Shimmering musical portraits of Spain by Manuel de Falla and Claude Debussy come to life through the vivid and stylish pianism of Vanessa Perez.
Though not a native Spaniard, Vanessa Perez has always played Spanish repertoire, and found inspiration to record Falla’s music after an extended trip to the 2013 Chopin Festival in Mallorca. Rather than simply catalog his numerous outstanding piano works however, Ms. Perez sought to explore more deeply the warm and fruitful musical friendship between Falla and Debussy.
“First class classical pianist Perez reaches back to the beginning of the 20th century when de Falla first bought his Spanish music to France and Debussy wrapped his ears around it. She counterpoints the two of them in this program, with her virtuosity at the core, and brings it around to a whole that's greater than the sum of it's parts.”
“The Venezuelan pianist Vanessa Perez could hardly have given us a more vivacious view of Spain: castanets click, guitars strum and bodies whirl in the true spirit of Andalusian flamenco.”
"The opening dance from 3-Cornered Hat alternates steely percussion effects with dreamy lyricism; the finale has an explosive crunch. Perez’s tone is often orchestral: listen to the bells and harps in El Amor Brujo. The opening piece is a good illustration of Perez’s rich, supple tone... This is a seductive release, not to be missed."
American Record Guide
"Ms. Pérez does some of her best work in the under-performed Fantasia bética, which celebrates the natural beauty and folk culture of Falla’s beloved province of Andalusia... In Linderaja..the exalted music making depicts the exquisite beauty and deep sense of peace that many visitors have remarked of this spot."
AudioVideo Club of Atlanta
"Fantasía bética [is] a highly virtuosic work in which lush harmonies, strong flamenco dance rhythms, and guitar-like and percussive sounds are juxtaposed and mingled to delightful effect. Perez tosses off the pyrotechnics with apparent ease, and while Fantasía bética is scarcely profound music, she gives it as much heft as possible and as much pleasure as it can deliver"
“Perez is skilled at setting an atmosphere, whether it is the flammenco panache of the opening of 'El amor brujo' or the nocturnal atmosphere of Debussy’s 'La soirée dans Granade'... This is an enjoyable program, the music-making is vital, and Perez is clearly a musician of distinction.”
Spain / Vanessa Perez • STNS 30036
Release Date: 02/12/2016
Recorded November 24-25, 2014, and February 24, 2015 at Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia.
Producer: Dan Merceruio
Engineer: Daniel Shores
Executive Producers: Eric Feidner, Jon Feidner
Design: Cover to Cover Design, Anilda Carasquillo
Photo: Maria-Grazia Facciolla
Piano Technician: John Veitch
Piano: Steinway Model D #590904 (New York)
About the Artist
Vanessa Perez is a product of the same energized musical culture in Venezuela that produced such international stars as conductor Gustavo Dudamel and pianist Gabriela Montero. Praised for a bold, passionate performing style allied to musicianship of keen sensitivity, Perez has been championed by iconic performers. Conductor Zubin Mehta said of the pianist: “Her level of musical perception and artistic awareness impressed me as much as her total command of the keyboard.”
Perez has developed an international profile, playing prestigious venues across the Americas and Europe. She has performed not only with fellow Venezuelans Dudamel and Montero, but also with such top musicians as pianist Ingrid Fliter, cellist Jan Vogler, violinist Colin Jacobsen and conductors such as John Axelrod, Enrique Batiz, Gustav Meier, James Judd, David Gimenez Carreras, and Diego Matheuz. Reviewing a Perez performance of Mozart’s D Minor Concerto in Germany, the Dortmunder Zeitung called her “a virtuosa wild at heart and with a gentle touch,” combining “spontaneous freshness and poetic expression.” The Miami Herald, witnessing Perez in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, marveled at her “youthful fire” and “rapt lyricism.”
In 2012, Perez recorded an album of Chopin’s music, which reached No. 5 on the Classical Billboard Charts and received wide critical acclaim. Her 2005 album also featured Chopin’s music, alongside pieces from Albéniz’s Ibería and a work by contemporary composer Suzanne Farrin. She has also collaborated in the studio on two occasions performing Piazzolla with Joshua Bell on his 2009 release At Home with Friends and with Jan Vogler on the cellist’s Tango, released in 2008. Vanessa Perez is a Steinway Artist.
About Steinway & Sons label
The STEINWAY & SONS music label produces exceptional albums of solo piano music across all genres. The label — a division of STEINWAY & SONS, maker of the world’s finest pianos — is a perfect vessel for producing the finest quality recordings by some of the most talented pianists in the world.