Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Jesús García Leoz - Father Spanish Film Music (ODRADEK RECORDS)

On visiting the Royal and General Archives of Navarre Rinaldo Zhok came across handwritten scores of a composer from Navarre who lived through those dire years of the Civil War:

Jesús García Leoz,
father of Spanish Film Music

Jesús García Leoz 
Father of Spanish Film Music 

Lilia Donkova - Rinaldo Zhok
Violin and Piano

In recent years the acclaimed Italian pianist Rinaldo Zhok has been living in the musically fertile region of Navarre, Spain, where he has been fascinated to discover the music of composer Jesus García Leoz (1904-1953).

Living in this region has given Rinaldo Zhok access to scores he might not otherwise have encountered, and before long he was engrossed in the Royal and General Archive of Navarre, poring over music by a composer who endured the Spanish Civil War to write numerous dazzling film scores.

It was inevitable that, having got to know Jesus García Leoz’s film music, Rinaldo Zhok would seek out pieces that he himself could perform. He discovered a wealth of refined and vibrant chamber works for solo piano and for piano and violin, a selection of which is presented on this exceptional disc.

Rinaldo Zhok is joined on this disc by violinist Lilia Donkova, who was born and studied in Sofia before graduating from the Royal Academy of Music. Currently studying for her doctorate in Portugal, Lilia Donkova has performed internationally as a chamber musician in venues including Carnegie Hall and the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre.

Rinaldo Zhok has been an Odradek artist since 2013; his debut disc, of Liszt’s transcriptions of music by Verdi, was released to critical acclaim, receiving praise from Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine, among others. In 2014 he and Artur Pizarro formed a piano duo, releasing an outstanding disc of Dvořák’s music together on Odradek.