Move Records
MCD 639

Latin American Piano Music presents the music of seven composers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries: one, Luis G Jordá, was born in Catalonia but spent most of his career in Mexico City; another, Ernesto Lecuona, was Cuban; the rest were Mexican. Some of them spent time in Europe: Ernesto Elorduy, who composed, performed and published about 100 short piano pieces, studied with Clara Schumann and Anton Rubinstein; a set of his Tropical dances is included here.

Most of the pieces are short, and there are no sonatas or even sonatinas. The most substantial works are Ricardo Castro’s Polonaise and Caprice-valse, the latter of which is rhythmically varied and includes some bravura moments. I found Lecuona’s compositions the most rewarding. Ante el Escorial achieves a fullness and richness of sound, suited to the monastery it depicts, through its use of the extremes of the keyboard. La comparsa, a work that much interested Ravel, features an African drum rhythm and allows us to experience the gradual approach and disappearance of a carnival procession.

Review by Paul Cooke