ANTONIO RUIZ-PIPÓ (1934-1997): Ventanas, Variaciones sobre un tema popular catalán, Variaciones sobre un tema popular gallego (First Recordings), MANUEL DE FALLA (1876-1946: Fantasia Baetica, FEDERICO MOMPOU (1893-1987): Impresiones intimas.
Catalogue Number: 07U059
Reference: GEN 18606
Description: Displaced to Barcelona by the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Ruiz-Pipó made his career in that Catalonian city where he became a close friend of Mompou, whose late works the 1997 Ventanas resembles - six brief, epigrammatic and enigmatic miniatures. Both sets of variations (from 1989 and 1991) start with the theme presented with the utmost simplicity followed by a couple of subtle, Mompou-like aquarelles. Soon, though, unsurprisingly in view of his pianistic credentials, more virtuosic piano writing asserts itself with forays into extravagant virtuosity which run the gamut of Romantic expression and a high level of chromaticism and added-note dissonant harmony decorating the theme, with the expected roulades of notes and cascading chords. Throughout, though, the music remains thoroughly tonal, and the composer never loses sight of the themes reinforcing their Spanish flavor with evocations of the guitar, and including sequences of gentler, lyrical variations of disarming simplicity and beauty. Ali Hirèche (piano).