Roberto GERHARD (1896-1970)
Tonades dels segles XVII i XVIII
Valderrabano: De dónde venis, amore?
Salinas: Cantilena vulgar Canción muy popularizada; Cantarcillo
Berxés: Ay qué mal
Literes: Bosque frondoso
Correa, M: Bailete
Duron: Yo te quiero, Gileta
Grimau: Tirana del Zarandilla
Laserna: El cordero perdido; Los serranos inocentes
Navas: Buscaba el amor
Ferrer , G: El remedio del gato
Galván: Un oficial de Guerra
Nancy Fabiola Herrera (mezzo)
Mac McClure (piano)
rec. Estudis Albert Moraleda, Llerona, Feb-Nov 2009. DDD
COLUMNA MUSICA 1CM0249 [40:08]
Moderately well informed UK classical listeners will know of Roberto Gerhard
as a Spanish-born Schoenberg adherent. He settled in Cambridge and made a strong
impact late in life with his four thorn-embroidered symphonies, his Camus-based
The Plague and the Violin Concerto. He was recorded on LP by Decca and
Philips with Gulbenkian and British Council funding and has since enjoyed CD
revivals from Naïve, Chandos and Lyrita. It is a little known aspect of
his legacy that he adapted and made arrangements of ancient Iberian music. Gerhard
was born in Tarragona province but studied extensively abroad in Munich, Paris,
Vienna and Berlin. His longest stay was in the UK where he was a respected and
loved figure. His dodecaphonic music made a great impact on the international
stage - a high-tide mark for him. Felipe Pedrell (1841-1922) was one of his
teachers as were Granados and Frank Marshall. Pedrell did much musical archaeology
and produced four volumes entitled Cancionero musical popular espagnol
(1918-22). From these books the present songs have been selected. His avant-garde
apparatus is not engaged here; the consummate professional, he emulates a manner
that is consistent with the originals.
These 17 songs are taken on by the the light-toned mezzo of Nancy Fabiola Herrera.
The piano is played by Mac McClure, a Columna Musica stalwart I have already
heard in CM discs of the music of Joan Comellas. Palomino’s Hispano-Mozartean
Seguidillas is full of dignified feeling - a true concert aria and quite
striking. I wonder if it was ever orchestrated. Valderrabano’s De dónde
venis, amore? blends purity with Mozartean emotion. Literes’s Bosque
frondoso is very passionate. Duron’s Yo te quiero links with
the great songs of Rodrigo De Los Alamos Vengo - Rodrigo, it will be
recalled - was himself a devotee of the older music of Iberian peninsula. Grimau
is all witty and Hispanic-stiff necked dignity in Tirana del Zarandilla.
Many of these pieces bask in Mozartean curlicues and twists. Hear it in the
wit and beauty of Los Serranos Inocentes. Buscaba el amor by Navas
is the only song in which Herrera seems at all uncomfortable.
The fine notes are by Frances Barulich. The texts are there in but in Spanish
only, superbly reproduced and in simple legible black and white. All the songs
appear here in world premiere recordings.
Blending purity with Mozartean emotion.