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Ricardo Iznaola | The Icarus Collection

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Classical: Romantic Era Classical: Impressionism Moods: Featuring Guitar
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The Icarus Collection

by Ricardo Iznaola

A 2-CD collection (CD 1: VIRTUOSO ROMANTIC MUSIC; CD 2: THE DREAM OF ICARUS) that "redefines the term virtuosity as applied to the guitar" (Soundboard Magazine), with music by Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Ravel, de Falla, Antonio Jose, and others.
Genre: Classical: Romantic Era
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Valse Op. 64, No. 1
2:16 $0.99
2. Prelude, Op. 28, No. 4
1:56 $0.99
3. Grand valse brillante, Op. 18
6:14 $0.99
4. 5 Hungarian National Melodies, S. 245: 4. Vivace
1:08 $0.99
5. 5 Hungarian National Melodies, S. 245: 1. Lento
2:35 $0.99
6. 5 Hungarian National Melodies, S. 245: 3. Allegretto
0:39 $0.99
7. Nuages gris (Grey Clouds), S. 199
3:32 $0.99
8. 2 Csardas, S. 225: 2. Csardas obstine
3:45 $0.99
9. Le tombeau de Couperin, M. 68: 3. Forlane
7:22 $0.99
10. Le tombeau de Couperin, M. 68: 6. Toccata
5:22 $0.99
11. Forest Scenes, Op. 82: 7. The Prophet Bird
3:58 $0.99
12. Ten Etudes-Homages: 1. Homage to Aguado
1:12 $0.99
13. Ten Etudes-Homages: 2. Homage to Scriabin
1:29 $0.99
14. Ten Etudes-Homages: 3. Homage to Barrios "Mangore"
2:30 $0.99
15. Ten Etudes-Homages: 4. Homage to Tarrega
1:00 $0.99
16. Ten Etudes-Homages: 5. Homage to E. Sainz de la Maza
2:26 $0.99
17. Ten Etudes-Homages: 6. Homage to Villa-Lobos
1:56 $0.99
18. Ten Etudes-Homages: 7. Homage to Liszt
2:38 $0.99
19. Ten Etudes-Homages: 8. Homage to Rachmaninoff
2:02 $0.99
20. Ten Etudes-Homages: 9. Homage to Llobet
2:00 $0.99
21. Ten Etudes-Homages: 10. Homage to Paganini
1:53 $0.99
22. El amor brujo (Love, The Magician): 8. Ritual Fire Dance
3:59 $0.99
23. El amor brujo (Love, The Magician): 5. Dance of Terror
2:24 $0.99
24. Cancion No. 6
1:54 $0.50
25. Danza No. 6
2:14 $0.50
26. Children's Corner, L. 113: 5. Le petit Berger
2:35 $0.99
27. Children's Corner, L. 113: 6. Golliwog's Cakewalk,
3:10 $0.99
28. Miroirs, M. 43: 4. Alborada del Gracioso,
8:01 $0.99
29. Sonata para Guitarra: 1. Allegro moderato - 2. Minueto - 3. Pavana Triste - 4. Allegro con brio
19:16 $1.50
30. Dolor
2:22 $0.99
31. Death of Icarus (Etude No. 11)
6:13 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
In the world of the performing arts, virtuosity celebrates youth's favorite pastime: risk-taking. Virtuoso composers and interpreters alike go out on a limb for the sake of a "what if," to justify a "why not." The Romantics, in particular, validated what, in previous eras, had been considered almost gauche: the thrill of exhibiting one's ability as a creator or re-creator to an eagerly welcoming public. In so doing they recovered a lost innocence, akin to the trusting, joyful attitude of children performing their latest feat of daring in front of understanding, accepting adults. The spirit of youth pervades the fruits of Romantic virtuosity. It is to that spirit that we pay homage in the first CD of this collection. Three well-known Chopin "classics" begin the program: the witty Minute Waltz, Op. 64, no. 1, apparently a depiction of George Sand's dog pursuing its own tail; the melancholic Prelude, Op. 28, no. 4, with its inconsolable chromaticism, and the ebullient Grand Valse Brillante, Op. 18, a tour de force of Parisian 'joie de vivre'. The five pieces by Liszt were written late in life and show a new simplicity combined with conciseness, refinement and his ever-present showmanship. The remarkable pre-atonal mood of Nuages Gris contrasts both with the folksiness of the Hungarian Melodies and with the Mephistophelian tonal alchemy of the Csardas Obstine. Ravel's Forlane and Toccata belong to his touching 'memento mori' Le Tombeau de Couperin, written during the horror-filled years of the First World War. Each movement of the suite was dedicated to a friend killed in battle. Schumann's The Prophet Bird, from his Forest Scenes, Op. 82, is particularly suited to the guitar, with its magical feeling of suspended animation. Finally, my Ten Concert Etudes, written between 1970 and 1977, represent a personal exploration of Romantic virtuosity on the guitar. As with the preceding transcriptions, they purposely stretch conventional wisdom about technical boundaries and expressive potential. All for the sake of that favorite pastime, risk-taking.
THE DREAM OF ICARUS (notes for CD 2, of the same title)
"a la memoria de mi padre"
Children's dreams die young these days, victims of the disappointment and frustrations encountered on the road to maturity. This tragedy, peculiar to our age, was not unknown to ancient Man. Old myths symbolize it poignantly: Icarus plunged to his death while trying to reach the Sun on wax and feather wings. These legends depict the risks of youthful dreams and the pitfalls awaiting those foolish enough to attempt their realization. Romantics, on the other hand, are willing to risk it all "for the Ideal". In a way, Romanticism may be defined as the survival of the child in all of us and, hence, of the capability to keep on dreaming. This recording is a Romantic statement. It seeks to find new paths for expressive and technical intensity on the guitar. De Falla's Ritual Fire Dance and Dance of Terror, from El Amor Brujo, afford us the opportunity to explore uncommon technical, textural, rhythmic and coloristic procedures, including the retuning of four of the six strings of the guitar in the Ritual Fire Dance. Mompou's Cancion y Danza No. 6 are from a collection of twelve such sets written for piano. Despite its folk-like character, this set uses exclusively original themes. From Debussy's beloved Children's Corner Suite we selected two movements: the pastoral Le Petit Berger and the vaudevillesque Golliwog's Cakewalk (listen to the spoof of Wagner's Tristan in the middle section). Ravel's Alborada del Gracioso, fourth movement of the piano suite Miroirs, illustrates his fascination with things Spanish, and finds an ideal vehicle on the guitar despite the immense complexity of its transcription. The heart of the recording is the monumental Sonata by the ill-fated Spanish composer (Antonio Jose (Martinez Palacios were his never used surnames). Executed at the start of the Spanish Civil War, at the age of 34, he had written the Sonata in 1933 for Regino Sainz de la Maza, who provided me with a copy of the definitive manuscript. One is easily tempted to interpret the music's relentless drama as a premonition of Jose's tragic end. Sainz de la Maza himself is the transcriber of the lovely Basque prelude Dolor by the Franciscan priest Jose Antonio Donostia, author of a substantial collection of such piano preludes based on traditional Basque melodies. My own Etude no. 11, Death of Icarus, concludes the recording. Written as an 'in memoriam' to my late, great teacher, Regino Sainz de la Maza, it is a homage to the Romantic spirit, which makes us unafraid to dare reach the Sun. Icarus' failure, after all, was only the beginning.



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