RAMON LAZKANO (b.1968): 2 Prefaces for Piano and Orchestra (Bilbao Symphony Orchesra; Ernest Martínez Izqierdo), Petrikhor, Fourth Monologue, Lunar Instants, Presencia, Zortziko, Gentle Sway, Firework, Hanging for Piano Four Hands, Bras dessus bras dessous for Piano Six Hands.
Catalogue Number: 05U073
Description: This disc explores the Basque composer’s ongoing and fruitful relationship with the piano. Two Prefaces (1993) was his first work in concerto form, written at the end of his studies with Bancquart and Grisey (we previously offered two of its successors on 03L121). An affinity with spectralism is apparent, and already the composer is preoccupied with 'composed resonance' which is an important feature of the later solo works, notably Fourth Monologue (2000), in which the resonance of all the piano strings is excited by stamping on the pedal, forming a shimmering background to the non-directional but surprisingly consonant, tonal harmonies that occupy much of the work, which nevertheless breaks loose in several virtuosic episodes with a distinct resemblance to Messiaen. This virtuosic element relates it to Lazkano's first piano work, Lunar Instants (1989/1996), in three movements, 'Star', 'Sun', and 'Firmament'. Like the concerto, the piano works develop passages of potent rhythmic dynamism, which along with the composer’s free use of tonal harmony in a basically atonal idiom renders the works remarkably approachable. The most recent, and largest, piano piece, Petrikhor (meaning the smell of wet earth), explores piano resonances to the extreme, subtly amplifying harmonics to suggest a haze of fragrant aerosols. Alfonso Gómez (piano), Marta Zabaleta (four hands), Ramon Lazkano (six hands).