La Ribera Del Pisuerga
Reviewed by Donovan Johnson
Oscar Pascasio is a pianist and composer originally from Aguilar De Campoo, Spain. After reviewing his new album for inclusion in the Enlightened Piano Radio roster, we knew that we had a gem on our hands. Oscar is a one of a kind artist, and has a unique style in his playing that is both mechanically accurate and incredibly creative. This album in particular brings Oscar’s many talents into the limelight, showing them off in a humble and romantic fashion.
“La Ribera Del Pisuerga” is a recording that brings to mind a feeling of emptiness much of the time. Many of the tracks have an almost “lonely” quality to them, despite the fact that most of them are not solo piano. Feelings of solitude, reflection, isolation and independence can all be found here, though none of the music is “brooding” in nature. Oscar has a way of bringing the listener to that place where they alone are dwelling, without interjecting any of the negative emotions or pretentious sadnesses which seem to find their way to so many of todays recordings. In this way, Oscar has found a uniqeness to his approach which is truly refreshing and inspiring, and simultaneously engaging to the listener. Introverted people will have found a gold mine here.
My three favorite pieces to listen to are tracks one, six, and ten. Track one, the title track on the album (La Ribera Del Pisuerga), is a piece which speaks straight to the heart. A sweet, simple melody weaves it’s way throughout the piece, played masterfully by violinist Gorka. The piece takes one on a journey of the banks of the Pisuerga River in northern Spain, beginning with the sounds of naturally running water. It’s easy to imagine yourself strolling along the beautiful Spanish countryside in on a warm day in the springtime. As the piano and the violin work together to bring the piece to life, images blossom like the flowers and the green of a new day.
Track Six is titled “The First Time,” and sounds reminiscent to an Irish ballad. The construction of the melody performed once again on the violin, coupled with the piano harmonies, create a piece bursting with nostalgia and the memories of days gone by. Oscar is really able to convey the spirit of love here, not only with his incredibly precise technical skill but also with his heart. Pieces such as these are not created without genuine emotion and experience to bring them to life. The final notes provoke a sense of longing, and reflective satisfaction at the rich experiences our lives have to offer.
“Vals En Turqueta” may be an unusual choice for a favorite, but I’m a sucker for a good waltz, and this really is a good one. The tempo is perfect here, very danceable. The melody is very, very strong and the chord progressions are pleasantly unpredictable, thought classic in their design. The composition has a very old world quality to it, and one can almost see themselves in eighteenth century Europe at a royal celebratory dance. Perhaps the sweetest of the tracks on this album, “Vals En Turqueta” takes the listsener a couple of centuries back in time, to a place where life was much simpler and the pleasures of our world were most genuine and sincere.
“La Ribera Del Pisuerga” is a recording that will satisfy those who are able to appreciate old European composition and artistry. Depending on one’s mindset, both relaxation and engaged creative listening can be found here, and certainly Oscar’s performances are worthy of the five stars that I award this piece of art. If you’re a fan of modern piano compositions, or neo-classical compositions, you’ll definitely want to check out this recording. Highly recommended.
You can find out more about Oscar by visiting his website at: www.oscarpascasio.com
Reviewed by Judson Hurd
The album “Sensaciones” is the latest album by Oscar Pascasio. Hearing the album is a very tranquil experience with touches of strings with piano and nature sounds. The arrangements for strings are simple but work very well to complement the romantic and strong melodies from the piano. This album would be great for background music for a romantic event, reading, or even just relaxing on a rainy day.
It begins with the title track “Sensaciones” and is probably one of my favorite tracks on the album. It is a gentle, simple melody that is joined by strings after the introduction. The melody then goes to a minor theme and then resolves back to the main, uplifting major theme. The way the piece is constructed with the perfect arrangement of strings and simplicity makes it perfect listening for me on a rainy day.
The next track that I really enjoyed was “Estoy Aqui” which means “I’m Here”. The track starts with soothing arpeggios and then the theme begins. The melody is simple but complements the chords nicely. The second theme sings and adds more energy to the piece. It continues to flow and builds to a powerful ending for the finish.
One piece that really stood out to me was “Gotas de Lluvia” (Drops of Rain) and I love what Oscar does with this composition. It begins with relaxing and gentle rainstorm sounds and goes into the first theme. The piece is in a minor key and has subtle strings underneath the melody. A solo violin comes in and doubles on the melody creating a beautiful romantic sound. The arrangements are subtle and create beautiful harmonies for the song. It’s easy to be transported to a quaint, small, cottage in the countryside during a gentle rainstorm.
It was a pleasure to review this wonderful album by Oscar Pascasio. The tracks are carefully arranged and written to bring romantic moods and nostalgia. I highly recommend this album to anyone that enjoys beautiful music for the background during their day.