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Pianist Josu de Solaun – “Nocturnes on the margins” album – CD Review, the 19th of October 2023

Tuesday, 31 October 2023 , ora 14.17

The pianist Josu de Solaun has been fascinating us lately with unique discographic projects: last year he released no less than four albums with various repertoires, one of them including chamber music by George Enescu, and at the beginning of this year he proposed an exceptional record with jazz improvisations. His most recent album was released on the 26th of May 2023 at the March Vivo record label. We're talking about live recordings created in 2019 at the Juan March Foundation's concert hall in Madrid, as part of the "Musicaen la noche" series run by the Spanish foundation. The title of this recital program is "Nocturnes on the margins", and it is focused on one of the most popular piano genres - the nocturne. But, Josu de Solaun did not choose Frederic Chopin's famous nocturnes, rather he explores a less familiar repertoire - nocturnes by composers with five different nationalities, from North America, Italy, France, Romania and Bulgaria: George Enescu, Fred Hersch, Samuel Barber, Gabriel Faure, Ottorino Respighi, Giuseppe Martucci, PanchoVladigerovși Charles Tomlinson Griffes.

"This album full of hidden thoughts and touching music is an invitation into a world of dreams: a journey towards the night's farthest point", says the pianist Josu de Solaun about his album, and through his interpretation, he has a particular capacity to attract listeners in a fascinating world, in which the reverie and musical fantasy intertwine for an unique audible experience.

An international artist, also close to the Romanian musical life, frequently showing up on stage in our country, including the George Enescu Festival, Josu de Solaun won the 13th edition of the George Enescu International Contest in 2014 and five years later he received the Officer of Cultural Merit order from the Romanian president. Preoccupied with the research and interpretation of Romanian music, Josu de Solaun included pieces by George Enescu in many of his records. For the "Nocturnes on the margins" album, he chose Carillon nocturne from the Suite no. 3 by the Romanian composer. It's impressive how the Spanish musician becomes one with the atmosphere of this piece full of unusual piano textures and timbral colours that suggests the bells' overtones in the night's silence.

Larisa Clempuș
Translated by Cristina-Paula Grosu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu