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Gabriela Montero

Rachmaninov - Montero

Orchid Classics

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Gabriela Montero, "ExPatria". A mini-documentary
1 Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18 / Moderato
2 Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18 / Adagio sostenuto
3 Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18 / Allegro scherzando
4 Montero: Ex Patria, Op. 1
5 Montero: Improvisation No. 1
6 Montero: Improvisation No. 2
7 Montero: Improvisation No. 3
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Gabriela Montero makes her Orchid Classics label debut with the world premiere of her first formal composition, Ex Patria, as well as her first concerto recording, Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2. She is joined by the YOA Orchestra of the Americas under Carlos Miguel Prieto. 

She says, "In recognition of the purest classical traditions, and in homage to the 19th century philosophy of Gesamtkunstwerk, I am attempting to focus on the totality of the artist's contribution to his or her art form, and to society as a whole. I am a pianist, a composer, and an improviser but, above all, I am a member of society."

Montero has long been a passionate advocate for the people of her native Venezuela and a vocal opponent of its Chavist government. It was in this that she found her inspiration as she sat down to write her opus 1. She says, "I had been waiting for the right story to tell. Feeling a profound sense of the loss of my native Venezuela to unprecedented levels of violence and corruption, I wrote Ex Patria. Dedicated to the 19,336 victims of homicide in my homeland in 2011, it is a polemical tone poem, an unapologetic vision of Venezuela's accelerating civic collapse and moral decay, manifested by a further 21,692 homicides in 2012 and 24,763 in 2013."

Montero adds, "Ex Patria is a portrayal of a country barely recognizable from that of my youth. It is my emotional response to the loss of Venezuela herself to lawlessness, corruption, and chaos." This album marks an important point in the evolution of Montero's career. Long acclaimed as a pianist and for her thrilling improvisations, with Ex Patria, Montero pays homage to the great tradition of composer/performers, in which Rachmaninov himself is indelibly etched. Like Rachmaninov, Montero is effectively an artist in exile, but the love of her homeland is never far from her creative mind. "Only a man who loves his country could compose this way", said Rachmaninov's friend Vladimir Wilshaw in a quote cited by journalist Jeremy Pound in the album booklet's essay, ‘Raising Voices: History and the Performing Composer'.


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