> Luis de Pablo [PGW]: Classical CD Reviews- Oct 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Luis de PABLO(*1930)
Chamber Music

Trio (1993) for violin, cello, and piano
Restratos y Transcripciones (1996) for piano
Compostela (1989) for violin and cello
Cuatro Fragmentos de "Kiu" (1986) for violin and piano
Caligrafías (1987) (Federico Mompou "In Memoriam") for violin, cello, and piano
Trio Arbós: Miguel Borrego, violin José Miguel Gómez, violoncello Juan Carlos Garvayo, piano 
Madrid Conservatoire, 1999
COL LEGNO WWE 20046 [73.26]


Luis de PABLO Charles IVES, and Alessandro SOLBIATI
Piano Trios
Trio Matisse
Rec Bologna 1994
ERMITAGE ERM 413 [63.27]

Col Legno's welcome release of de Pablo's later chamber music is contrived as a varied programme with the different instrumental combinations available to the standard piano trio. It is played by a group long associated with de Pablo's music, which was heard live in the 1999 series of concerts at St Sebastian to celebrate the composer’s 70th birthday (see the illustrated report on S&H, with pictures at de Pablo's summer composing retreat in the Basque countryside). The notable piano trio was also included in a portrait concert at the 1999 Huddersfield Festival, where Luis de Pablo was a featured composer.

Luis de Pablo has written prolifically in all genres throughout a long and untiring compositional life, and he had a recent success in Madrid with his fourth opera. Unfortunately his music is rarely programmed in UK, but the Trio Arbós will be giving the trio twice in October, in Leeds and Manchester.

De Pablo has a strong historical sense, and works in traditional genres, which he seeks to enrich. His harmonic-melodic approach is marked by "complex rhythmic syntax circling around fixed pitch ‘poles’, contrasting with ostinati and frenzied activity" (José Luis Téllez). The Trio, in three movements, focuses on 'line', with solos and duets, sometimes as many as five contrapuntal strands, allowing "spiralling figures to suffer collisions". Some of the music is playful and ironic, with references to modes characteristic of Spanish folklore. The tribute to Mompou quotes one of his Songs and Dances.

De Pablo is also interested in exploring further potentials of his own earlier material as evidenced here by the substantial fragments from his first opera, transcribed and recomposed for violin and piano, and in his series of virtuosic Portraits and Transcriptions for piano solo, two of them developed one from a section of his second opera, the other based on the opening of Monologo for solo viola, which had its UK première by Morgan Goff in a session with Richard Steinitz at Huddersfield discussing the whole question of recycling and recomposition, which is a common way that composers work nowadays as it was in past eras.

This is a worthy production by Col Legno and it is supplied with photos of all concerned, and a typical music example from one of the piano pieces. The performances are authoritative and were well recorded at the Madrid Conservatoire. Luis de Pablo will remain ever famous for his key role in bringing his isolated and backward country into the 20th century (q.v. Spanish Music in the Twentieth Century, Tomás Marco, Harvard University Press) and he continues to share his wisdom with the newest generation of composition students in Spain and internationally in courses and master classes.

It is claimed that these are World Première Recordings, and most of them are so, but there is an excellent earlier recording of Luis de Pablo’s Piano Trio on Ermitage ERM 413 (recorded in Bologna 1994; TT: 63.27), attractively combined with two other innovative piano trios, the amazing one by Ives of 1904/11 (its second movement is entitled TSIAJ - 'this scherzo is a joke'!) and Alessandro Solbiati’s interesting and accessible trio of 1987, with a super-sensitive sound palette. I would recommend acquisition of both those CDs, to put de Pablo's trio into different perspectives.

Numerous CDs of Luis de Pablo’s music have now been released (I now have some twenty of them) but they are scattered amongst the lists of many record companies and not all of them are easy to find. My own selected discography of 1999 has a photo of both of us, and comprehensive reports and reviews of de Pablo can be found by utilising the Search Engine on Seen&Heard. … see Full Review
Peter Grahame Woolf



The Trio Arbos, which has been long associated with this composer and will play de Pablo’s Piano Trio at their concerts at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 16 October and in Leeds 17 October. E&OE

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