Pianist Del Pino conjures multihued Spanish evocations at MDCA

By Lawrence Budmen

Daniel Del Pino performed music of Albéniz, Granados and Turina Friday night at Miami-Dade County Auditorium.

Iberia by Isaac Albéniz is one of the most difficult works in the solo keyboard literature. Yet this piano masterwork held no terrors for Daniel Del Pino at his recital Friday night at the black box space of Miami-Dade County Auditorium.  

The program was presented by the Joaquín Achúcarro Foundation. Del Pino was a student of the 90-year-old pianist-pedagogue at Southern Methodist University. Del Pino bookended the ninety- minute concert with Books I and II of the Albéniz cycle.

The Lebanon-born Spanish pianist displayed a formidable technique and strong interpretive inclinations. Playing a mini Yamaha with five rows of seats on stage (and the stage curtain closed), Del Pino produced a wide range of tonal colors in the opening “Evocacíon” from the first Albeniz set.  There was speed and digital accuracy, as well as Andalusian flavor, in “El Puerto.” Del Pino astutely captured the angular rhythms and dare devil flamboyance of “El Corpus en Sevilla.”

In his concluding traversal of Book II, Del Pino offered a slyly charming “Rondeña,” sweeping reserves of power in “Almería” and pure virtuosic razzle-dazzle in the concluding “Triana.” 

“Asturias” from Suite Epañola is usually played on the guitar but Albéniz originally conceived it for piano. It was a pleasure to hear this familiar vignette played with the percussive articulation of the keyboard.

Hearing these atmospheric bravura miniatures in such an intimate space greatly enhanced the immediacy and visceral excitement of the connection between artist and repertoire. The acoustic was remarkably transparent, and the clarity of sound never became harsh or overwhelming. Providing commentary between selections, Del Pino was informative and entertaining, particularly about Albéniz having a propensity to invent stories (like claiming he had played for Liszt which was not true).

Between the Albéniz works, more lightly scaled music by Enrique Granados and Joaquín Turina provided contrast.  Turina studied in Paris which was obvious in “La Andaluza Sentimental,” a tonal portrait of the Spanish region with a touch of French perfume. Del Pino etched this confection with sensitivity and a delicate touch. 

The languid aura of excerpts from Goyescas by Granados was painted in colorful brushstrokes. The pianist even found a fresh approach to the overplayed “Andaluza” from Granados’s Spanish Dances. Emphasizing the rhythmic underpinning beneath the melodic lines, Del Pino brought a hard-driving, empathic attack, making one hear the piece as if for the first time.

Daniel Del Pino is clearly a gifted artist. One looks forward to hearing him play sonatas, concertos and other more large-scale scores in Miami in the future.

Posted in Performances

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Sat Oct 22, 2022
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