«Vision», by María Parra, selected by Fernando Neira #UnDiscoAlDia

María Parra: “Vision” (2020)

María Parra is a young, emerging and brilliant pianist who rears her head through a territory not especially explored at the moment in Spain, that of instrumental music for solo piano. Owner of an overwhelming curriculum, which includes an honors degree in her academic degree, a master’s degree with Alicia de Larrocha and a specialization at the Superior Conservatory of Paris, Parra had delivered a couple of albums with a Francophile accent to date (Rêverie and Mouvement) in which she gave free rein to her fascination with Debussy and Schumann, but also Albéniz, Falla or Granados. But this third publication is an obvious step forward, since it parks the established classics and dares to present 13 short pages, some of them very beautiful, of her own authorship. And everything seems honest, brave and appropriate in this decision.

The classical heritage is very evident not only in the way of interpreting, but of writing that María exhibits here. But Vision constitutes an effort to reclaim that introspective, romantic and friendly piano that made so much fortune in the best moments of the so-called new music, although there will still be those who prefer the name of new age. The name of George Winston and other teammates at the defunct Windham Hill factory (Scott Cossu, Jim Brickman) immediately come to the fore, only here the Iberian heritage is, of course, much more evident. And so, in the second half of the album, made up of the two pieces for María flamenca and the four parts for the Granada Suite, ample space is left for all those southern aromas.

The first five compositions, not registered under any global heading, turn out to be the most ethereal and environmental, with suggestions even in their titles (Wind Travellers, Carrusel, Nenúfares bis) in the open air, nature and the liberation of the daily martyrdom to which modern life submits us. Finally, the two compositions encompassed as Suite depth, the only ones with English titles (Aerial view and Deep ocean), stand as an invitation to close your eyes, meditate and escape for almost seven minutes. Mindfulness in its purest form; or, if you prefer, a perfect recommendation for our yoga teacher.

Now it remains to be seen how is the María Parra who assumes the challenge of the company on stage, if the traces of contemporary jazz, that there are some, encourage her to compose for trio or other formats. Meanwhile, Vision serves as a break for calm. Predictable at times, and somewhat topical in formal terms (the presentation, the titles), but obviously comforting. And very different from what the present day usually approaches us on our stages.

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