Clara Rodriguez 'Venezuela' - A Recital

“The reason an artist might have to record a CD may obey to a number of circumstances, in this case it causes me great joy and it also seems to be the natural sequence to my previous CD’s of Venezuelan composers Moisés Moleiro, Teresa Carreño and Federico Ruiz. Dilemmas occur though when the repertoire is so vast, beautiful, interesting and close to my heart. There is an intimate connection with the music chosen for this recording for instance, most of the pieces by living composers and arrangers, have been handed down to me by the creators themselves”.  Clara Rodriguez

Clara Rodriguez plays Venezuela Piano Music [Facebook]



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"Dances that show there’s more to Venezuela than El Sistema.If the names of the composers of these 25 short solos are as unfamiliar as their compositions. All Venezuelan, the earliest is Federico Vollmer (1834-1901) and the youngest is Ricardo Teruel (b1956). Their harmonic language is conservative, ranging from mid-19th-century European, highly reminiscent of Gottschalk, through to the jazz-inflected idiom with frequently maddeningly catchy melodies and rhythms that are almost all dance-based.The music may be undemanding to hear but it is certainly not undemanding to play; and, as with her previous engaging disc of music by her compatriot Teresa Carreño, Clara Rodríguez makes the most of her innate feel for the exuberant and languorous, dispatching the toe-tapping cross-rhythms with panache and a light touch. Almost any of these, but particularly Paesano’s joropo Pajarillo, Bor’s Fuga and Fernandez’s waltz-joropo El diablo suelto, would make a refreshing encore. We hear far too little piano music in recital from anywhere in South America and this is a treasure chest from which to cherry-pick. The piano has been vividly recorded in Nimbus’s Wyastone Concert Hall in Monmouth. (Wyastone Recording Studio)." Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone Magazine

"Venezuela, by Clara Rodríguez, presents pieces by many of Venezuela’s greatest composers past and present and provides an invaluable insight into the rich diversity of the classical music catalogue of her homeland. This is infectious, heart warming, passionate music that lifts the spirits and makes you want to smile; as Rodríguez herself says in the liner notes, it is ‘sunny music’. Rodríguez carries us away on a musical journey to the vibrant Venezuelan landscape as we savour the delights of the waltz, the joropo and the merengue. Her performances are audacious and passionate as she rises to the challenge of what are at times extremely technically-demanding pieces – not least the relentless joropos – but her interpretations are not without grace and charm. Creo que te quiero and Viajera del río, for example, are much more lyrical and moody in their expression, and provide beautiful contrast to the main body of work on the CD. Antonio Lauro is a personal favourite of mine and the three Lauro tracks on the CD are simply exquisite; and how refreshing to hear these staple guitar pieces transcribed onto the piano. Venezuela allows Rodríguez to combine her technical mastery of the piano with discerning interpretations born from her Venezuelan background, and this CD firmly establishes her as the pre-eminent exponent of Venezuelan piano music on the world stage." Peter Ttoouli

“Clara Rodriguez is a poet of the piano” Antonio Estévez,

Composer “Clara Rodriguez plays the music from South America like no other pianist, with a marvellous sense of phrasing, poetry and sparkling dynamism. This music belongs to her” Arioso International, France

“There is not a single item on this well-filled disc that is less than captivating, and most are beautiful precious gems.” Jerry Dubins Fanfare Magazine

"The Venezuelan is a doughty champion of Latin-American music, and her programme reaches below and often jaunty surface to capture the region's deeper soul. Plenty is captivating, not least works by Estevez and Nunez while the Gershwin preludes are a class act" The Sunday Times

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