Piano Music from Latin America by Martin Soderberg
I am constantly baffled that, to this day, the rich variety of piano repertoire from all over Latin America continues to be virtually unknown to professional pianists, piano teachers, piano students and audiences everywhere.
Compared to the hundreds and thousands of recordings that are readily available of most European composers, one can, at most, find only a handful of recordings of piano works by some composers from Latin America. I decided to do something about this.
As a teacher, I have made it a habit to assign rare and unique compositions from Latin America to my students. To their surprise, those that perform this repertoire in exams, auditions, competitions, for example, do really well. This is due to the simple fact that jurors and examiners usually find this repertoire "refreshing" and "interesting" and that translates into higher scores and more positive feedback. The difficulty in finding piano the scores is no longer an excuse not to play this music. If I, a complete beginner when it comes to online searches, can find an abundance of scores, then anybody can.
As a performer and recording artist, I have embarked into a life long recording project, an Anthology of Piano Music from Latin America. I am currently on Volume IV of many more volumes to come. After it is all done, years from now, this project may very well turn out to be the largest, most comprehensive, all inclusive collection of piano works from this continent ever recorded.
I will count as an advantage the fact that as a European born pianist I may, in fact, succeed in delivering this comprehensive, all inclusive approach to the "discovery" of another continent's repertoire, if only because I have no roots to any particular country. Being a perfect OUTSIDER, I am prone to give equal attention to all countries and composers without favoring one over another, or one region (say, the Caribbean, over another, South America). Also, not being influenced by any number of elements from specific countries can translate into a more objective interpretative approach.
Regardless of the outcome of this project, I will be content to have contributed my two cents to the better knowledge and use of this repertoire, not only by piano students, but by professional pianists as well. Together we may finally do justice to this repertoire, to hundreds of fine composers that deserve their rightful place in history, not because of where they were born, but because of their artistic contribution for the enjoyment of thousands, which is why we become pianists in the first place.
Follow my musical journey through Latin America on https://www.facebook.com/LatinAmericanPianoMusic