In his debut album, 'Iberian Impressions', Portuguese pianist Paulo Oliveira navigates a journey through Iberian piano music, showcasing the works of Spanish and Portuguese composers who have had a profound impact on his musical life.
'Iberian Impressions' starts and ends with two works that act as foundations for the entire programme: the Sonatinas by Armando Jos Fernandes and Xavier Montsalvatge. In a freer style, the suites by Isaac Albniz ('Espaa') and Jos Vianna da Motta ('Cenas Portuguesas') represent explorations of images, landscapes, dances or scenes typical of Spanish and Portuguese life. With two composers from each country, Paulo Oliveira felt the programme needed something to link them, to create a bridge between the two cultures, and believes that there is nobody better than Pedro Blanco to represent the fusion between Spanish and Portuguese piano music. Pedro Blanco was born in Spain but moved to Portugal and carried out important cultural exchanges between the two countries, contributing enormously to a contemporary cultural Iberianism. Pedro Blanco's three pieces included on this album, from his 'Castilla' Op. 16, 'Heures Romantiques' Op. 6 and 'Galanias' Op. 10, are all dedicated to Portuguese artists.
Paulo Oliveira has long felt a special affinity with this repertoire: his last piano teacher, Sequeira Costa, was a great interpreter of Iberian piano music, and his very personal approach to performing this music had a profound impact on Paulo Oliveira's interpretations, as heard on this album.