‘Chopin was Cuban.’ Paquito D’Rivera
How might Chopin’s music sound if the composer had been born in the Caribbean? Whilst Chopin never crossed the Atlantic (the closest he would ever get to a tropical island would be a sojourn on Mallorca in 1838-9), his influence on the ebullient classical music scene of the 19th-century Antilles was superlative. At a time when Latin Americans were fighting to achieve independence from Europe, Chopin offered an enticing model of musical nationalism with which they could construct new identities. These hybrid, colonised cultures identified with Chopin’s exiled condition and his nostalgia for the motherland; and as Chopin sought refuge in the Polish folk melodies of his mazurkas, so did Caribbeans embrace local valses, danzas and contradanzas into their works. The last and most famous of these Caribbean Romantics, the virtuosic Cuban pianist-composer Ernesto Lecuona (1895-1963), would himself come to be known as ‘The Chopin of the Caribbean’.
In this event, pre-eminent Latin American pianists Clara Rodríguez and Gustavo Corrales Romero join forces to pay tribute to the 2017 anniversaries of two great figureheads of 19th-century Antillean music: Cuban composer Manuel Saumell (1817-1870), and from the Caribbean mainland, Venezuelan composer Teresa Carreño (1853-1917). Both leading exponents and international ambassadors of this unique repertoire, they present a colourful programme blending Romantic lyricism with authentic, toe-tapping rhythms, including music for 4 hands.
Clara Rodríguez (piano)
Gustavo Corrales Romero (piano)
This event is part of Echoes Festival 2017, organised by ILAMS and the Instituto Cervantes with the kind support of KyG Productions and Amigo Month.
Bookings here and on 020 7087 7900