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Remembering the Maestros of Cuban Classical

Ignacio Cervantes, Ernesto Lecuona, Manuel Saumell, René Touzet


Debut Solo Recording



"This is a short and sweet CD!... For lovers of Ernesto Lecuona's piano music...this release is an opportunity to sample the work of two of Lecuona's predecessors and one of his contemporaries...  [Touzet] is cheerfully compelling... [Casanova] plays throughout with style, sensitivity and obvious enjoyment... A CD of interest and quality."
Fanfare [July/August 2007]
"Ms. Casanova has a passion for the music of her native country, and it shows in her playing. Before listening to this recording, I did not know the music of these composers; but I now share this performer’s interest and will consciously look for more examples of their music... Her joyful playing gives me a renewed sense of wonder about the unique sound of an acoustical instrument that is sometimes viewed as just an ancestor to the synthesizer... Listening to this recording made me happy from the first note to the last. The music is rhythmic, joyful, exuberant, and beautiful.  The playing is fluid and exciting. The sound quality is very clear, immediate and full without being too much for the ears. This recording sounds wonderful whether played on a good sound system, through my computer speakers, or on my iPod. Audiophiles may regard my last statement as sacrilege; but for me, the test of a well-engineered recording is whether the sound holds up under many different conditions and acoustical limitations. Most of all, this music (and the artistry with which it was played by Ms. Casanova) made me want to smile, to dance, to help celebrate the rich heritage of the four Cuban composers whose music was showcased here."
Audiophile Audition [October 2006]
Elena Casanova brings fire, passion and beauty to this great music of Cuba's finest composers, evoking the very soul of Cuban classics. Casanova has a special enthusiasm for the music of Cuba where she was born, which has inspired her to perform and record a great deal of music of her roots. A performer as well as a musician, Elena has collaborated with numerous artists and is as  comfortable playing chamber music as well as improvising on Latin tunes; music is the core of her life. An unbreakable spirit, engaging style, joyfulness and passion are always present. Elena studied at the Alejandro Garcia Caturla Music Conservatory in Havana, San Francisco Conservatory and Pacific Union College. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Redlands in California. Casanova studied with Robert Bowman, Daniel Glover, Annie Kim (a student of the Cuban pianist Jorge Bolet), Louanne Long, Maria D. “Marilola” Vasquez Robles, Tom Turinia, and Dr. Lynn Wheeler.

René Touzet (1916-2003)
Zapateo Cubano
La Trece
Recordando al Maestro
Dancita No. 1
Dancita No. 2
Dancita No. 3
Siempre en Clave

Ignacio Cervantes (1847-1905)
Los Tres Golpes
Ilusiones Perdidas

Manuel Saumell (1817-1870)
Los Ojos de Pepa
El Pañuelo de Pepa!
Tu Sonrisa
¿Pero Por qué?

Ernesto Lecuona (1896-1963)
La Comparsa
Danza Lucumí
En Tres por Cuatro
No Hables Más

MSR Classics
Daydreams of Cuba ELENA CASANOVA