Double bassist Luis Cabrera plays with many well-known European orchestras and has been with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra since 2006. He studied in Madrid and in London at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with Rinat Ibragimov, a teacher who has had a profound influence on him. To him Cabrera dedicates his debut album Canto Interno (The Song Within). This album was recorded at the beautiful Grote Zaal (Big Hall) of de Doelen in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Canto Interno, or The Song Within, is the nesting place of the elements necessary for the expressive, melodic, and timbral elaboration of one’s musical construction. It is where, before the sound becomes real or audible, it is developed consciously in the innermost depths of our being. It is the space where we can hear and feel music in its purest state.
According to Elian Ortiz: “These elements are at first basic parameters, such as rhythm, articulation, and intonation, which together, build the framework for the interpretive elaboration of any musical material. On top of these we then add expression and colors to give life and feeling to the musical dialogue.”
Luis Cabrera says “Rinat always said that when the music and the sound are inside your head, your hands find a way to make it happen through the instrument. This is to me the inner voice, finding its way through the outer voice of our instrument, the double bass. Canto Interno is the way music was taught to me, and how I try to transmit it when I play or when I teach – the interiorization of the sound and the lines of the music before sharing it with others.”
Luis Cabrera – Double Bass
Sylvia Huang – Violin
Justyna Maj – Piano
Total time: 01:17:46
Ben van Leliveld
|Analog to Digital Converters||
Hapi & Anubis, Merging Technologies
Furutech custom microphone cables, Furutech custom balanced interlinks, Furutech custom power cables, Furutech custom loudspeaker cables
Grimm Audio CC2 at DXD (352.8kHz)
DPA Microphones DPA d:dicate 4006A & DPA d:dicate 4015A
JCAT Optimo 3 Duo linear power supply, JCAT NET Card XE, JCAT M12 Switch Gold, Furutech e-TP609E NCF, Furutech NCF Boosters, R.T.F.S. acoustics modules
KEF Blade Two loudspeakers, KEF LS50 loudspeakers, Hegel H30 amplifiers, Sennheiser HD800S headphones
|Original Recording Format|
Justyna Maj plays on a Steinway Model D-274 concert grand piano
Furutech Daytona 303E & CAD Ground Control GC1
This recording was made at De Doelen, Grote Zaal in Rotterdam, The Netherlands on November 22-23, 2020 and January 11-12, 2021
|Release Date||June 18, 2021|
We are not so spoiled with the double bass as a purely solo instrument, which has everything to do with its sound character and maneuverability. Even the greatest virtuoso, and that applies just as much to Rick Stotijn (on Channel Classics) for example, as to Luis Cabrera.
On this new album, Cabrera is faced with enormous obstacles in compositions in which the virtuoso aspect plays a dominant but also lyrical role. The latter is less obvious, but also about melodiousness, the cantabile properties of the double bass, the possibilities are certainly not for boasting.
A composer who writes specifically for the double bass obviously knows the ropes in this area. In most cases he played the instrument himself, as a traveling virtuoso or otherwise as an orchestra member. The first was for Giovanni Bottesini (1821-1889), the second for Serge Koussevitzky (1874-1951), who has become better known as chief conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Both guarantee true compositional masterpieces (in the best sense of the word), as shown by Bottesini’s Introduzione e Variazioni sul ‘Carnevale di Venezia’ and the Grand Duo Concertante (originally written for two double basses ‘dueling’ with each other), but Koussevitzky’s four miniatures also belong to the standard repertoire of the double bass player (they also sometimes want to be used in auditions).
For Schumann’s three Fantasiestücke the musical cards are quite different. They were originally conceived for (the lilting!) clarinet and piano, with the composer adding that they could also be performed on viola or cello. The lilting character of the opening movement (‘Zart und mit Ausdruck’) leaves no room for misunderstanding, but the following two spicy, sparkling movements (‘Lebhaft, leicht’ and ‘Rasch und mit Feuer’) are also alternative instruments excellently suited. For the double bass, however, this is less obvious, although it must be said that in the hands of a true virtuoso like Luis Cabrera in this case there is also a lot to enjoy. Let me put it this way: I’m quite ambivalent about it.
The certainly fascinating program is concluded with the four-part Violin Sonata by César Franck, which needs no further introduction: it is one of the standard works in this field, performed just as brilliantly as the other pieces. The French esprit is just as characteristic as the expressive sophistication, in which the two partners give each other all the space they need to make the most of the fine-grained sound palette.
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