SEPTEMBER 2011, 'Joan Comellas: Sonatas de París', Klassic CatSEPTEMBER 2011, 'Joan Comellas: Sonatas de París', Klassic Cat
Reviewed by Cristian Canton
Compositions by Joan Comellas, also known as the 'Catalan Satie', are always a pleasant surprise to the listener. Known for his unconventional and unrestricted conceptions of tonal and structural forms, Comellas' music is clear and devoid of any artificial subterfuges: music of capricious shapes; an artisan-crafted gift to our ears. This disc first presents two movements entitled Sonatas de Paris, the first part a kind of neobarroque suite and the second a collection of homages that could be regarded as a good synthesis of Comellas’ compositive microcosmos. The rest of the disc is dedicated to vocal music for soprano with the remarkable Lírica catalana Op. 14, where the composer takes a series of Catalan popular songs and 'recomposes' them using his own particular musical vocabulary. In this disc, Mac McClure exhibits the best of his expressive touch and deep understanding of Catalan music which deservedly entitle him to be one of the world authorities in this repertoire. Soprano Inès Moraleda, demonstrating a rich and smooth velvety tone, offers a brilliant performance of these songs by Comellas, not an easy task indeed due to the tonally oscillant character of these pieces, swamped with iridescent chromatisms and zig-zag syncopations. The McClure-Moraleda binomial is balanced and harmonious and the overall result is excellent. An impressive recording that brings back to life these little gems and which unfolds for us the private and seductive sui generis musical language of this rather unknown, shy composer. Bravo!
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