Considered one of the most technically demanding and brilliant works for solo piano, Albéniz’s Iberia is a sumptuous musical evocation of Spain. Together with works by fellow Spanish composers, Granados and de Fall, and by Debussy, New Zealand pianist Lorelle McNaughton takes us on a colourful and varied guided tour in her concert in the Coronation Hall on June 8.
Lorelle says, “I learnt my first piano piece while I was a high school student, choosing what to include in my ATCL diploma exam. As soon as I heard Albéniz’s ‘Navarra’, which was on the list of set pieces, I fell in love with the expressive melodies, the evocative colours, and the dance-like interjections reminiscent of flamenco music. I then went on to study piano at university and one of my teachers there, Natalia Ricci, shared the same passion for Spanish music and encouraged me to learn more of the repertoire.”
Lorelle continued her postgraduate studies with Natalia Ricci at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and from there was granted scholarships to undertake research at the Academia Marshall in Barcelona.
“This was an incredible experience,” she says, “given the rich history of the school which was founded in 1901 by Granados himself and passed down through a lineage of students including famous Spanish pianist Alicia de Larrocha who my teacher, Marta Zabaleta studied with.”
Lorelle moved to Spain, studying a Master of Spanish Music at the academy. She says, “I was able to immerse myself in the Spanish culture and atmosphere including the vibrant and passionate flamenco art form, which emerged from the gypsy quarters of Southern Spain. Their works truly encapsulate the spirit of Spain.”
In 2015, she was awarded the prize for Best Interpretation of Spanish Music at the Barcelona Piano Academy, and locals teachers praised her for her understanding of the Spanish repertoire, some even claiming that she must gave been a gypsy in a former life.
Lorelle says, “I’m excited to be presenting this music across Aotearoa and to hopefully inspire listeners to explore more of this wonderful repertoire.”
Date: 8 June at 3.00 pm
Venue: Coronation Hall, 37 Hall Road, Bannockburn