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RICARDO VINYES (1875-1943)
Spanish-Catalan pianist



Ricardo Vinyes championed the works of many of his French and Spanish contemporaries and often performed the piano music of Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, Déodat de Séverac, Isaac Albéniz, and Manuel de Falla. I had hoped to find examples of his playing the music of Ravel and Granados, but until now have had no sucecess.  His performances of the French and Spanish composers of his time are unparalleled, capturing the subtleties of the zeitgeist perfectly.

Vinyes was a close friend of both Debussy and Ravel.  Debussy considered him to be a wonderful interpreter of the composer's own works for piano and chose Vinyes to give the first performances of many of his works, some of ehich are included here.  For those of you who undestand French, there is a recording of Ricardo Vinyes speaking about Debussy.

The pianist also premiered many of Ravel's important early works for the piano.  The Menuet antique and  "Oiseaux tristes" from Miroirs were dedicated to Viñes.  Manuel de Falla dedicated to Vinyes his "Nights in the Gardens of Spain", a rarely performed work of incredible beauty.

It is also interesting to note that Ricardo Vinyes was the piano teacher of the greatest French composer of the subsequent generation, Francis Poulenc.



Scarlatti  Sonata in D major, K 29




Gluck-Brahms  Gavotte




Borodin  Scherzo in A major

recorded in 1930




Albeniz  "Granada" (Serenata), Op 47 ~1

recorded in 1930




Albeniz  Tango in A minor, Op 164 ~3

recorded in 1930




Albeniz 
Serenata española, Op 181 (rec. 1936)
Orientale from Cantos de España, Op 232~2 (rec. 1930)
Torre bermeja from 12 Piezas caracteristicas, Op 92~12 (rec. 1930)




Albeniz  "Seguidillas", Op 232 ~5

recorded in 1930




Debussy  Études, Book I
10 "pour les sonorités opposées" (fragment)

1938 radio broadcast




Debussy  Images, Book I
2 Hommage à Rameau (fragment)

1938 radio broadcast





Debussy  Images, Book II
3 Poissons d'or, dedicated to Ricardo Viñes

recorded in 1930




Debussy  Estampes
2 La Soirée dans Grenade - Mouvement de Habanera

recorded in 1929




Ricardo Viñes speaks on Claude Debussy in 1938 on the 20th anniversary of his death.  A partial translation follows starting at 2:13

"Claude Debussy was a little bit frightening, with his magnificently ugly face and his curious, clumsily sculpted overhanging forehead (rather like Verlaine's). From the shadows of this forehead, two immense, catlike eyes kept watch, casting ironic and ambiguous looks. The whole effect suggested the romantic image of a "condottiere" [Mercenary Captain] or even, if I may say so, of a proud Calabrian bandit. [...] Debussy himself was neither pompous nor austere. At times he could join himself in quite childish ways. I remember in one occasion, after dinner, we spent the whole evening, with two other guests, drawing pigs with our eyes closed, and being allowed to take the pencil off the paper only once, to make dots for the eyes! I've always regretted not keeping the hilarious drawings Debussy produced that evening. Another time I was bold enough to ask if I could play him one of his Préludes, "La Fille aux cheveux de ripolin"! [The girl with the enamelled hair] Debussy was fond enough of making fun of others, but this play on words left him most decidedly unamused."




de Falla  El amor brujo

recorded in 1930


Introduction and Ritual Fire Dance



Dance of Terror




Turina  "Dans les jardins de Murcia"

recorded in 1930




Turina  "Miramar" from Chants d'Espagne

recorded in 1930




Pedro Humberto Allende Sarón (1885-1959)  "Tonadas Chilenas"




Manuel Blancafort (1897-1987)  "El Parque de Atracciones"










For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background

Murder in the House of the Muse

which is also available as an audiobook.



And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:

Murder Follows the Muse



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