Judith Jáuregui


Michal Novak

Judith Jáuregui

Orchestra Sinfónica
de Castilla y León

Kaspar Zehnder

“Judith Jáuregui is an
imaginative artist and a
noticeably individualistic
performer who has impressed
her European audience
with her maturity
of expression.”

International Piano


Edvard Grieg • Manuel de Falla

Homeland is more than just a place of birth; the term connotes a deep emotional bond between an individual and their country, their culture, and their nature. It was when composers Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) and Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) began to explore the depths of their cultural homelands that they found the compositional languages for which they are famous today. Judith Jáuregui, one of the most renown Spanish pianists of our time, united two of the greatest works of both composers on her seventh album, titled Homeland. Together with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León and conductor Kaspar Zehnder, she recorded Grieg’s Piano Concerto Opus 16 and de Falla’s Noches en los Jardines de España.

“Edvard Grieg and Manuel de Falla are two names which have become engraved in music history as noble spirits – true to themselves in their search for a language of their own that is built on the love for the soul of their people. They brought forth two brilliant universes, shaped by originality and authenticity, a true mirror image of their connection to their homeland“ – Judith Jáuregui came to this realization through her intense work on the two pieces. She had previously performed the works during live concerts with different orchestras, providing a trove of experiences that resonate into the new recording presented on this CD.

Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concert in A minor has become – next to his Peer Gynt Suite – a symbol for literal nordic soundscapes. It was premiered in Copenhagen in 1869 and remains the only piano concert completed by Grieg. Listening to it engages our lively imagination: the piano is immediately in the middle of the dramatic action. Tumbling, falling chord progressions of the first motif can definitely be associated with the mighty waterfalls in the North. In all the following movements, too, the combination of romantic passion and folkloristic elements create an emotional depth full of pictorial power. Musicologically interesting are some stylistic parallels to Robert Schumann’s Piano Concert in A minor. It is no coincidence that Judith Jáuregui focused on Robert and Clara Schumann’s music on her previous CD, published in 2020 and titled Die romantische Seele (The Romantic Soul).

According to Judith Jáuregui, Manuel de Falla’s Noches en los Jardines de España provide “a perfect impressionistic depiction of the Spanish attitude,” in which many flamenco elements as well as elements of the Andalusian landscape come to life. De Falla’s case is similar to Grieg’s: The Spanish composer was likewise socialized through the common standards of the Central European musical world ever since taking up his studies in Madrid. His encounter with the great maestro of Spanish music, Felipe Pedrell, proved to be fateful. Pedrell had already introduced Isaac Albéniz, Enrique Granados, and Joaquín Turina to the new, “homeland-connected” ways. With Manual de Falla, this approach also fell on fertile ground. After meeting Pedrell, Manual de Falla lived in Paris from 1907 until 1914, where he was closely connected with Claude Debussy and Paul Dukas. This too left an impression on Noches, which premiered in 1916 and is a wonderful combination between Spanish passion and French “arome.”

Pianist Judith Jáuregui was born in San Sebastián to a Basque mother and a Mexican-born father who had grown up in France. Her education, among others with renowned pianists like Claudio Martínez Mehner and Vadim Suchanov at the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich, formed her into a multifaceted artist. She has worked with famous orchestras like the Britten Sinfonia, Orchestre National de Lille, Sinfonie Orchester Biel-Solothurn and PFK Prague Philharmonica, as well as with important Spanish orchestras like the Orquesta Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León and the Euskadiko Orchestra. Over the last years, she has received a warm reception on leading stages such as the Auditorio Nacional Madrid, Palau de la Mùsica Barcelona, Flagey in Brussels, Auditorium du Louvre Paris, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, NCPA in Beijing, Teatro Mayor in Bogotá, the Festival de Piano de la Roque de Antheron in France, or the Festival Internacional de Música y Danza in Granada.

In the realm of chamber music, she works with renown ensembles like the Mandelring quartet, Signum quartet, and violinist Soyoung Yoon. Judith Jáuregui‘s discography mirrors her diverse repertoire, including works by Schumann, Chopin, and Debussy, but also by Scriabin, Granados, and Albéniz. Her album Die romantische Seele (The Romantic Soul) with music by Robert and Clara Schumann was nominated for the Opus Klassik Awards and received international recognition.

Kaspar Zehnder heralds from the picturesque Alpine foothills of the Canton of Bern, Switzerland, where he also completed his first education. He furthermore studied conducting and flute in Paris and Siena. Since 2018, he is chief conductor of the Philharmonics Hradec Králové and he led the Sinfonieorchester Biel-Solothurn between 2012 and 2022. He was also the director, from 1999 until 2020, of the Murten Classics Festival and served as musical director at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Berlin. Since 2015, he has been curating the Klangantrisch Festival in his birth town Riggisberg. He regularly goes on chamber music tours with famous artists like Magdalena Kožená and Sir Simon Rattle. Zehnder’s repertoire includes a wide variety of symphonic and vocal works, ranging from the great oratorios by J.S. Bach to contemporary ensemble music. Of special signi-ficance to him are unknown, new, and rediscovered compositions.

The Symphony Orchestra of Castilla y León (OSCyl) is a project by the Castilla y León district of Spain and has established itself, since its founding in 1991, as one of the most respected institutions of Spain’s musical scene. Its headquarters are in the city of Valladolid.

Thierry Fischer became its chief conductor with the 2022/2023 season. The orchestra is very active in the cultural life of the region, especially in all of the provinces of Castilla y León. It continuously strengthens its global reputation through performances in Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, France, India, Oman, Columbia, the Dominican Republic, and the United States (New York Carnegie Hall). During the current 2023/2024 season, OSCyl performed concerts at Santander Festival at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and in the Konserthus in Stavanger. Further highlights include performances at the Teatro Monumental in Madrid, the third participation in the Musika Musica Festival in Bilbao, and their debut at the International Festival for Music and Dance in Granada. OSCyl has commissioned numerous works, the premieres of which were enthusiastically celebrated.