LIONEL SAINSBURY (b.1958): 12 Preludes, Op. 11, Andalusian Fantasy, Op. 16, Nocturne, Op. 18, Cuban Fantasy, Op. 22, South American Suite, Op. 23, Esquisse.
Catalogue Number: 05Q080
Label: Navona Records
Description: Sainsbury's interest in Spanish and Latin-American music is a recurring theme in his own colorful, tonal, thoroughly accessible and appealing works, with those for the piano (his own instrument) sharing a true composer-pianist's enthusiastic and bravura celebration of the instrument's technical and expressive possibilities. The Andalusian Fantasy vividly evokes the guitar playing, singing and passionate contrasts in atmosphere of flamenco music. The emotionally complex Nocturne shares something of this sense of passionate pathos and longing, with additional inflections of the blues and a fine neo-romantic climax. The seven-movement Suite celebrates Spanish-speaking and Brazilian musical traditions, blended with Gershwinesque echoes of North American jazz and native Spanish idioms that evolved and transformed in their journey to the New World. The relatively early, substantial set of Preludes pay homage to Sainsbury's continuing influences and preoccupations - French music, especially Ravel and aspects of Milhaud; Gershwin and the blues; Spanish music; late-flowering 20th-century romanticism. The Cuban Fantasy uses the unmistakable swaying rhythms of Cuban music to evoke sensuousess, excitement and sun-drenched Caribbean landscape. Lionel Sainsbury (piano).