La Ribera Del Pisuerga
Reviewed by Donovan Johnson, Enlightened Piano Radio
Oscar Pascasio is a pianist and composer originally from Aguilar De Campoo, Spain. After reviewing his new album for inclusion in the Enlightened Piano Radio roster, we knew that we had a gem on our hands. Oscar is a one of a kind artist, and has a unique style in his playing that is both mechanically accurate and incredibly creative. This album in particular brings Oscar's many talents into the limelight, showing them off in a humble and romantic fashion.
“La Ribera Del Pisuerga” is a recording that brings to mind a feeling of emptiness much of the time. Many of the tracks have an almost “lonely” quality to them, despite the fact that most of them are not solo piano. Feelings of solitude, reflection, isolation and independence can all be found here, though none of the music is “brooding” in nature. Oscar has a way of bringing the listener to that place where they alone are dwelling, without interjecting any of the negative emotions or pretentious sadnesses which seem to find their way to so many of todays recordings. In this way, Oscar has found a uniqeness to his approach which is truly refreshing and inspiring, and simultaneously engaging to the listener. Introverted people will have found a gold mine here.
My three favorite pieces to listen to are tracks one, six, and ten. Track one, the title track on the album (La Ribera Del Pisuerga), is a piece which speaks straight to the heart. A sweet, simple melody weaves it's way throughout the piece, played masterfully by violinist Gorka. The piece takes one on a journey of the banks of the Pisuerga River in northern Spain, beginning with the sounds of naturally running water. It's easy to imagine yourself strolling along the beautiful Spanish countryside in on a warm day in the springtime. As the piano and the violin work together to bring the piece to life, images blossom like the flowers and the green of a new day.
Track Six is titled “The First Time,” and sounds reminiscent to an Irish ballad. The construction of the melody performed once again on the violin, coupled with the piano harmonies, create a piece bursting with nostalgia and the memories of days gone by. Oscar is really able to convey the spirit of love here, not only with his incredibly precise technical skill but also with his heart. Pieces such as these are not created without genuine emotion and experience to bring them to life. The final notes provoke a sense of longing, and reflective satisfaction at the rich experiences our lives have to offer.
“Vals En Turqueta” may be an unusual choice for a favorite, but I'm a sucker for a good waltz, and this really is a good one. The tempo is perfect here, very danceable. The melody is very, very strong and the chord progressions are pleasantly unpredictable, thought classic in their design. The composition has a very old world quality to it, and one can almost see themselves in eighteenth century Europe at a royal celebratory dance. Perhaps the sweetest of the tracks on this album, “Vals En Turqueta” takes the listsener a couple of centuries back in time, to a place where life was much simpler and the pleasures of our world were most genuine and sincere.
“La Ribera Del Pisuerga” is a recording that will satisfy those who are able to appreciate old European composition and artistry. Depending on one's mindset, both relaxation and engaged creative listening can be found here, and certainly Oscar's performances are worthy of the five stars that I award this piece of art. If you're a fan of modern piano compositions, or neo-classical compositions, you'll definitely want to check out this recording. Highly recommended.
You can find out more about Oscar by visiting his website at: www.oscarpascasio.com