Review in the Opera World magazine.
The Orpheus label presents the new album by the Spanish pianist and composer María Parra. The work follows the successful line of her first CD, Rêverie. On this occasion, Parra proposes a careful selection of Impressionist pieces by Debussy, Granados and Falla, which recreate the fruitful and suggestive artistic environment of Paris in the late 19th century.
The overall tone is feminine, uninhibited, and committed to the composers. Parra manages to imbue character and make the pieces hers, while with her careful technique she remains faithful to the style of its creators. María Parra, a Soria pianist trained in Catalonia and Paris, always seems to seek complicity with the listener, searching for a profile closer to the chamber music than to a concert recital.
From Claude Debussy, the album includes three Preludes and three of his Images. All of them revolve around the idea of movement, water and wind. On Parra’s piano, these works maintain the pictorial character of the French composer’s style, although they leave room for the imagination and seem to call for a creative listening. We must highlight the nuanced Hommage à Rameau; as well as Mouvement, the piece that gives the album its name and that serves to showcase all the artist’s technical possibilities. Above all of them, the incontestable Prelude No. 7 C’est qu’a vu le vent d’Ouest, probably the best track on the CD, for its tonal pastiness and expressive richness.
The rest of the album is dedicated to Spanish music, and translates the listening from Debussy’s inert movement to the throbbing requirements of the dance. The dance music of Enrique Granados and Manuel de Falla sounds dreamy, sweet and somewhat melancholic in the hands of María Parra. That pinch of southern art is missing in Dance No. 5 ¨La Andaluza¨ by Granados, although the beauty of Dance No. 5 ¨La Oriental¨ supposes a fantastic tribute to the composer from Lleida on the centenary of his disappearance.
From Manuel de Falla, Parra proposes three dances from El Sombrero de Tres Picos (Del Molinero, De la Molinera and De los Vecinos). The triptych is played with a stylistic unit that allows us to evoke the conflicts between the characters of the ballet and enjoy the gypsy beauty of the music. Olé, Parra.
Manuel de Falla’s catalog closes with Fantasía Bética. The composer from Cádiz left in this masterpiece the most intimate mysteries of Andalusian folklore. For her part, Parra dresses the score with the graceful flights of her piano, in a meticulous and dedicated version.
As a bonus, the CD closes with another dance, in this case the María-Martha Tango, a work composed by Parra herself. Its pleasant listening leaves a smile on your lips, as it suggests a beautiful link between Latin American music and European tradition.
Mouvement, María Parra’s album, has symmetry, is elegant and addictive. With it, the Spanish pianist and composer adds a new creative success to her fledgling discography, and enlivens fans with an appetite that she most definitely should continue to satisfy.
Carlos Javier López