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Luís de Pablo and Cristobal Halffter (both b.1930) were the key members of the 'Generation of '51' group of composers, young musicians who finished their studies and began their professional careers around 1951, with a mission to help Spain catch up with European musical developments after the Civil War. I have known de Pablo and kept up with him for some twenty years. This innovative programme is to be welcomed, at least in principle.

Luis de Pablo's own vivacious piece sets the mainly virtuosic tenor of the choices made by the young prizewinner Horacio Lavendera, contrasting high and low, fast and slow. Three of his Retratos y Transcripciones were included by the pianist Ananda Sukerlan in his Homenage a Luis de Pablo CD for the composer's 70th birthday; he has remained as active and prolific as ever, and I gather that this series has now advanced to a fourth book of piano pieces.

Anton Abril joined de Pablo and Halffter to represent Spain at the 39th International Contemporary Music Festival in Madrid; his early pieces here are perhaps something of a misfit, an early pedagogic collection, "of medium-level techical difficulty", written for a fellow student who subsequently became his wife.

Guinjoan looks back in his Au revoir barocco and Marco's enjoyable piece for the 1966 Leeds prizewinner Rafael Oroczo deliberately has "a clear Spanish substratum" with elements from Soler, Falla & Andalusian folklore, which the Generation of '51 were dedicated to put behind them.

A useful compendium from an enterprising pianist; his a name to look out for.

Peter Grahame Woolf

Further reading: Luis de Pablo by PGW
Spanish music in the twentieth century by Tomas Marco (published Harvard) - Editor