RAMÓN PAÚS (b.1956): Piano al origen, Piano en Arlés, Estudio para uracilo, un principe genómico, Piano astrolabio.
Catalogue Number: 01T057
Description: Paús has a readily approachable and original style, capable of traversing a wide emotional and dramatic range, with frequent, unpredictable, shifts in both. He uses exclusively tonal harmony, though usually without conventional functional relationships, and he has a fondness for jazz chords and figuration, the product of a parallel career in this field. This harmonic freedom not infrequently brings up parallels with impressionism, the rich, saturated chords sometimes extending to Messiaenic degrees of color. These pieces avoid large-scale forms and conventional development, instead resembling suites of short, self contained sections each with its own character and mood, an ideal form for telling evocative 'stories' with a strong sense of atmosphere. Piano al origen has an autobiographical component; its atmospheric melodies, sense of dreamlike nostalgia and a kind of religious chorale over a ground bass suggest episodes from memory. Piano en Arlés was inspired by an episode in Kurosawa's film "Dreams" featuring Van Gogh. The work noticeably contrasts material of sunlit and shadowy character. The composer has biochemistry in his background, and Uracil (a component of RNA) is here the title of a tribute to British research chemist Rosalind Franklin (1920–1958), who worked on the structure of DNA. Toccata-like material and jazz musings rub shoulders with a level of declamatory neo-romanticism less present in the earlier pieces. Piano astrolabio also contrasts sonorous chord sequences with passages of extreme, dissonant, virtuosity, and others of a more reflective, jazz-tinged nature.