March 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Xavier Montsalvatge, one of the most important Spanish composers of the 20th Century. Montsalvatge belongs to the so-called “lost generation” of Spanish composers who came of age during the Franco regime. Nevertheless, his compositions gained international recognition through the performances of his friends Victoria de los Angeles, Montserrat Caballé, Alicia de Larrocha and Pablo Casals.
Included on this anniversary CD are some of his finest pieces: the famous “Cinco canciones negras”, a poignant song cycle featuring infectious Latin American rhythms; the “Poema Concertante”
first championed by the internationally acclaimed violinist Henryk Szeryng, and the “Concerto breve” for piano and orchestra, first premiered by Alicia de Larrocha – and a high point in Montsalvatge’s Cuban influenced aesthetic.
As befits a centennial celebration for such a master, this recording has assembled three world-class soloists: American pianist Jenny Lin, mezzo-soprano Lucia Duchonová – previously Grammy-nominated for her Hänssler recording of the vocal works Joquin Turina – and American violinist Rachel Barton Pine.