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
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,
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."
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
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
Halffter piano solo CD