Compact Discoveries®
a series of one-hour radio programs produced, written, hosted, and edited by Fred Flaxman
©2008 by Fred Flaxman

Program 136
"Introducing Sandrine"


MUSIC:
Lázaro: Homage à Chopin performed by Sandrine Erdely-Sayo [Oeuvres pour piano de Primitivo Lázaro, track 1] [under the following]

Doesn’t this piano piece sound as though it were written by Chopin? But it wasn’t. It was written intentionally in the style of Chopin by a 20th Century Spanish composer I never heard of before until recently; a composer with the strange first name of Primitivo and the last name, Lázaro. This homage to Chopin is called, appropriately enough, Hommage à Chopin. It is performed by a highly talented young Franco-Spanish-American pianist with an equally unusual name: Sandrine Erdely-Sayo. She has decided to use her first name as her stage name, so I am calling this hour “Introducing Sandrine.”

MUSIC: fades out

Hello and welcome to Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman. For the next hour you’ll not only get introduced to a fantastic pianist, but, for no extra charge, you’ll also be introduced later to the talented Spanish composer Primitivo Lázaro. I’ll tell you about both Sandrine and Primitivo Lázaro very soon, but first let’s get started with some beautiful music, the Intermezzo in A-flat Major by Francis Poulenc from Sandrine’s third CD. It’s on the A.W. label and the album is called “Voyage.”


MUSIC: Poulenc: Intermezzo in A-flat Major performed by Sandrine Erdely-Sayo, piano [AW 2206, track 1]

Francis Poulenc’s Intermezzo in A-flat Major performed by pianist Sandrine Erdely-Sayo, our first selection on this hour devoted to “Introducing Sandrine.”

Sandrine, a native of Perpignan, France, is a first prize graduate from the Paris Superior Conservatory. She came to the United States in 1990 for post-graduate studies after winning several competitions in Europe.

She became the youngest recipient of the French Minister of Culture Prize at the age of 13.  At 14, she wrote three pieces for chamber orchestra which were played at the Chatelet Theater in Paris.  Since then, Sandrine has been performing as a soloist, in chamber music and with orchestras in Italy, France, Spain, Argentina and in the United States. She has played in many famous music festivals and on radio and television in different countries.

In 1996, Sandrine was granted permanent residency in the United States as an artist of exceptional ability.  She became an American citizen in February 2007.

As you’ll hear throughout this hour, Sandrine's performances combine technical virtuosity with creative, heartfelt interpretations. So, without further delay, let’s listen to two very romantic pieces for the piano, left hand, by Alexander Scriabin.

Let me tell you first that hearing these pieces on a recording is one delightful experience; but seeing Sandrine perform them live is another incredible experience altogether. That is because on a recording, they sound like other beautiful piano pieces written for two hands. You wouldn’t guess in a million years that only one hand was at work here. But when you see Sandrine play these in concert, you see what can almost be described as an acrobatic act, with her left hand flying all over the keyboard and Sandrine holding onto the piano for dear life with the right hand when the left hand ventures to the high notes on the far right side of the keyboard.

First we’ll listen to Scriabin’s Prelude in C-Sharp Minor; then his Nocturne in D-flat Major, both for the left hand alone; both from his Opus 9.

MUSIC: Scriabin: Prelude in C-Sharp Minor performed by Sandrine Erdely-Sayo, piano [AW 2206, track 8]

MUSIC: Scriabin: Nocturne in D-flat Major performed by Sandrine Erdely-Sayo, piano [AW 2206, track 9]

Sandrine Erdely-Sayo -- Sandrine for short -- performing Scriabin’s Prelude in C-Sharp Minor and his Nocturne in D-flat Major, both for the left hand alone, although that is hard to believe when you listen to this recording. I had the good fortune to witness Sandrine playing these pieces in person at an annual conference of the Association of Music Professionals in Public Radio, where I discovered this remarkable pianist. Her first three CDs then became my next three compact discoveries.

At that conference Sandrine performed a piece by Astor Piazzolla called Tango: Lo Que Vendra in a transcription by Juan José Ramos. Let’s listen to that next.

MUSIC: Piazzolla: Tango: Lo Que Vendra performed by Sandrine Erdely-Sayo, piano [AW 2206, track 17]

Astor Piazzolla’s Tango: Lo Que Vendra in a transcription by Juan José Ramos performed by pianist Sandrine Erdely-Sayo.

Next, from the same “Voyage” CD Sandrine plays the Fantasy on Casta Diva from Bellini’s opera, Norma, by Sigismond Thalberg.

MUSIC: Thalberg: Fantasy on Casta Diva from Bellini’s opera, Norma, performed by Sandrine Erdely-Sayo, piano [AW 2206, track 5]

Sigismond Thalberg’s Fantasy on Casta Diva from Bellini’s opera, Norma. Next one more piece from pianist Sandrine’s “Voyage” CD album: La Plus Que Lente -- More than Slowly by Claude Debussy.

MUSIC: Debussy: La Plus Que Lente performed by Sandrine Erdely-Sayo, piano [AW 2206, track 10]

Sandrine played La Plus Que Lente by Claude Debussy. You are listening to “Introducing Sandrine” on this hour of Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman.

[optional one-minute break not included in the total timing of the program]

For the rest of this hour we’re going to listen to selections from Sandrine’s two compact discs devoted to the music of the Spanish pianist and composer Primitivo Lázaro.

Primitivo Lázaro Martínez, lived from 1909 until 1997, although his music, which is in the romantic tradition of Granados and De Falla, sounds as though it were written before he was born or at least when he was very young. His biography makes me think of another more famous blind Spanish composer, Joachín Rodrigo. Like Rodrigo, Lázaro was blind from an early age.

He entered the Santa Catalina School for the Blind in Madrid, and after a few years was admitted to the Royal Conservatory of Madrid. Lázaro gave piano recitals in the main Spanish cities, and he was also a brilliant arranger, composer, lecturer and conductor. From 1936 to 1938 he resided in the city of Salamanca, where he formed his own orchestra. In 1939 Lázaro was named Provincial Delegate of the National Organization of the Spanish Blind in Huelva, where he spent the rest of his life.

Lázaro’s deep understanding of the piano composition techniques of other composers is shown in musical tributes he wrote to Chopin and Mendelssohn. First let’s listen to Hommage à Chopin, then to Hommage à Mendelssohn, both as performed by Sandrine Erdely-Sayo.

MUSIC: Lázaro: Hommage à Chopin performed by Sandrine Erdely-Sayo, piano, from Oeuvres pour piano de Primitivo Lázaro, Track 1

MUSIC: Lázaro: Hommage à Mendelssohn performed by Sandrine Erdely-Sayo, piano, from Oeuvres pour piano de Primitivo Lázaro, Track 2


Sandrine played Hommage à Chopin, then Hommage à Mendelssohn by Primitivo Lázaro.

I’m going to conclude this hour of piano music performed by Sandrine, whose full name is Sandrine Erdely-Sayo, with three more beautiful pieces by Lázaro: the Idyll and the Argentine Dance from his Suite for Piano for the 500th Anniversary of the Discovery of America, and finally his Dance on the Big Lake from his Cave of the Marvels Suite.

MUSIC: Lázaro: Idyll from Suite pour piano du cinquième centenaire de la découverte de l’Amérique, performed by Sandrine Erdely-Sayo, piano, from Oeuvres pour piano de Primitivo Lázaro, Track 7

MUSIC: Lázaro: La danse argentine from Suite pour piano du cinquième centenaire de la découverte de l’Amérique, performed by Sandrine Erdely-Sayo, piano, from Oeuvres pour piano de Primitivo Lázaro, Track 10

MUSIC: Lázaro: Danza Sobre el Gran Lago from Suite “Gruta de las Maravillas”, performed by Sandrine Erdely-Sayo, piano, from Primitivo Lázaro Obras para piano, Track 5


Sandrine Erdely-Sayo performed three piano pieces by Primitivo Lázaro from her two albums devoted to this blind Spanish composer’s works.

That brings this hour of “Introducing Sandrine” on Compact Discoveries to a close. I hope you have enjoyed this music. This is Fred Flaxman thanking you for listening.

This Compact Discoveries program is a presentation of WPVM, Asheville, North Carolina, a broadcast service of the Mountain Area Information Network.

MUSIC: Lázaro: Homage à Chopin performed by Sandrine Erdely-Sayo [Oeuvres pour piano de Primitivo Lázaro, track 1]
[ music fades out at 58:00]

                Total Program Length = 58:00 minutes



 
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