This release brings together some of Ponce’s finest guitar works, carefully selected and sensitively performed by Bertrand Chavarría-Aldrete. The album opens with a Preludio written not long after Ponce arrived in Paris, characterised by modal and whole tone inflections that lend the piece an impressionistic quality. The release also includes the later set of Seis preludios cortos (‘Six short preludes’), written shortly before the composer’s death and exuding a soulful sophistication showing Ponce at the peak of his powers.
The Tres canciones populares mexicanas (‘Three Popular Mexican Songs’) represent a fine example of Ponce’s characteristically Mexican style. The Sonata I, ‘Mexicana’ was composed in the wake of Ponce’s first meeting with Segovia, but its style also reflects the composer’s enjoyment of life in jazz-age Paris. The Sonata III was composed in 1927, by which time Ponce was immersed in Parisian life and his studies with Dukas.
Ponce composed his Variations sur ‘Folía de España’ et fugue (‘Variations and fugue on the Spanish Folia’) in 1930, and his treatment of this ancient theme is masterful, constituting one of his most significant contributions to the guitar repertoire.
CD Recording, guitar music of Manuel M. Ponce.