P1344. RICARDO VIÑES: Scarlatti, Gluck-Brahms, Blancafort, Borodin, Debussy, Allende, Troiani, Lopez-Buchardo, de Falla, Turina & Albéniz. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-953, recorded 1930 & 1936. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Although Ricardo Viñes (1875 -1943) was active during the’golden age’ of pianism, he deliberately pursued an entirely different musical path from his fellow practitioners. He is perhaps best categorized with the Catalan school of pianists, a group of formidable players that included Albéniz, Granados, Malats, Mompou, and de Larrocha. It goes without saying that Viñes became one of the leading interpreters of the Spanish piano literature. However, his affinities also extended to many French, Russian, and South American composers of the day. Generally eschewing the familiar Austro-German and Slavic repertoire of most pianists, Viñes campaigned tirelessly for new and recent works, introducing them throughout Europe and South America.
Viñes’ earliest teacher was Juan Pujol in Barcelona. At the suggestion of Albéniz, he traveled to Paris at the age of 12, enrolling in the Conservatoire class of Charles Bériot. There he met Maurice Ravel, his exact contemporary. It was not long before Viñes developed strong professional relationships with Debussy and Sévérac, later with Fauré, Satie, and Les Six. (Of the latter group, Francis Poulenc took piano lessons from Viñes; another pupil was Marcelle Meyer.)
Viñes…reportedly carried an intense dislike for the recording process, and consequently there are many works which should have been recorded by him. Nonetheless, the color and authority of Viñes’ playing is clearly evident, and these sonic documents, all dating from 1930 -1936, give us a glimpse of how he earned the esteem of colleagues and audiences.”
- Donald Manildi
“One of the first performers of the works of Mompou was the pianist Ricardo Viñes (1875 - 1943), a friend of the composer and the man chiefly responsible for introducing his music to Parisian audiences. Viñes was undoubtedly one of the great virtuosos of the early decades of the twentieth century; dedicated to the music of his time, he boosted the careers of many young Spanish, French and Russian composers (he gave premières of works by Ravel, Debussy, Poulenc, Satie, Mussorgsky, Balakirev, Falla, Turina and Granados, among others). His only known piano compositions were published posthumously in 1945 by the Institut Français en Espagne under the title Quatre Hommages pour le piano (Four tributes for piano).”
- David Patmore, Naxos’ A – Z of Pianists