Photos Courtesy: Steinway Society

SILICON VALLEY, CA-- We knew that pianist Martin Garcia Garcia's debut concert in the Bay Area, was going to be outstanding, the moment that we listened to the first notes he played in his Steinway Grand piano. His first melodic passages were interpreted with so much feeling, that their sound was able to transport our spirits back to the middle eighteen hundreds, when the composers played their own music to an audience and let it sense their passion, in each note.

Garcia Garcia, 26, is a Spanish pianist born in Gijón Spain. According to his Bio, he began studying piano at the age of 5, and years later, graduated from the prestigious Reina Sofia School of Music (Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia). Since then, Garcia Garcia, has been a first-Prize winner in several international piano competitions, among them, as being the Best Student of the Chair, a prize given by her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain herself.
To furthering his artistic training, for the past two years, the pianist has resided in New York City where he has been trained by the distinguished pianist Jerome Rose. Garcia Garcia, made his recent Carnegie Hall debut in New York, where he featured master works from the Romantic era.
He made his Bay Area debut on April 30, when he came to play as one of the young pianists in the Live & Stream Steinway Society Bay Area Award-Winning Classical pianist concerts.

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We do not know how many piano concert- goers, who at one time or another studied piano from a good teacher, were told that the pianist, like the stage actor job, is only to interpreter the composer's music in sounds, and that in order to do that, the pianist must be familiar with the composer's vocabulary and with what the composer was trying to say, to his audience, in this compositions, and with this sounds. This time, however, in our press kits, there was a sheet with the history of  each piece whish is going to be played by the pianist, that we include in our reviews, to give our readers a better perspective of the music.

Martín García García, started his concert with Franz Liszt, Sposalizio (From Annés de pélerinage ii: Italie, S. l61)   which according to its history, was written in l838, during the time when Liszt, who was always seeking for places to escape to, mentally, or physical, and his mistress, the Countess Marie d'Agoult, traveled together through Switzerland and Italy and that Liszt, inspired by his experiences composed musical pieces. "Sposalizio" is the first piece on a cycle of Deuxiénewas written during his Italian pilgrimage and conceived as Liszt, a Hungarian, devout Catholic which ended his life as a monk in the monastery of the Third Order of San Francis, was contemplating the painting of Raphael's The Marriage of the Virgin, (The wedding ceremony of the Virgin Mary and Joseph).

Musically, Spoalitzio  , written in a 6/4 time, marked Andante an  based on a 5-note theme that evolves into a more complex architecture, It opens in E major,  but modulates to G major,  changing it mood  from tender, to dolce, in an evolution of complex architecture and before evolving  in a series of repetitions. The melodious yet complex piece was completed by Liszt in 1504 for the Franciscan church of Città Costello in Perugia, Italy, so it may be considered as sacred Music.  

Played by Garcia Garcia, Spozalizio was interpreted with so much feeling that it seems to be able to carry away by the audience and leads it into a different dimension.  After that, the five-note theme its five-note theme was introduced for the first time.  It had the solemnity of a march, to people walking side by side towards the altar, about to enter a union forever united by a spiritual bond. After that, we hear the music bursting into a sound dimension that gets louder and louder and ends in a very loud sound. The theme repeats but this time softly adorned by elaborates arpeggios. The music slows down, little by little as indicating that the ceremony is now over. It turns solemn in nature, and after that, it dies. Garcia Garcia interpretation of this piece was masterful.

The Second piece in his program was The Sonata in B Minor S. 178 (l853) of Ranz Liszt (l811-l886)
Our press kit information tells us that when Liszt created this sonata he used a musical form that he called "transformation of theme" after Schubert's device, which used each transformed motif of the work. What this means is that  into each of the different four movements of the traditional sonata form, Liszt presents not one, but  the five main themes of his sonata in the first section, thus providing a variety of material for the pianist, from descending scales, to staccato octaves and ca tabile melodies which test, continuously,  the abilities of any pianist.

The lack of separation, however, gave rise to much controversy in criticism from the critics at the time, inclusive from Clara Schumann, who considered that the work lacked clear harmony progressions when the work was published in l854.
Those familiar with the work know that because it is very challenging and difficult for a pianist, it was meant to be played by seasoned master pianists. One of the reason is that since it has a unique form it must be very difficult to memorize, and if that, were not enough to discourage many pianist, the work is also a demanding piano piece witch demands the perfect execution of  scales, fast changes of tempo, clearly-distinguished, soft and loud chords,  and perfect  time, among other things.  That in his execution of the piece Garcia Garcia mastered the piece, would be understatement, On his debut concert in Palo Alto, California, he demonstrated with this piece, to his online and Live audience, the piano training of a person beyond his years in the execution of his scales which allow us to hear every note clearly, His pianissimos in contrast with his strong fortes and in the clarity of every one of his notes, delivered with the correct feeling at the correct speed and tempo.  To play Liszt Sonata in B Minor, considered to be of the Century's greatest masterpieces, gives Garcia Garcia, the critics' title of Master Concert Pianist.

He continue his concert by playing Robert Schumann (l810-1856) Drei Fantasiestüke, Op. III (1851) a piece described in our Press Notes as the piece in which Schumann exploited the psychological dualism of his own character, meaning --his wild optimist in some days,  and it's tragic sensibility in others, added to his Romantic inclination towards internal conflict. (This was the reason the composer created various sets of Fantasiestùke Fantasies, during his life.)
In Garcia Garcia's interpretation, his Schumann, was executed as a fast replegiated piece of music executed with a perfect fingers' digitalization that allowed us to listen to the sound of every note in his right hand on the upper notes of the keyboard which is followed by soft melodic passage which he interpreted with a lot of feeling. The piece changes volume, speed, and motive, which are played embellished by note and changes moods, from euphoric, expressed with fast loud chords, to sad. The changes in the interpretation of the piece,  from fast to slow,  from pp to Forte with fast running scales the execution of the piece demanding that Garcia Garcia had to remove the sweat on his face.   

He finished the evening with Symphonic Etudes, Op 13 (1832) described in our press program as a set of 16 variations based on a theme by Baron von Fricken, plus an additional variations on the anthem-like refrain Du stolzes England, freu dich (Proud England Rejoice) from Heinrich Marschner's Der templer und die Juding, a grand Romantic opera based on Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe. In which again Schumann expresses the dualism of his personality in his etudes that are varied from each other in mood, tempo and sound, which fluctuates from soft to loud, from slow to fast each very demanding in execution.  We will end our review by saying that each of the etudes was perfectly interpreted by Garcia Garcia, in his extraordinary debut concert (followed by two encores and Bravos from the audience) in which the mastery of the young Spanish pianist allowed us to actually listen to the multiplicity of voices of the Steinway Grand piano.