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MONTSALVATGE, Xavier

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XAVIER MONTSALVATGE born in the Catalonian town of Gerona, Spain in 1912, studied at the Barcelona Conservatory. His early models were Stravinsky and Les Six, but he was also influenced by Catalan music and, increasingly, by music from the West Indies, which gives his music its special languor and sensuality. He is best known in Spain for the opera El Gato Con Botas (Puss-in-Boots), several ballets, film music and other orchestral music. He has also served as a famous critic for the periodical "Vanguardia" and has received numerous awards. Pride of place is taken by the series of Canciones Negras composed in 1946 for the Catalan singer Mercedes Plantada to poems by Rafael Alberti, Nestor Lujan, Nicolas Guillen, and Ildefonso Pereda Valdes. One is aware of a certain character peculiar to the Antilles. There are plenty of contrasts from the sensual and nostalgic evocation of Cuba on a Keyboard (Cuba Dentro de un Piano) to the keen purpose in Habanera Strain (Punto de Habanera). The intensity of A Man With a Scar (Chevere) in which the music serves the lyric so well and the brilliance, the exoticism of the Negro Song (Canto Negro) which closes the cycle, highlight the marvelous achievement of the fourth piece, the Cradle Song to Put a Negro Child to Sleep (Cancion de Cuna Para Dormir a Un Negrito), simple, exquisitely delicate, a rocking lullaby (one of the most popular by a Spanish composer) with piano accompaniment that sustains without shackling the voice.


OTHER CD'S FEATURING MONTSALVATGE, Xavier:
Other Available CD's
PHCD147 Albeniz/Marco/Montsalvatge JOSE SEREBRIER/SWR SYMPHONY


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