TO A CAMIAPiano Music from Romantic Manila
Nicanor Abelardo, Marcelo Adonay, Francisco Buencamino Sr., Juan De Sahagun Hernandez, Ignacio Massaguer, Antonio Molina, Julio Nakpil, Dolores Paterno, Diego Perez, Francisco Santiago, Ramón Valdes Y Pica
SALLY PINKAS, piano
“Pinkas’ playing is expressive and lyrical, and the rhythmic dances swing naturally. Pinkas’ use of rubato is generally expressive and appropriate for the style… Pinkas’ playing is consistent, solid, clean, light and lovely to listen to… Overall, this disc provides an intriguing glimpse into the beautiful, neglected music of late 19th and early 20th-century salon culture of Manila. The music is frequently gentle and peaceful, often spirited and rhythmic, sensual and at times strikingly dissonant and chromatic – and it seamlessly combines Filipino, Hispanic, French, American, Romantic and popular musical influences. Despite the fascinating mix of cultural influences and characters that arose from the political circumstances in this time and place, the programme manages to retain a pleasing reportorial coherence and is sure to be much appreciated as a window into the salon culture of Romantic Manila.”
Jacquelyn Sholes, U-Rochester 19th Century Music Review [January 2022]
"[Sally Pinkas] has recorded an intriguing collection of piano music written during this ["golden"] era by some of the Philippines’ finest composers... Pinkas plays the romantic [La Flor de Manila] with a gentle, lilting rhythm, inspiring visions of dancers graciously floating across a ballroom floor... [Two of Marcelo Adonay's] waltzes are marvelously performed... An excellent 20-page booklet is included... The sound quality is excellent... A very fine piano collection from the Golden Age of Philippine Music."
Bruce McCollum, MusicWeb International [June 2020]
“Israeli pianist Sally Pinkas has produced a fantastic, one-of-a-kind recording. Listeners may not be familiar with Filipino composers, and this program shows a lot of well-crafted, lovely works... There is not one piece here that I do not like. The playing is phenomenal. ‘Camia’ is a delight; she does not skimp on the romantic gestures and sounds. It is full of heightened feelings and lovely swells. The playing is very consistent, and I commend Pinkas for researching and assembling this delightful album.”
Kang, American Record Guide [January/February 2020]
"In addition to being a superb pianist with a big sound, Pinkas has a natural feel for the Latin-tinged music of Manila, aided perhaps by her having been born in that rich melting pot known as Israel... To a Camia demonstrates that music in Manila had very much its own world, blending indigenous, colonial, and European influences into an art form that is as expressive as it seems natural... The fine recorded sound hails from the excellent Fraser Studio at WGBH in Boston... The waltzes and habaneras on this CD insinuate that women in Manila’s golden age were much more beautiful than Kylie Jenner. I guess I won’t become a billionaire writing about To a Camia, but I hope you find it as beguiling as I do. Highly recommended."
Dave Saemann, Fanfare [July/August 2019]
"[Pinkas] plays all of this music with heart, nobility, color, and taste... The booklet contains superb and informative annotations with nifty reproductions of original sheet music covers. A worthwhile project, all told."
"9 / 8" Jed Distler, Classics Today [July 2019]
"Sally Pinkas plays with wonderful skill, lightness and sensitivity, showing a profound understanding of this music that deserves to be much better known."
John Pitt, New Classics [June 2019]
“Pinkas is a strong and sensitive pianist with gorgeous tones... A few years ago, while performing during a symposium in Manila, she discovered the compositions from the colonial period and decided to record some of them. The result is To a Camia, where it is revealed that Pinkas has an innate affinity with the unique mix of Latin and Asian influences inherent in Filipino works during the Spanish era. She made every cut so beautiful and affecting... the album makes for enjoyable listening.”
Baby A. Gil, The Philippine Star [May 2019]
PROGRAM NOTESThis collection of exquisite Filipino piano works contains salon music from both the Spanish and the American colonial eras. They are grouped by genres, representing structural and social commonalities. We hear nostalgic Hispanic echoes in the valses and habaneras (or danzas, as they are referred to in the Philippines), patriotic pride in the civic works (albeit one, which is modeled after an American two-step), multi-hued emotion in the romantic character sketches, and elegant literary waxing in the verse-inspired works created during the “period of emergence” of Filipino literature. These pieces resound in a musical continuum vital to the narrative of the nation’s history.
This musical journey begun with an invitation by my Dartmouth colleague, Dr. William Summers, and Dr. Walter Clark of the University of California at Riverside to perform in a Symposium they co-chaired and presented at their respective institutions. Entitled Encuentro Filipino 2008, Rediscovering a Hispanic Nation: The Fine and Performing Arts in the Philippine Islands before the Invasion of 1898, the event brought together scholars from the Philippines and the United States. The musical program I performed was assembled by Dr. Elena Rivera Mirano, Dr. Maria Alexandra Ińigo Chua and Professor Maria Patricia Brillantes Silvestre, who, in 2015, hosted me in the Philippines. Through their generosity, I was introduced to the rich musical culture of their city, and new music was added to the growing collection. I would not have ventured into this realm without their guidance, and I am greatly indebted to them. Music, friendship and art have converged, illuminating a bygone metropolis! Sally Pinkas [December 2018]
Since her London debut at Wigmore Hall, Israeli-born pianist Sally Pinkas has been heard as soloist and chamber musician throughout the world. She has appeared with the Boston Pops, Aspen Philharmonia and New York City’s Jupiter Symphony, and at the festivals of Marlboro, Tanglewood, Aspen and Rockport. International festival appearances include Kfar Blum in Israel, Officina Scotese in Italy and Masters de Pontlevoy in France. Committed to working with young artists, she has presented Master classes at Harvard University, Oxford University, Conservatorio di Musica Santa Cecilia in Rome, China Conservatory in Xian and Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory. Praised for her radiant tone and driving energy, Pinkas commands a wide range of repertoire. In 2015, she made her debut in the Philippines, performing rarely heard Filipino salon music for the Centennial of the University of the Philippines. With her duo partner and husband, pianist Evan Hirsch, she has toured widely, and has premiered and recorded works by Rochberg, Pinkham, Peter Child, Kui Dong and Thomas Oboe Lee. Pinkas is also a member of Ensemble Schumann and collaborates frequently with the Adaskin String Trio. An active recording artist, Pinkas has an extensive discography that includes works by Schumann, Debussy, Rochberg, Perez-Velazquez and Wolff, on the MSR, Centaur, Naxos, Albany and Mode labels. Long drawn to the music of Gabriel Fauré, she has released two acclaimed albums of his music, earning her the title “A Fauré Master” (Classics Today). Pinkas holds performance degrees from Indiana University and the New England Conservatory of Music, and a Ph.D. in composition from Brandeis University. Her principal teachers of piano were Russell Sherman, George Sebok, Luise Vosgerchian and Genia Bar-Niv; of composition was Sergiu Natra; and in chamber music was Robert Koff. Pinkas is currently Pianist-in-Residence at the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College and Professor of Music in Dartmouth’s Music Department.
[ www.sallypinkas.org ]
Antonio Molina (1894-1980)
MAMER (Cradle Song) (1960)
MALIKMATA (Transfiguration) (1939)
DANZAS FILIPINAS (HABANERAS)
Dolores Paterno (1854-1881)
LA SAMPAGUITA (1879)
Julio Nakpil (1867-1960)
RECUERDOS DE CAPIZ (1891)
Diego Perez (fl. 1870s)
PORQUE LLORABAS? (1886)
Francisco Buencamino Sr. (1883-1952)
HARANA (Serenade) (1945)
Juan de Sahagun Hernandez (1882-1945)
Francisco Buencamino Sr.
Ignacio Massaguer (1846-1906) | (trans. Buencamino)
LA BELLA FILIPINA (c.1870s)
Francisco Buencamino Sr.
Francisco Santiago (1889-1947)
NOCTURNE IN E-FLAT MINOR (1922)
Nicanor Abelardo (1893-1934)
NOCTURNE IN C-SHARP MINOR (1921)
VIOLETA (Vals facil) (c.1870s)
Marcelo Adonay (1848-1928)
LA JULITA (Pequeña walz lento) (c.1920s)
Francisco Buencamino Sr.
GRATITUD (Valse caprice)
Ramón Valdes y Pica (1895-1960)
Francisco Buencamino Sr.
LA MARIETA (c.1920s)
IN THE ORIENT (Valsette in F major) (1952)
PURITA (Two-step) (1908)