The Extraordinary Concertos of Eduardo Grau
Two things I can count on from the Naxos label. A release of world recording premiers by a composer I’ve never heard of. And it’s an album of music worth exploring.
In this case, the composer is Eduardo Grau. He moved from Spain to Argentina at a young age and soon showed real musical talent. He sent his first compositions to Manuel de Falla. He encouraged Grau to pursue composition.
Which he did. Grau wrote over 200 works. He was also a musicologist, and his study of Argentinian music influenced his own work.
I love this collection of music. Grau’s compositional style was highly individualistic. It was tonal but didn’t rely on harmonic relationships to provide motion. It used folk rhythms and motifs, but always as building blocks to music that went beyond folk.
I would say Grau reminds me of Bohuslav Martinu. His music is straightforward and direct. Martinu used the rhythms of his native Czech language to propel his music. Grau does the same with his use of Argentinian folk music. http://ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=offtopd-20&language=en_US&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B0CCV2CDPG&asins=B0CCV2CDPG&linkId=94231f553c86694da63a2ab3dcfe0e08&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true
The four works on this album are very different in character. And yet there’s a common thread. The soloists aren’t there to impress us with their incredible technique. Rather, Grau’s music demands they connect with the audience emotionally. And in that, they all succeed.
Are there other releases of Grau’s music available? I haven’t found any, but then I just started looking.
Eduardo Grau: Concertos for Soloists and String Orchestra
Jana Jarkovská, flute; Simon Reitmaier, Clarinet; Ana María
Valderrama, violin; David Fons, Viola; Miklós Szitha, timpani; Fabio Banegas, piano
Anima Musicæ Chamber Orchestra; Francisco Varela conductor