New Album: SERENATA ESPANOLA
A musical tour of the Iberian Peninsula for two: for his new album Serenata Española the French harpist Xavier de Maistre has joined forces with the legendary castanet player Lucero Tena to form an exciting duo.
Xavier de Maistre is one of those internationally celebrated musicians who regularly succeed in redefining the bounds of what is possible on their chosen instrument. In addition to commissions from well-known contemporaries such as Toshio Hosokawa, de Maistre has also performed arrangements of Smetana’s Vltava, of keyboard concertos by Mozart and of the famous Concierto de Aranjuez that the Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo wrote for the guitar.
Xavier de Maistre’s latest album – his sixth for Sony Classical – focuses on Spain and on works originally written for the guitar, for the piano and for full orchestra. Titled Serenata Española, it brings together arrangements of works by leading composers, including Antonio Soler, Isaac Albéniz and Enrique Granados. But the disc features not only solo works in which his harp dazzles and sings but also fiery duets with the legendary Mexican-Spanish flamenco dancer and castanet player Lucero Tena.
The combination of harp and castanets is a novel one. The two artists met for the first time after a concert in Madrid in 2015, when de Maistre was instantly captivated by the personality of Spain’s musical ambassador, a virtuoso performer who has previously worked with conductors such as Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and Plácido Domingo. As the harpist later recalled, Lucero Tena embodied “the real Spain in all its temperamental uniqueness, its grandezza, its melancholy and its energy. Our conversation led very quickly to the idea of our appearing together in concert and releasing a CD designed to illustrate and showcase three centuries of Spanish music in all of their manifold variety.”