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Lionel Sainsbury (b.1958): 'Andalusian Fantasy' - Piano Music / Lionel Sainsbury, piano

Notes & Reviews:

The Spanish tradition of flamenco music, by way of Paco Peña and Paco de Lucia, has significantly influenced the classical music world. Composer and pianist Lionel Sainsbury explores the fiery passion and harmonic tension of flamenco on his latest Navona Records release, Andalusian Fantasy. "It has been described as containing 'the brilliance of the guitar playing, the haunting laments of the singers, and the electrifying rhythms of the dancers.'; It's that triumvirate, and its incredible complexity that appeals to me - that dark passion, almost a blackness, or duende, a wonderful, untranslatable Spanish word that combines nostalgia and suffering." (Lionel Sainsbury); The album also includes Nocturne, South American Suite, and Twelve Preludes, elaborately reflecting his classical, jazz and blues influences, honoring the styles and works of Chopin, Rachmaninov, Gershwin, Ravel, Scriabin, and more.

American Record Guide, September/October 2015

American Record Guide, September/October 2015
This attractive program by the pianist-composer Lionel Sainsbury (b. 1965) serves up a variety of character pieces, many relying on South American gestures and designs. The music uses conventional harmonies and forms; it has tuneful, memorable themes; the sense of expression is traditional but never stale. I find the 1991 Nocturne particularly attractive; it is a pensive piece that would fit very nicely in the company of similar pieces by Chopin and Rachmaninoff, and is every bit as inventive and pianistically idiomatic as the works by those two great composers. A more discursive Cuban Fantasy from 1994 demonstrates the virtuosic aspects of Sainsbury's music.


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