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Gabriela Montero - Gabriela Montero: Piano Concerto No. 1 "Latin" - Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major, M. 83 (Live)

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Gabriela Montero: Piano Concerto No. 1 "Latin" - Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major, M. 83 (Live)

Carlos Miguel Prieto, The Orchestra of the Americas, Gabriela Montero

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A Pan-American Story
My story is a modern one, in many ways.

I was born and raised in Venezuela until the age of 8, at which point my family moved with me to the United States for a decade. I landed at the Royal Academy of Music in London in my early twenties. I am a globalized, Latin-American woman raised on a diet of European classical music with multiple, circumstantial side-dishes of Pan-American folklore.
I also consider myself to be a musician whose primary role is to tell stories that reflect the wide gamut of human experience across both time and geography. Every era and continent has its story to tell, however joyful or troubling, from Renaissance Europe to the contemporary Americas, and composers are well positioned not only to tell it, but to provide a unique form of social commentary.

The piano is my chosen instrument as a performer, but not my only narrative tool as a composer and communicator. It should come as no surprise, then, that my first concerto should be written for the piano as solo instrument, and that it should employ traditional, European musical structures to tell my contemporary story as a well-travelled Latin-American woman.

In a process of musical osmosis – a natural consequence of the globalized, interconnected world in which we now live – my Piano Concerto No.1, the ‘Latin’ Concerto, honours the musical traditions that have shaped me, while inviting the cultural idioms of my native continent to the concert halls of Europe and the wider world. European formalism and the informality of Latin-America’s rich, rhythmical identity merge in a complementary dance of both the joyful and macabre. Writing my concerto, I set out to describe the complex and often contradictory character of Latin America, from the rhythmically exuberant to the forebodingly demonic. Unlike my previous work for piano and orchestra – the specifically Venezuelan polemic Ex Patria (2011), a musical portrait of a country in collapse – the ‘Latin’ Concerto draws upon the spirit of the broader South American continent. For every suggestion of surface celebration, in the first-movement Mambo, for instance, there are undercurrents of disruption. The third-movement Allegro venezolano, which cites the well known Venezuelan Pajarillo, is interrupted at times by the dark arts of black magic, a symbolic reminder of the malevolent forces that, too often, hold our continent hostage to tyranny in its multiple guises.
Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major invites the North American idiom of jazz to the musical feast. I can only begin to imagine how exciting it must have been for Ravel to embark on a four-month tour of North America in 1928, and to hear Gershwin in the jazz clubs of New York. The story goes that Ravel was so eager to learn the language of jazz that he enlisted Gershwin himself to teach him. “Better you be a first-rate Ravel than a second-rate Gershwin”, came the apocryphal response. Needless to say, Ravel learned plenty of somethin’ on that tour, and returned to Paris determined to fuse his love of the new American jazz and Basque folklore with his own disciplined, exquisitely-crafted, classical expressionism. The result is a piece that delights and moves me every time I play it, a pianist-composer’s bold exploration of multiple musical idioms and structures that I am thrilled to pair with my own South American offering on this recording.
I hope this creative project brings pleasure to all lovers of piano and orchestral music who hold the musical culture of the Americas – North and South – close to their hearts. (Gabriela Montero)
© Orchid Classics

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Gabriela Montero: Piano Concerto No. 1 "Latin" - Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major, M. 83 (Live)

Gabriela Montero

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Piano Concerto No. 1 "Latin": Concerto (Gabriela Montero)

1
Piano Concerto No. 1 "Latin": I. Mambo (Live) 00:11:44

Gabriela Montero, Composer, Artist, MainArtist - Carlos Miguel Prieto, Conductor - The Orchestra of the Americas, Orchestra

(C) 2019 Orchid Classics (P) 2019 Orchid Classics

2
Piano Concerto No. 1 "Latin": II. Andante moderato (Live) 00:11:24

Gabriela Montero, Composer, Artist, MainArtist - Carlos Miguel Prieto, Conductor - The Orchestra of the Americas, Orchestra

(C) 2019 Orchid Classics (P) 2019 Orchid Classics

3
Piano Concerto No. 1 "Latin": III. Allegro Venezolano (Live) 00:06:55

Gabriela Montero, Composer, Artist, MainArtist - Carlos Miguel Prieto, Conductor - The Orchestra of the Americas, Orchestra

(C) 2019 Orchid Classics (P) 2019 Orchid Classics

Piano Concerto in G major (Maurice Ravel)

4
Piano Concerto in G Major, M. 83: I. Allegramente (Live) 00:08:50

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Gabriela Montero, Artist, MainArtist - Carlos Miguel Prieto, Conductor - The Orchestra of the Americas, Orchestra

(C) 2019 Orchid Classics (P) 2019 Orchid Classics

5
Piano Concerto in G Major, M. 83: II. Adagio assai (Live) 00:08:53

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Gabriela Montero, Artist, MainArtist - Carlos Miguel Prieto, Conductor - The Orchestra of the Americas, Orchestra

(C) 2019 Orchid Classics (P) 2019 Orchid Classics

6
Piano Concerto in G Major, M. 83: III. Presto (Live) 00:03:58

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Gabriela Montero, Artist, MainArtist - Carlos Miguel Prieto, Conductor - The Orchestra of the Americas, Orchestra

(C) 2019 Orchid Classics (P) 2019 Orchid Classics

Album Description

A Pan-American Story
My story is a modern one, in many ways.

I was born and raised in Venezuela until the age of 8, at which point my family moved with me to the United States for a decade. I landed at the Royal Academy of Music in London in my early twenties. I am a globalized, Latin-American woman raised on a diet of European classical music with multiple, circumstantial side-dishes of Pan-American folklore.
I also consider myself to be a musician whose primary role is to tell stories that reflect the wide gamut of human experience across both time and geography. Every era and continent has its story to tell, however joyful or troubling, from Renaissance Europe to the contemporary Americas, and composers are well positioned not only to tell it, but to provide a unique form of social commentary.

The piano is my chosen instrument as a performer, but not my only narrative tool as a composer and communicator. It should come as no surprise, then, that my first concerto should be written for the piano as solo instrument, and that it should employ traditional, European musical structures to tell my contemporary story as a well-travelled Latin-American woman.

In a process of musical osmosis – a natural consequence of the globalized, interconnected world in which we now live – my Piano Concerto No.1, the ‘Latin’ Concerto, honours the musical traditions that have shaped me, while inviting the cultural idioms of my native continent to the concert halls of Europe and the wider world. European formalism and the informality of Latin-America’s rich, rhythmical identity merge in a complementary dance of both the joyful and macabre. Writing my concerto, I set out to describe the complex and often contradictory character of Latin America, from the rhythmically exuberant to the forebodingly demonic. Unlike my previous work for piano and orchestra – the specifically Venezuelan polemic Ex Patria (2011), a musical portrait of a country in collapse – the ‘Latin’ Concerto draws upon the spirit of the broader South American continent. For every suggestion of surface celebration, in the first-movement Mambo, for instance, there are undercurrents of disruption. The third-movement Allegro venezolano, which cites the well known Venezuelan Pajarillo, is interrupted at times by the dark arts of black magic, a symbolic reminder of the malevolent forces that, too often, hold our continent hostage to tyranny in its multiple guises.
Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major invites the North American idiom of jazz to the musical feast. I can only begin to imagine how exciting it must have been for Ravel to embark on a four-month tour of North America in 1928, and to hear Gershwin in the jazz clubs of New York. The story goes that Ravel was so eager to learn the language of jazz that he enlisted Gershwin himself to teach him. “Better you be a first-rate Ravel than a second-rate Gershwin”, came the apocryphal response. Needless to say, Ravel learned plenty of somethin’ on that tour, and returned to Paris determined to fuse his love of the new American jazz and Basque folklore with his own disciplined, exquisitely-crafted, classical expressionism. The result is a piece that delights and moves me every time I play it, a pianist-composer’s bold exploration of multiple musical idioms and structures that I am thrilled to pair with my own South American offering on this recording.
I hope this creative project brings pleasure to all lovers of piano and orchestral music who hold the musical culture of the Americas – North and South – close to their hearts. (Gabriela Montero)
© Orchid Classics

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