3rd December 2012
Feelinks is the very impressive debut of Spanish composer/pianist J.M. Quintana Camara. Jose Manuel started playing the piano by ear at the age of six and began composing at the age of 12. At 9, he began his music studies at the conservatory “Ignacio Morales Nieva,” and then went to the conservatory “Marcos Redondo.” In 2004, he earned his professional degree in music while studying for his Masters degree in Computer Science. Most of Quintana Camara’s original compositions are solo piano, but he also composes electronic and orchestral music as well as accepting commissions to compose music for television, documentaries, video-games, classical dance, and commercials. His music is exceptionally expressive, beautifully played, and very evocative. Inspired by life experiences, travels, and improvisation, Quintana Camara’s music strongly reflects his classical training yet is very contemporary and accessible. The combination of a thorough music education with artistic creativity and emotional depth allows Quintana Camara to do whatever he chooses at the piano, and the results are gorgeous!
Feelinks begins with “Melancholic November,” a piece very much in the classical tradition of perhaps Chopin and Mendelssohn. Sometimes wistful and reflective and sometimes intense and fiery, it’s a great introduction to Quintana Camara. I absolutely love “Obsession,” a lively piece overflowing with passion. Parts of this piece are almost dancing in the upper part of the piano, but not with carefree abandon. Tinged with mystery throughout, other themes are much darker and more explosive. A great piece! “Soul Whisperings” has the freedom of an improvisation - very flowing and from the heart yet cohesive as a whole. “From the Top of the Cliff” is the first single Quintana Camara published and also has the feeling of improvisation. A series of themes flow from one to the next to create a lovely tapestry of sound. “Hope on the Horizon” is very warm and cautiously optimistic. The gently rolling left hand is a graceful accompaniment to the bolder right. “With Tenderness and Love” is another favorite. Very spare yet very poignant, it’s a beautiful example of “less is more.” “Praça do Comercio” is a lively piece in a very classical style. Colorful and upbeat, it’s a very interesting contrast to the more reflective pieces. The album closes with a second version of “Melancholic November,” this time for piano and cello. I like the solo piano version better, but it’s a nice reprise.
J.M. Quintana Camara is off to a very promising start with Feelinks. Sheet music is also available, and there is a very beautiful video on his site with a sample of each of the pieces accompanied with photographic images. http://www.jmquintanacamara.com. Downloads of the recording are also available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!
Kathy Parsons from MainlyPiano.com 11/29/12