Jorge Luis Prats

Jorge Luis Prats: Live in Zaragoza

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Cuban pianist Jorge Luis Prats came to international attention in the 1970s, but then, like so many Russian artists during the Cold War, was unable to leave his home country for many years. He resurfaced late in the first decade of the 2000s and has made several impressive recordings. This one, on the major Decca label, is top-notch. Prats is one of the rare pianists who can achieve technical fireworks without losing the thread of simplicity, in this case without losing a feel for Latin folk roots, in the music. He is capable of a crisp transition from lucid melodic passages to intense pianistic exercises of will. His style is ideally suited to the music of Heitor Villa-Lobos, and it is to be hoped that he will devote an entire album to that Brazilian master. Here you get the Bachiana Brasileira No. 4, and the Bachian and Brazilian elements of this work have rarely been so elegantly balanced as they are here. The virtuoso Goyescas of Enriqué Granados, true Spanish pianistic showpieces, are hardly less effective, showing a master of the keyboard at the top of his powers. Three Cuban encores, each a jewel, round out this live recording, which has a real sense of audience presence. Highly recommended.

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