Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Leo Brouwer, Cuban Sketches for Piano, Mariel Mayz


Because of the nature of politics and history, where you are situated sometimes has something to do with when and how you come to know some composer, some music. So the fact that Leo Brouwer is Cuban means his music was not always flowing into our ears here in the US in years past. I am not here to delve into that fact so much as to acknowledge it. So the advent of Leo Brouwer here has not been a steady factor, and so sometimes we finally get to hear some things in greater depth than we have previously. That surely is a very good thing. Accordingly I find myself appreciating his originality more and more as I dig deeper into his output.

So happily we have right now the release of significant Leo Brouwer piano works with an enthusiastic and care-taking, indeed a rather definitive performance by pianist Mariel Mayz. That is namely the full length Cuban Sketches for Piano (ZOHO  ZM 202206). Now I should point out that the sum of the program is what is being entitled here, so really we are talking, and quite happily, about "Diez Bocetos" and then "Nuevo Bocetos para Piano" (3), and then further a Maiz arranged "An Idea (Passacaglia for Eli)" and then finally Maiz' own "Variations on a Theme by Brouwer."

And as you listen you may find the occasion to revel in the idea that Brouwer here is neither exactly fully "Modern" nor is he determinably "unModern." The music has the contemporary tang of the 20th century but then he goes his own way in a lyrical and inventive melodic-harmonic individualism that is in a league of its own. Yet too the "Nuevo Bocetos" do channel a more consistently Modern palette to a greater extent that the others. Nothing is wholly a monolith nor is it exactly all wholly Cuban in some obvious sense, at least not very often.

So we hear the not easily categorized flow of these piano works and find a great deal to appreciate, or at least I do.The performances give much in an imaginative making so, a very sophisticated and subtly lyrical reading that stands out as something even Goldilocks would find satisfying. I recommend this one warmly, wholly. It is one to savor over one hopes the many hours and years of listening ahead.

No comments:

Post a Comment