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NI 5889
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NI 5889

Espla: Music for Piano

The Classical Shop
release date: January 2013

Originally recorded in 2012


Martin Jones



Wyastone Leys, Monmouthshire, UK

Record Label



Total Time - 146:53
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Romanza antigua (1905)


Impresiones musicales, Op. 2 (1905-9)

2 I En el hogar (At Home) 2:33
3 II Barbra Azul (Bluebeard) 2:22
4 III Caperucita Roja (Little Red Riding Hood) 2:55
5 IV Cenicienta (Cinderella) 2:52
6 V Antano (Long Ago) 2:09

Scherzo, Op. 5 (1909)


Crepusculum, Op. 15 (1912)


Suite de pequenas piezas (1913)

9 I Preludio (after Bach) 1:35
10 II Cancion de cuna (Lullaby) 2:17
11 III Arie de Danza Pastoril (after Scarlatti) 1:26
12 IV Ronda Levantina 1:55
13 V Paso de Opereta (after Offenbach) 1:40

Levante (1916)

  Melodias y temas de danza  
14 I Allegretto moderato 1:31
15 II Andante 1:40
16 III Allegro non molto 1:41
17 IV Andantino 1:35
18 V Andante 1:44
19 VI Allegretto 1:33
20 VII Allegro moderato 2:11
21 VIII Moderato 2:48
22 IX Allegro ritmico 1:48
23 X Allegro animato 1:17

La pajara pinta, Piezas Infantiles (1916-20)

  A Game of Forfeits  
24 I 'El Conde de Cabra' (The Count of Cabra) 2:42
25 II 'Dona Escotofina' 2:35
26 III 'Anton Pirulero' 3:09

Tres Movimientos para piano (1921)

27 I Estudio (Study) 5:20
28 II Danza antigua (Ancient Dance) 3:22
29 III Pasodoble 3:09

Cantoas de antano, Piezas Infantiles (1930)

  Old Songs  
30 I Danza 2:46
31 II Cancion de cuna 2:00
32 III Tarana 1:59

La Sierra

  Suite folklorica  
33 I Canto de vendimia (Song of the vintage) 3:21
34 II Aire Pastoral 3:32
35 III Danza levantina 2:10

Lirica Espanola I (?1930s)

  Bocetos levantinos (Levantine sketches)  
36 I Evocacion costena (Evocation of the coast) 1:50
37 II Danza del Valle 2:25
38 III Cancion de cuna 2:00
39 IV Paso de baile serrano (Highland Dance) 1:25
40 V Canto de la Umbria, nocturno 2:43
41 VI Ritmos de la huerta (Rhythms of the orchard) 2:00

Lirica Espanola II (?1930s)

  Tonadas Antiguas (Ancient Melodies)  
42 I Romance (Castilla) 1:44
43 II Canto de trilla (Levante) 1:23
44 III Conseja (Conte) 1:59

Lirica Espanola IV (?1930s)

45 I Aire andaluz 2:07
46 II Cadencia balear 2:20
47 III Ritmo de bolero 2:10

Lirica Espanola V (?1930s)

  Suite caracteristica  
48 I Habanera 4:52
49 II Ronda serrana 4:00
50 III Sonatina playera 4:24

Sonata Espanola, Op. 53

  Homenaje a Chopin  
51 I Andante romantico 7:14
52 II Mazurca sopra un tema popolare 2:37
53 III Allegro brioso 6:02
 Martin Jones piano
  16 & 17 April and 8 May 2012  

Óscar Esplá was born in Alicante, Spain in 1886 or 1889. This places Esplá in the same generation as his countrymen Joaquin Turina (b.1883) and Federico Mompou (b.1893).

His output includes a dozen stage works, some unfinished, and several large scale symphonic pieces incorporating chorus. His purely instrumental works include an unpublished Symphony in D (1912), orchestral arrangements his own piano pieces, two suites for chamber orchestra based on folksongs, and the Symphony ‘Aitana’ (1958). There are two published String Quartets, a Piano Trio, Piano Quintet and several duo works with piano.

The piano was an important feature of Esplá’s early successes: he was an outstanding pianist, and performer of his own early neo-classical pieces Romanza antigua, Impressiones musicales Op.2, and the Scherzo Op.5. The piano would remain a vehicle for his profoundest emotions throughout his life. Much of his keyboard music consists of ‘impressions’ particularly of a child’s world, or ‘evocations’ of the landscapes of Alicante.

 "... Throughout the recital Martin Jones proves to be a very fine advocate of this music...  where Jones truly shines is in the more lyrically inspired numbers. Here his touch is always sensitive, his playing filled with color... If one likes their Spanish repertoire of Albéniz, Granados, Turina, Falla, and the like, then Esplá should provide one with further listening pleasures."

Scott Noriega - Fanfare - November/December 2013

"... this is beautifully clear and natural. A very rewarding listen."

Guy Rickards - International Piano magazine - September/October 2013

 "... Natural, wide-ranging sound, and Jones’s performances could hardly be more skilled or affecionate."

Bryce Morrison - Gramohone magazine - August 2013

 "... Jones, recorded in a resonant space, makes an excellent case for these works..."

Raymond S Tuttle - International Record Review - May 2013

 "...Two well-filled discs giving us a wealth of new and delicious music ... the playing on this CD is very fine indeed... Carboné is every bit as in tune with Esplá’s idiom as Jones and decently enough recorded ... This is a richly rewarding release with which you can spend many a fruitful hour, and I would recommend it as highly as I would the blue waters of Alicante in October."

Dominy Clements - - 20 February 2013

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