Dancing in Latin America expresses Awilda Villarini's love and admiration for Latin American music and culture. As part of her heritage, Ms. Villarini performs this music with passion and poetry. The complex rhythms and syncopations are second nature to her. At times, it sounds like two pianists interpreting the difficult technical passages. In the lyrical passages, the piano sings with a beautiful warm sound. It is the work of a virtuoso and a romantic pianist who understands and feels this music.
ABOUT THE MUSIC
This recording includes five tangos by Piazzolla, two of the popular Afro-Cuban Dances by Lecuona and a collage of Puerto Rican Danzas by Morel Campos, Mislán, Pedreira and Otero. As a bonus track, she includes a preview of the repertoire to be included in the second volume, the Bomba from her Suite Portoricinses.
ABOUT AWILDA VILLARINI
Following the tradition of pianists - composers such as Rachmaninoff and Lecuona, Awilda Villarini has excelled both as concert pianist and composer.
As a concert pianist, she has mastered the traditional piano repertoire and has received rave reviews from major newspapers such as The London Times, Zürcher Nachrichten, Washington Post, and The New York Times.
Villarini has performed in some of Europe's most prestigious venues: Salle Gaveau in Paris, Wigmore Hall in London, Kammermusiksaal in Zurich, Brahms Saal in Vienna, among others. In the United States, she has performed at Carnegie Hall, Abraham Goodman House, The Organization of American States as well as colleges and universities throughout the States.
The late music critic Harold Schöenberg said about her playing: "I have heard Liszt's Transcendental Etude in F minor by hundreds of young pianists in different piano competitions. Ms. Villarini's technique and interpretation proved to be superior to all of them. She is an exciting romantic pianist."
As a composer, she has written works for piano, voice and piano, chorus, chamber music, theater and orchestra.
She has received very enthusiastic reviews and received commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, Louis Vogelstein Foundation, Música Para Instituciones, and The Institute of Culture in Puerto Rico.
After the premiere of her Symphonic Poem The Legend of the Indian, Sylvia Lamoutte from El Nuevo Día wrote: " The Legend of the Indian proved that Villarini has imagination, knows how to create a musical ambience, can capture the listener's fantasy, handles well the orchestra's texture with interesting dynamic contrasts and balance between the different sections of the orchestra."
REVIEWS AS A PIANIST
"An exceptionally well-schooled artist with dependable fingers and an assertive style."
New York Times - Donal Henahan
"Bold, romantic style of playing."
"Awilda Villarini regaled her audience with doubled barreled power. She is a pianist of considerable vigor."
"Ms. Villarini is a talented, intelligent, technically versatile and also physically robust musician."
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
"She played with a beautiful sound and with well achieved
Le Nouveau Journal, Paris
"Awilda Villarini performed brilliantly the difficult concerto in A minor by F. Liszt. We enjoyed her great musicianship and poetry, as well as her virtuoso technique."
El Mundo, Puerto Rico
"Her performance of Beethoven's Prometheus variations was bone strong. Quite a Pianist, Quite a composer."
Joanne Hoover Washington Post
"In Chopin's Sonata Op. 35, the artist showed that she is a full-blooded musician."
Hans Jörg Müller Zürichsee-Zeitung
"In the Pictures of an Exhibition by Modest Moussorgsky, the pianist showed her security, imagination and musical
Bartolomé Bover, El Mundo
"Ms. Villarini played Chopin's second sonata with a weight and depth of tone that would banish any lingering doubt of a woman's capacity for sustained power in comparison with a man's. It was sonority fed by youthful ardor."
Eric Warr, London Reviews
"A new star in the musical heavens."
Neue Zürcher Nachtrichten
REVIEWS AS A COMPOSER
"She showed herself to be a highly resourceful composer who handles with ease the high voltage rhythms of her native Puerto Rico. Villarini's composition is a stylish, sophisticated work literary bursting with vitality."
"Ms. Villarini's Suite Portoricinses, based on four Puerto Rican dances, was couched in a moderately acerbic and fairly conservative idiom... striking sparks of real imagination."
New York Times
"Her composition is a multicolored panorama, where each element has a purpose and character."
Maxime Belliard, Le Nouveau Journal
"In her composition, which does not lack temperament, harshness and daredevilness, she often uses dissonances for the sake of expression. She also uses some bitonal elements, which are used with much artistry and sureness of effects. Simple themes were repeated with rhythmic variations, resulting in charming effects."
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
"I was especially impressed by the Two Love Songs by Awilda Villarini on texts by Julia de Burgos and Pablo Neruda. I believe the composer's experience resulted in not hurrying the text, in taking time for the phrases to breathe, in not gambling it all on a couple of special effects. The Villarini's songs are also kind to the singer. Also, for this reason, I think they are completely successful."
Donald Thompson, San Juan Star
"Dialogue, by Awilda Villarini (poem by Pat Parker), is a dramatic song that impacts the listener."
Peter Bloch, New York Impacto
"Her Suite Portoricinses consist of four pieces full of variety which reminds us of Prokofieff."
Neue Zürcher Nachtrichten
"The world premiere of Awilda Villarini's composition for orchestra, Cinquillo Dramático, was an important and successful event. This fascinating, captivating composition was received with great enthusiasm by the audience."