalucía, is considered the most powerful representation of Spain in Cuban music. Drawing on the Cuban genes of son and cancíon, the music of Carlos Fariñas radiates vivid colours, while that of Andrés Alén Rodríguez blends song, habanera and jazz influences.

Visit the ALBUM MINI-SITE

Watch video trailer:

Tracklist

Lecuona, Ernesto
 
Danzas Afro-Cubanas () (00:11:34 )
1
IV. Danza de los ñañigos (00:02:34)
2
III. …Y la negra bailaba! (00:02:24)
 
Andalucía, "Suite Espagnole" () (00:10:59 )
3
I. Córdoba (00:03:10)
4
II. Andaluza (00:02:33)
5
III. Alhambra (00:04:14)
6
IV. Gitanerías (00:01:48)
7
V. Guadalquivir (00:04:30)
8
VI. Malagueña (00:04:07)
Fariñas, Carlos
 
6 Sones sencillos (1964) (00:15:25 )
9
Son sencillo No. 1 (00:01:41)
10
Son sencillo No. 2 (00:01:56)
11
Son sencillo No. 3 (00:01:04)
12
Son sencillo No. 4 (00:02:34)
13
Son sencillo No. 5 (00:02:13)
14
Son sencillo No. 6 (00:03:34)
15
Son sencillo No. 7 (1998) (00:02:25)
16
Alta Gracia (1985) (00:08:14)
Alén, Andrés
17
Variations on Silvio Rodríguez's Theme (1999) (00:15:59)
18
Emiliano (2007) * (00:05:10)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:10:10

The Artist

Yamilé Cruz Montero (b. 1985, Havana) studied at the Manuel Saumell Conservatory, the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory and at the Superior Institute of Art in Cuba. She was awarded the Master of Music degree by the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München (University of Music and Performing Arts Munich), and a scholarship by the Richard Wagner Association Munich for young artists. She has received awards from the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory Competition in 2002, the María Clara Cullell International Piano Competition, Costa Rica in 2004, and the Cuban Union of Writers and Artists in 2010, among others. She made her début at 15 years old, subsequently performing in all the prestigious concert halls in Cuba. She was the first Cuban woman to perform the Third Piano Concerto of Prokofiev and has performed at major events and festivals in Havana. In addition to her European classical repertoire, Montero devotes herself particularly to Latin American composers, presenting new and unknown works. For more information, visit www.yamilecruzmontero.com.

The Composer

Andrés Alén Rodríguez, one of the most talented pianists to come out of Cuba in the second half of the 20th century, was born in Havana on 7 October 1950 and now lives in Madrid, where he teaches piano at the Escuela de Música Creativa and at the Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio (UAS), as well as continuing to compose Cuban music. His compositions move between a number of different spheres, including classical, jazz and Cuban and Latin-American popular music.

Carlos Fariñas was born in Cienfuegos in 1934 and studied first at Santa Clara. In 1948 he entered the Conservatorio Municipal de Música in Havana, Cuba, where he studied with Harald Gramatges. He joined the Sociedad Cultural Nuestro Tiempo in 1950, an organization for the promotion of contemporary Cuban music, and in 1956 studied composition at Tanglewood with Aaron Copland, and conducting with Eleazar de Carvalho and Seymour Lipkin. He completed his studies at the Havana Conservatorio in 1957.

His early compositions were strongly influenced by nationalism and neo-classicism. From 1961 to 1963 he studied in Moscow, and in 1969 won a prize at the Fourth Paris Biennale for his Tiento II, an example of avantgarde work of the time. He was involved in the establishment of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional and served as director of the Conservatorio Alejandro García Caturla.

From 1966 to 1976 he was director of the music section of the Biblioteca Nacional José Martí, and held the chair of composition at the Instituto Superior de Arte. In 1989 he set up the Estudio de Música Electroacústiva y por Computadora (EMEC), a reflection of the later direction his music took. He died in 2002.

The Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona studied at Havana Conservatory and then with Joaquín Nin, later touring with his dance band, Lecuona's Cuban Boys. He established himself for some time in New York, writing light music of various kinds and performing similar repertoire. He died in Tenerife in 1963

Reviews

“Cruz Montero plays everything with beauty and grace. A lovely disc—don’t miss it.” – American Record Guide

“Thanks to a congenial tonal technique, the Cuban’s playing was captured in all its beguiling sensuality.” – Piano News

“Piano Cubano is a pleasure to hear for all lovers of classical music who wish to broaden their musical horizon with an exciting and interesting musical programme. By doing so, they will also discover a rising young pianist who has only just begun to exploit her full musical potential.” – Latizón TV