Moleiro Piano Music

Pictures of the plains is a hauntingly beautiful and highly expressive piece reminiscent of the contrast of the dry and rainy seasons of the Venezuelan plains. The Joropo takes the name and the form of the Venezuelan national dance.

For 1¼ hours of dazzling, undemanding musical enjoyment, this CD concert is surely hard to beat. Howard Smith, New Zealand

Clara Rodriguez plays the piano music of Moleiro [Facebook]



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"Moises Moleiro's music is defined with enthusiasm and considerable grace by Clara Rodriguez. She has a highly articulate touch and fine control of dynamics that are a pleasure to hear. This CD is as vibrant and colourful as anyone could wish." CD Review London

 "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

Venezuelan-born pianist Clara Rodriguez has been resident in London since she was seventeen. She began serious studies at the Conservatorio Juan Jose Landaeta (Caracas) and subsequently trained at the Royal College of Music (London). This CD is devoted entirely to Moisés Moleiro's enchanting, superbly crafted short works for piano. When he was six, pianist and composer Moleiro had just three months tuition with Manuel Sansón. In 1924, he began four years of music studies in Caracas with piano pedagogue Llamozas. He graduated in 1927 and presented his first recital in 1931. Moleiro founded Orfeón Lamas, where he made a valuable contribution as composer. In addition, he was professor of piano at the Caracas Musical Declamation Academy.

The five Sonatinos are largely buoyant, bustling, helter-skelter and consistently melodic. They're not invested with any significant depth but scored instead for their pleasurable, playful exuberance. At times Moreiro's inventions appear to be poised between eighteenth century classicism and something hovering on the brink of nineteenth century romanticism as in the G minor Sonatina. During his bewitching Pequena Suite (tracks 9-13), the dichotomy is perfectly illustrated by comparing 'Waltz Time' and 'The Gentleman with the Wig'. The third and final item of Suite Infantil titled Los pájaros (The Birds) has echoes of Balet nevylupivshikhsya ptentsov ('Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks') from Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.Serenata al estilo español ('Serenade in the Spanish style', track 23) with its easy 'romantic' mode, includes a short segment in pure latin guitar style. Rodriguez is most decidedly an ideal Moleiro advocate; her performances are so alive with outstanding crystalline serenity and naturalistic pellucid phrasing.

Estampas del Llano, a piece of contrasted folk-like moods, deserves to be a staple item far more in recitalists' repertories than is presently the case. Here Moreiro's open, unaffected hallmark character is leavened with the more sombre aspect of Venezuelan lore. Though this programme has the bulk of its roots in aspects of European musical traditions Moleiro was a tireless proponent of (Venezuelan 'joropo'), musica llanera from plains south and east of Caracas. In 1882 joropo became Venezuela's national dance though hitherto the word joropo (Spanish) meant 'a party'. Similarities may be found in (selected) works of Chabrier, Ravel, de Falla. How appropriate then to conclude with Moleiro's Joropo, an unflagging, propulsive, carnival piece to set toes tapping, heels clicking and skirts flying. Rodriguez' generous programme touches on a diversity of moods: wistful, playful, tender, gentle, reflective, yearning, nostalgic, skittish, jocular, joyful, festive and exuberant spring to mind.

For 1¼ hours of dazzling, undemanding musical enjoyment, this CD concert is surely hard to beat. Howard Smith, New Zealand

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