The world of childhood has always been closely connected with music. Not surprisingly, music is the first innate vocal language that a person develops with immediate effect, long before the spoken word appears in the second or third year of life, to undo all the spells.
In the Romantic period, Robert Schumann
was responsible for initiating a sequence of childhood repertoire. Kinderszenen
(Scenes of Childhood) is a set of short pieces written in 1838, during a stormy moment in the relationship between Schumann and Clara. Originally thirty pieces, Schumann decided to reduce the number to thirteen for his final version of the piece. The other seventeen pieces were later included in Bunte BlÃ¤tter,
op. 99 and in AlbumblÃ¤tter,
op. 104. The original title was Kindergeschichten
(Tales for Children), which reveals a literary source. Thomas Koenig refers to Hoffmannâ€™s books for children, to which Schumann was very close, inspiring him to write his vast piece Kreisleriana
shortly after Kinderszenen.
Although not virtuosistic, Kinderszenen
are only superficially easy. They are not written for childrenâ€™s hands nor ears. Schumannâ€™s aim was to create an intimate picture of the world of childhood for adults. At first sight, the pieces seem unrelated and randomly organized, but a deeper analysis proves that the piece has a solid and well planned inner structure. Moreover, it has sometimes even been described as a theme with variations.
Despite being written for Claude Debussyâ€™s
only daughter, Chouchou (2 years old at the time), Childrenâ€™s corner
(1907) is a set of six miniatures of the most refined simplicity, and none of them are written for childrenâ€™s hands nor young listeners. The piece was written during a very difficult time in Debussyâ€™s life, after he had divorced his first wife Lily (which resulted in her attempt to commit suicide). In its deliberate simplicity and with its light and whimsical tone, Childrenâ€™s corner
represents an intimate interlude between two of Debussyâ€™s biggest phases in his piano compositions. The piece is, for the performer, less technically demanding than in its need of great sensitivity, imagination, and a coordinated and very nuanced pulse that is capable of transmitting both the subtlest sense of humour and the most delicate emotion. Debussy (who was a renowned anglophile), chose English titles for every movement of Childrenâ€™s corner
as a little joke, in response to the Anglomania that was very dominant in France at that time. Childrenâ€™s corner
was premiered by Harold Bauer at the Cercle Musical
in Paris, on the 18th of December 1908. It was published by Durand in the same year using a charming cover drawn by Debussy himself. AndrÃ© Caplet wrote an orchestral transcription of the piece, first performed on the 25th of March 1911, and conducted by Debussy.
Escenas de niÃ±os
or ScÃ¨nes dâ€™enfants
is part that first group of remarkable pieces for piano that the young composer Frederic Mompou
wrote between 1914 and 1920 â€“ in other words, during the Barcelona interregnum and in between his two crucial stays in Paris. Mompou named this compositional period the â€œdescriptive periodâ€, although it might be more appropriate to use the term â€œevocativeâ€, in which his aesthetic ideas take shape and are defined. He stated that these five pieces were intended to perpetuate the promenades around Barcelona during his former years, and they are full of reminiscences of Catalan popular folksongs. Escenas de niÃ±os
is a clear model of expressive efficiency, of simplicity in the writing and precision in the tone.
Ma mÃ¨re lâ€™Oye
is a clear evidence of Maurice Ravelâ€™s
enthusiasm for the world of childhood (he would retake this topic for Lâ€™enfant et les sortilÃ¨ges
). The piece was originally written for piano four hands between 1908 and 1910. Ravel would soon afterwards orchestrate it, turn it into a ballet, and it was finally transcribed for piano solo by Jacques Charlot (which is the version performed in this CD).
Antonio Oyarzabal was born in Bilbao in 1989. He started studying piano with Sor Cecilia Keller and continued with Guadalupe LÃ³pez completing high school with honors and obtaining the highest grade in piano. Later, he entered in Musikene,
in San Sebastian.
Antonio also completed a harpsichord Diploma degree with Honors. He assiduously receives lessons from pianist Denis Pascal and the Armenian master Anahit Simonian, with whom he works on piano improvisation.
Antonio is a Master Graduate as a piano soloist at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he is now part of the exclusive programme Artist Diploma. Antonio is a versatile pianist that combines performing as a soloist, as well as chamber music and orchestral piano.
As an orchestral pianist, Antonio has played with Basque Country Symphony Orchestra. Antonio was Principal Keyboard of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester 2014-15. He has also been the keyboard player for ULSO in London, Guildhall School Symphony Orchestra, and the European Union Youth Orchestra. Antonio has worked with many conductors: Vasily Petrenko, Vladimir Ashkenazy, David Afkham, Jun MÃ¤rkl, Peter Stark, & John Wilson to name just a few. Antonio was the pianist of London Philharmonic Orchestra, Foyle Future Firsts programme 2016/2017.
As a chamber pianist, Antonio is one of the founder members of Trisquel Arts Ensemble, with which he had been playing in different recitals since 2013, both in the UK and abroad. Together with Trisquel Arts, Antonio has taken part in a pedagogical project with the DECODA Ensemble from the USA recently. His experience also includes playing with different Spanish ensembles at the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao, FundaciÃ³n BotÃn in Santander, Kutxa Hall of San SebastiÃ¡n, and at the Festival of San SebastiÃ¡n.
As a soloist, he recently played Mozart Piano Concerto nÂº23 with Aldwych Sinfonia in London. He has also played Ravel Concerto in G and Mozart 9th Piano Concerto in Spain. Other experiences include Bach Concerto for two harpsichords and orchestra in C minor, and Poulenc Concerto for two pianos and orchestra with Musikene Symphony Orchestra. Antonio has also performed Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue with European Union Youth Orchestra in Grafenegg, Austria.
Antonio frequently works as an accompanist. He often appears with mezzo ChlÃ¶e Schaaf, with whom he has performed at the Leeds Lieder Festival, Song in the City Festival in London and in Academia Marshall, Barcelona, among other venues. With soprano Mirjam Mesak, Antonio has performed in Westminster Cathedral and they were named finalists of the English Song Competition at the GSMD. Antonio has been the accompanist of the Proms on the roof 2015. He also had the opportunity to accompany Emily Magee and Christiane Karg.
Antonio is an active and regular performer of solo recitals both in London and across Europe. He has an incredibly busy schedule, best seen via:
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