FEBRUARY 2011, 'Venezuela: Clara Rodríguez'FEBRUARY 2011, 'Venezuela: Clara Rodríguez'
Reviewed by Peter Ttoouli
Venezuela, the latest offering by Clara Rodríguez, presents pieces by many of Venezuela’s greatest composers past and present and provides an invaluable insight into the rich diversity of the classical music catalogue of her homeland. This is infectious, heart warming, passionate music that lifts the spirits and makes you want to smile; as Rodríguez herself says in the liner notes, it is ‘sunny music’. Rodríguez carries us away on a musical journey to the vibrant Venezuelan landscape as we savour the delights of the waltz, the joropo and the merengue. Her performances are audacious and passionate as she rises to the challenge of what are at times extremely technically-demanding pieces – not least the relentless joropos – but her interpretations are not without grace and charm. Creo que te quiero and Viajera del río, for example, are much more lyrical and moody in their expression, and provide beautiful contrast to the main body of work on the CD. Antonio Lauro is a personal favourite of mine and the three Lauro tracks on the CD are simply exquisite; and how refreshing to hear these staple guitar pieces transcribed onto the piano. Venezuela allows Rodríguez to combine her technical mastery of the piano with discerning interpretations born from her Venezuelan background, and this CD firmly establishes her as the pre-eminent exponent of Venezuelan piano music on the world stage.
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