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The Romantic Piano

Program

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

Rhapsodie Espagnole, S. 254.

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Carnaval, Op. 9:
  - I. Préambule.
  - II. Pierrot.
  - III. Arlequin.
  - IV. Valse noble.
  - V. Eusebius.
  - VI. Florestan.
  - VII. Coquette.
  - VIII. Réplique.
  - IX. Papillons.
  - X. Lettres dansantes.
  - XI. Chiarina.
  - XII. Chopin.
  - XIII. Estrella.
  - XIV. Reconnaissance.
  - XV. Pantalon et Colombine.
  - XVI. Valse allemande - Intermezzo Paganini.
  - XVII. Aveu.
  - XVIII. Promenade.
  - XIX. Pause.
  - XX. Marche des Davidsbündler contre les Philistins.

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)

Fantaisie in F minor, Op. 49.

Guillermo Hernández Barrocal, piano.

Musicstry Studios. TRT® sound (calibration 2.4a). Recorded: February 22, 23, March 15 2021. Released: June 16 2021. Liner notes: Guillermo Hernández Barrocal. Producer: Mario Martínez. PC21001 ℗ & © 2021 Play Classics.

Program notes

Foreword

Romanticism is, for every artist, a splendid time, a great summit of the arts. It is the one that I most identify with.

When I was eight years old, I first heard Liszt's work "LA CAMPANELLA" and was fascinated by the piano virtuosity that the composer makes use of. It has been a while since then, more than 5 years, and many things have changed, but nothing in that regard: I am still completely amazed.

When I explore the romantic musical work I realize that my impressions are different in each interpretation, new and fresh sensations. Small nuances that make the difference between what is right and what is most beautiful.

I have a goal when I interpret a work: to transmit rigor and discipline, and at the same time naturalness, beauty and my own sensations when playing. Two very different facets of an artist that must be present in perfect balance.

When it comes to addressing the complex program of this album, I have done my best to fulfill the mission of every artist: to make their audience enjoy themselves. For me, the effort made has been worth it, without a doubt.

Program

F. Liszt, R. Schumann and F. Chopin were undoubtedly the main musicians who stood out for their brilliant piano writing in the early-mid XIX century, the century in which music and poetry are valued the most. That century welcomed a virtuous, intimate, heartbreaking, poetic and above all beautiful music.

These great authors reflect the great musical wealth of the s. XIX.

They were contemporaries, and they met in person. In fact, it was Robert Schumann himself who "discovered" Chopin. The latter lived in Paris, the cultural center of the moment, where he met Franz Liszt and they established a friendly relationship based on mutual admiration.

Their works were influenced. However, they maintained their own purely romantic style, with unique nuances. From the virtuoso Liszt, the passionate Schumann to the intimate Chopin, this album is a journey through some of the major piano works of the time.

- Rhapsodie espagnole. Liszt.

A very special work for me, marked by virtuosity. Liszt uses Spanish folk elements, such as the Folía, which has been one of the main symbols of Spanish music on the European music scene. Other composers, such as Vivaldi or Corelli himself, have already made use of this theme in their works. The composer is inspired by a tour he gave in Spain and compiles the Folía and an Aragonese Jota in a titanic work, in which Liszt's immense talent for arrangements is clearly observed.

- Carnival Op. 9. Schumann.

A multiverse of small universes based on various characters (from the Commedia Dell’Arte, from that time, characters the composer himself invented, or even his acquaintances…). A whole formed by small fragments of their own identity related by a root of 4 notes from which all the themes derive.

It is a model piece of Schumann's creation; use of microforms, contrasts, motivational development, fantasy and youthful spirit, which the author uses in a very characteristic way. In the stark contrasts, you can already see some of Schumann's later madness. Fantasy is unleashed in his mind.

The Davidsbundlers: a kind of imaginary club that Schumann founded (this included Chopin, Liszt, Paganini, himself and even Beethoven, who had already passed away) in order to combat what he called “Philistinnes”, very simple people in the artistic aspect, which for the composer were something like “enemies of art”.

In fact, the piece at the end of the Carnival is called “Marche de les Davidsbundlers contre les Philistinnes”. It is interesting the symbolic use that makes of a motif of the XVII century as "the archaic, what must be overthrown."

- Fantasy in F minor. Chopin.

A unique work, which dramatically shows all the facets of the composer: from reflective parts full of inner peace to virtuous passages, always being loaded with the meaning and subtlety of which the composer endows. It illustrates brushstroke by brushstroke a story full of different and contrasting impressions.

It is undoubtedly a very complete work, in the sense that it is like a huge story with a very complete meaning. Full of darkness, affection, struggle, peace, light ... I think it is very important to create an image when interpreting the work, because each passage seems a fresh and new moment, which completes the rest by forming a great living organism.

We already observe Chopin almost at the end of his life, a period in which he creates works of great depth, reflective, that reflect the loneliness, darkness, light, despair of his own experiences. It is as if they recounted his tragic life. My own experiences have taught me that the most complex thing when approaching Chopin's music is not the technique (which is already elaborated in itself) but maturity.

Guillermo Hernández Barrocal

Guillermo Hernández Barrocal

Guillermo Hernández Barrocal (born in Valladolid, 2008) begins to receive piano lessons when he is about to turn 8 years old. After 6 months he began to study in Madrid with Leonel Morales. It is in 2019 when he meets the one who is now his teacher, Andrey Yaroshinsky, professor at the Katarina Gurska Higher Center for Musical Education.

Currently he combines his studies in Madrid with 6th year of Professional Studies at the Conservatory of Valladolid.

Guillermo at the age of 13 has already performed at the Cap Roig Festival (Girona) and in venues such as Sala Gustav Mahler in Dobbiaco (Italy), Cultuurraad Kraainem in Brussels (Belgium) or the Auditorium of León.

He has also played at the Auditorium of the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts of the Alfonso X el Sabio University in Madrid, the Medina Elvira de Atarfe Cultural Center, the Instituto de América Auditorium, the Caja Rural de Granada Cultural Hall, the Fundos Hall in Valladolid and at the Miguel Delibes Auditorium in Valladolid on the occasion of the participation in the Prodigies contest broadcast on Spanish National Television.

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