Alicia DeLarrocha Centennial Tribute

Have you been to a concert somewhere in the world recently? Share your thoughts with us about the performance, the more details the better!

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
Donald Isler
Posts: 3157
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 11:01 am

Alicia DeLarrocha Centennial Tribute

Post by Donald Isler » Sat May 20, 2023 10:01 pm

Tribute to Alicia DeLarrocha on her Centennial
Klavierhaus New York
Part 1 - May 23rd, 2023

Adam Kent, piano

Padre Antoni Soler (1729-1783)
Sonata in D Minor, R. 15
Sonata in D Major, R. 84

Ernesto Halffter (1905-1989)
Danza de la pastora

Frank Marshall* (1883-1959)
From Suite Catalonia

Alicia de Larrocha (1923-2009)
From Pecados de juventud

Carlos Surinach (1915-1997)
Suite from The Acrobats of God**
-Antique Dance
-Spanish Galop

Lleonard Balada (b. 1933)
Preludis obstinants**

Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909)
From Iberia, Book I
-El Puerto

Manuel de Falla (1876-1946)
Suite from El amor brujo***
-Danza del terror
-Danza ritual del fuego

* Teacher of Alicia de Larrocha
** Dedicated to Alicia de Larrocha
*** Arranged by Alicia de Larrocha

This weekend a two part tribute is taking place at Klavierhaus to pianist, Alicia DeLarrocha, whose 100th birthday would have been this coming Tuesday. This evening was Part 1, a recital by pianist Adam Kent. Though I knew him to be an excellent pianist who is particularly knowledgeable about her repertoire, having heard him give a lecture-recital on Spanish music at the Summit Music Festival two years ago, I was not previously aware that he had known, and studied with DeLarrocha.

Some of the music he played this evening (I watched the program on the livestream) was music he had performed at that lecture recital. This included two sonatas of Padre Antonio Soler, which are rather Scarlatti-like, in form, brilliance, and are also very effective when performed in a Romantic manner, as we heard them this evening. The Danza de la pastora (Dance of the Shepherdess) was also heard this time, again not sounding very rustic, but alternately full of longing yet with flights of fancy.

Two works of Frank Marshall, De Larrocha's only teacher, were played, a folk dance, and Feux Follets, which is not on the level of complexity of Liszt's piece by the same name, but intricate, delicate and enjoyable.

Alicia DeLarrocha did not think of herself as a composer, yet wrote some pieces, which were dedicated to her fiancée, Juan Torra. She later referred to them as "Sins of My Youth." (!) She apparently told her daughter she could do with them as she pleased, so her daughter eventually published them. The first, Aplec, was warm yet spirited, the second Balada, was pianistic with some feelings of nostalgia, and the third, a Novelette, was a lively, outgoing piece in E Major with some sudden harmonic surprises.

Carlos Surinach arranged five dances for DeLarrocha. The first was a Fanfare, which had audible "sharp edges," an Antique Dance, a Bolero, and then a sprightly, witty Minuet, The last dance was a wild Spanish Galop, reminiscent of Villa-Lobos' Polichinello.

Two works from Albeniz's Iberia were heard, a gorgeous rendering of Evocacíon, and an initially bustling version of El puerto, which later beautifully faded away.

Five pieces from de Falla's El Amor Brujo concluded the official printed program, the last of which was the famous Ritual Fire Dance. Mr. Kent then played one encore, El Secreto, a somewhat mournful piece by Mompou, which he said DeLarrocha often played as an encore.

Have I left something out? Yes, I have!

One of the joys of attending concerts at any age, and whether in person or via livestream, is hearing exciting music which is new to you. For me this evening, those were the five Preludes of the one composer whose name I had never even heard before, Lleonard Balada, a now 89 year old Barcelona-born composer who taught at Carnegie Mellon University, and dedicated these pieces to DeLarrocha. The first was intriguing, toccata-like and intense. The second was quieter, as if setting a spell. The third included jumps all over the keyboard plus repeated sevenths, and reoccurring rhythmic patterns. The fourth was hymn-like yet in a very un-hymnlike idiom, with some charming rolls getting constantly softer at the end. The final piece was playful with constant dissonances. It was impressive to hear with what clarity Mr. Kent executed all the fast notes and jarring chords. This is great stuff that others should play, too!

Part 2 of the DeLarrocha tribute will be tomorrow evening at 7 PM at Klavierhaus and will feature Mr. Kent, mezzo-soprano Anna Tonna and later, a panel discussion with host Joe Patrych, and perhaps others.

Donald Isler
Donald Isler

Site Administrator
Posts: 19693
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York

Re: Alicia DeLarrocha Centennial Tribute

Post by Lance » Tue May 23, 2023 6:32 pm

Beautifully written, Donald, as usual. Having been a great fan of de Larrocha, I will check out these videos as time permits. I am more than pleased to have all of her recordings for Columbia/Sony, Decca, RCA, DGG, Hispavox, EMI, Weitblick, VAI, and MCA. Her 41-CD set on Decca [483 120] is a must-have as well as EMI 8-CD set [29486] as well as her huge number of RCA recordings.
Lance G. Hill

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]


Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests