Very little is known about the 18th-century Spanish composer and organist Manuel Blasco de Nebra. During his lifetime, he was renowned for his dramatic performances on the organ, fortepiano, and harpsichord, and as a composer, he was highly prolific. Blasco de Nebra is known to have completed some 170 compositions, but only a few dozen have survived, all of these being either sonatas or pastorellas for a keyboard. This remaining body of works reveals the composer’s skill as a keyboard player. Roughly half the music on this album from Columna Música is making its first appearance on record.
A rough contemporary and stylistically similar composer is Blasco de Nebra’s Spanish countryman Antonio Soler. Like Soler, Blasco de Nebra’s lifetime straddled the late Baroque and early Classical eras. The root his music has in the Baroque period is heard most clearly in the many similarities it has to the tune of Domenico Scarlatti. Phrases echoed with only a change in mode, suspended close harmonies, and the integral roles that repetitive rhythmic patterns and ornamentation play in his melodic lines are only a few examples. At the same time, its simplicity and elegance lend a sense of the Galant to the music as it also foreshadows the Classical era sonatas of Haydn and mainly Mozart.
Blasco de Nebra creates a broad range of quietly exciting atmospheres in his music, and I’ve enjoyed it on each repeated hearing. The performances by Pedro Piquero sound both authoritative and fresh on a modern piano, which Mr. Piquero plays to the best possible advantage, with crisp, clean articulation and subtle dynamic shading. The album sample in the right sidebar is the Sonata 110 in D major. It’s delightful, as is the entire album, which I am thrilled to add is designated volume one, so we can look forward to more of Blasco de Nebra’s lighthearted music from Mr. Piquero in upcoming installments.
This is the Vol. 1 of a series of three that gathers the complete piano works for piano by Sevillian composer Manuel Blasco de Nebra (1750-1784). The CD contains Seis sonatas para teclado (from the convent of Encarnación de Osuna) and Seis Pastorelas para Forte Piano (from manuscript 2998 of Montserrat´s Abbey), performed by Pedro Piquero.
Pedro Piquero, piano
The pianist Peter pacense Piquero has been one of the winners of the second edition of the Independent Music Awards, which have recognized his album Complete Works of Manuel Blasco de Nebra (Column Label) as the best classical album…
Manuel Orlandi Blasco de Nebra, composer (2 May 1750 – 12 September 1784)
Blasco de Nebra was a Spanish organist and composer who lived in Seville.
He was the son of José Blasco de Nebra (Lacarra), the organist of Seville Cathedral since 1735, and became his assistant organist in 1768, taking over in 1778. He was renowned for his excellent sight-reading and playing of the organ, harpsichord, and fortepiano, of which some impression can be obtained from his surviving compositions. During his short life (he predeceased his father), he composed about 170 works, although only 30, all for keyboard instruments, are still in existence. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Blasco_de_Nebra
This performance of Blasco de Nebra’s Sonata No. 1 is from a Harmonia Mundi album performed by Javier Perianes