Notes on the Music of this CD Spanish music is like chocolate. It's rich, dark, complex, and luscious. It's meant to be savored, by the pianist and the listener. For full enjoyment, all the senses should be open to the experience: You can feel the warmth of the sun, or the velvety evening air. There is the elusive and intoxicating aroma of flowers. The strum of the guitar, the twilight song of a bird. The swirl of brightly colored skirts, the sparkle and clatter of tambourines, the flash of heels in emphatic rhythms. The palette of colors runs the full range, from deepest, darkest black, to crystalline. There are no pastels here - all the colors are vivid, gorgeous, saturated. The mood can be contemplative, fervent, passionate, brooding, or poignant. In short, this music is a feast in every way. And very much a challenge for a pianist. 'Evocation' and 'Triana' are part of a suite of pieces entitled 'Iberia' by Albéniz. It was his masterwork. Each piece is meant to evoke Spain. Triana is the gypsy quarter of Seville. Apparently, Albéniz came to feel that Iberia was unplayable, since it is orchestral rather than pianistic in sound and conception. But the piano, as an instrument, is capable of a universe of sound, color, complexity, and effect. That is why it is such a glorious instrument, and so compelling for a lifetime of adventure and study. 'Laments, or the Maiden and the Nightingale' is part of a suite of pieces, called 'Goyescas' by Granados. This CD is named after this magical piece. The last several moments of the piece is the nightingale's song. I know intimately what birdsong sounds like. We had a beloved canary named 'Summer' for 11 years. He ruled us with an iron claw. We (my husband Ed and I) were his flock, and he was definitely highest in the pecking order. One night, I heard something from the room where his cage dominated the corner. His cage was covered, and the lights were off. He was supposed to be asleep. As I listened closely, I realized he was singing in his sleep! It was very soft and unworldly in it's sweetness. It was one of the most exquisite things I've ever heard. I felt that the nightingale's song should have that same quality. So, there is a little of Summer in the nightingale. Also, our recording company is named after our little but feisty bird. It seemed fitting. (At this point, I would like to insert a disclaimer. I am not a scholar. These notes are in no way meant to be knowledgeable or impressive or informative in the usual way of classical writings. I am just airing a personal point of view. 'Music appreciation' for me means voicing my passionate enjoyment of my own musical experience, for what it's worth. So don't quote me or check my facts.) Chopin. I feel that I know Chopin as a very close and dear friend. I understand that as a person, he was reserved and not terribly approachable. He was always very ill with tuberculosis as an adult, and it did kill him in the end. He was one of those who, undoubtedly, made TB a fashionable illness and posture. Not because he was trying to set fashion, but because of his genius. Other would-be artists probably hoped that if they 'caught' his illness, they would also 'catch' his genius. Chopin had such a huge, potent, fierce personality trapped in a weak, ill body. In his music, I hear him so alone, always confronting his mortality and dealing with physical limitations no young man (or woman) should have to deal with. How it must have frustrated him! But he was able to turn it all into spun gold, into his unique outpouring of the deepest voice of the human soul. Such beauty! It's strange how suffering and isolation can result in an exquisite sensitivity and inwardness. When he explored and expressed this hard-won introspection, Chopin achieved a rapture of sound and color that must have made his sufferings fade, at least for a time. Perhaps his music was the flight of his soul, to escape his body. The Chopin Etudes are a masterpiece of the repertoire.