For the first time, the complete piano trios of Heitor Villa-Lobos are available in a single two-disc set from the Damocles Trio on Claves Records. Rounding out this pathbreaking recording of piano trios from Brazil, is the world-premiere recording of Oscar Lorenzo Fernândez’s Trio Brasileiro. Writing in Fanfare, Phillip Scott comments, “…the Juilliard-trained Damocles Trio makes a compelling case for this music. Violinist Airi Yoshioka and cellist Sibylle Johner understand that the composer’s melodic lines need to sing, while pianist Adam Kent lightens the texture wherever possible and points rhythms to emphasize the music’s unflagging energy. The imaginative coupling is a piano trio by Villa-Lobos’s younger contemporary Lorenzo Fernândez (1897–1948). His Trio Brasileiro is a more straightforward rendering of Brazilian rhythms and folk tunes into the piano trio format, lacking Villa-Lobos’s contrapuntal development but more open in texture. A welcome contrast, it is a delightful work that ought to be better known. Once again, these first-rate musicians give us a highly accomplished and sympathetic performance. Sound is excellent. Highly recommended." The Juilliard Journal describes the recording as an “outstanding set, filled with pleasures.”

 

Villa-Lobos double CD set
$20

The Damocles Trio's recording of the complete piano trios plus piano quartet of Joaquín Turina (1882-1949) was recently released by Claves Records. For the piano quartet the Damocles Trio is joined by Emerson Quartet violist Lawrence Dutton.
The CD features a beautiful booklet with nmerous photos and extensive liner notes by Adam Kent as well as and interview with the Damocles Trio. The disc is available at Tower Records in the US and most major music stores in Europe and Asia or online from www.Amazon.com, www.towerrecords.com, www.bestprices.com, www.swissdisc.ch, www.fnac.com, www.discoweb.com, www.alapage.com, www.soyuz.ru, or www.hmv.co.jp.
Reviews for the Turina CD:
BBC Music Magazine (Ivan Hewett), December 2004: **** "...the pieces have a similar way of boiling up to chunky rhetorical climaxes, often with sweeping strings in octaves, which the Damocles Trio brings off with great swagger. The contrasted dance variations of Trio No. 1 and the superimposed speeds in the tiny scherzo of No. 2 are elliptical delights, played with finesse, and the recording keeps them intimate without getting swamped by big build-ups." Le Monde de la musique (Jérémie Szpirglas), September 2004: **** "For its first disc, the young Damocles Trio offers a joyous interpretation.... their joie de vivre is communicative. The movements are in turn dancing, explosive or lyrical, always well worked out... [in the quartet] the sound of the strings superbly expresses the Andalusian lament, proud and heartrending..." Diapason, October 2005 (J.B.): **** "...the three young musicians... offer a beautiful sensibility in their approach... reconciling transparence, lightness, proud rhythm and lyricism." Fondation Suisa (Claude Delley): "All these performances prove that the members of the Damocles Trio ... are excellent interpreters. The articulations, as well as the intonation, are simply irreproachable." Tribune de Genève (Fabrice Gottraux), October 2004: "[The Damocles Trio] delivers a radiant interpretation... The playing is precise and light, the touch sensitive.... The music of Turina is heard with pleasure on this well conceived program." ClassicsToday.com (Victor Carr Jr.), January 2005: "The Damocles' finely calibrated timbral shadings, richly sonorous tone, and flowing phrasing makes for unalloyed pleasure throughout both works... Laurence Dutton's contribution adds to the group's persuasive performance of this thematically pungent and emotionally vibrant work." Scherzo (Josep Pascual), January 2005: "Realmente se trata de unas versiones a todas luces excepcionales que hacen plena justicia a tan interesante música y que... merecen recomendarse con entusiasmo. ...además nos presenta a un grupo de cámera del máximo nivel. Un compacto revelador."

Turina CD
$15

 

 

Adam Kent's recording of the complete piano music of Ernesto Halffter (1905-1989) was recently released by Bridge Records. Halffter was the most precocious composer of Spain's so-called "Generación del '27," the generation of Federico García Lorca, Salvador Dalí, and Luis Buñuel. This is the first time all of Halffter's solo piano music has been available on a single disc, and many of the pieces receive their premiere recordings here.
The CD features extensive liner notes by Adam Kent as well as numerous photos and other memorabilia provided by the Halffter estate. Released as Bridge 9106, the disc is available through most large record stores, or online from www.Amazon.com or www.BridgeRecords.com.
Reviews for Adam Kent's recording of the complete piano music of Ernesto Halffter: ***** "This is an immensely attractive record, beautifully played and recorded...Adam Kent's playing here is often suggestive of Alicia de Larrocha...there's a full-bodied 'singing' tone, perfectly suited to the music's more lyrical and rhapsodic moments, and a command of buoyant articulation from which many far better-known pianists could learn a lot. I recommend this disc wholeheartedly." BBC Music Magazine, Dec. 2001. "This is a fascinating and highly enjoyable portrait of a little-known Spanish composer...an impressive success...I particularly enjoy the vast range of colors Kent can obtain within the general dynamic of pianissimo, and he has that rare ability of caressing music from the keys." Fanfare, September/October 2001

Halffter piano solo CD
$15

Pianist Adam Kent plays a selection of the charming Lyric Pieces of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and provides liner notes. Recording is available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/adamkent and www.amazon.com.

 


updated: 8/11/2011