Brilliant Classics

ALBENIZ / SANCHEZ - PIANO MUSIC COMPACT DISC

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The French piano luminary Alfred Cortot declared Esteban Snchez Herrero (1934-1997) to be a 'musical genius'. Clara Haskil numbered among their colleagues who thought likewise, and Daniel Barenboim wrote: 'How is it possible? How can Spain have hidden away a...

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The French piano luminary Alfred Cortot declared Esteban Snchez Herrero (1934-1997) to be a 'musical genius'. Clara Haskil numbered among their colleagues who thought likewise, and Daniel Barenboim wrote: 'How is it possible? How can Spain have hidden away a performer of this class?' But Sanchez, born in Badajoz in 1934, shrank from the limelight even after winning several prestigious piano competitions. Having settled back into his native province as a teacher at the Badajoz conservatoire from 1978, he rarely travelled abroad, leaving a series of recordings made in Barcelona between 1968 and 1974 as his most lasting musical legacy. The highlight of that legacy is widely recognized to be Sanchez's recording of Iberia, that quintessential masterpiece of Spanish pianism. While Alicia de Larrocha's name remains indelibly associated with Albniz's cycle and it's post-Lisztian evocations of folk legends and urban life, Sanchez brought to this music an unrivalled sense of fantasy as well as muscularity. The booklet for this reissue includes an outline of Sanchez's career, a detailed essay on Iberia and a critical appreciation of both his pianism and it's harmonious match with the music of Albniz. 'The Catalan composer's great music is always a personal expression,' writes the veteran critic Luis Gago, 'whether it is the memory of a landscape, the perception of a rhythm, or an experience which he could not forget. Such subjective music needs, almost demands, a performer who will let it breathe freely as it's own entity. And this is exactly what Esteban Snchez does, perhaps in a way no other pianist does.'

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