Despite my great interest in the composition of pedagogical music, as a result of my collaboration, between 1992 and 2000, as Technical Advisor to the Department of Music and Performing Arts of the Ministry of Education for the regulatory development of Music teaching within the framework of the LOGSE (Law of General Organization of the Educational System), and having composed a large number of original pieces and arrangements for various instrumental groups, I did not write any didactic work dedicated to the piano during that period, since the only one I had written (the Seven pieces) dates from 1987, thus being prior to my time as a teaching advisor.
Perhaps for this reason, at the beginning of 2011 I began the composition of a series of piano studies whose technical difficulty would allow them to be worked on during the different courses of the Professional Degree of the instrument; that is to say: with a good command of the basic technique of the piano and with a fairly extensive background of the main musical aspects of interpretation, all acquired during the first six years of study.
With the aim of enriching the didactic repertoire of this training period, I began to work on a cycle of studies, assuming the "formal" meaning of the term: an autonomous piece, not too extensive, focused almost exclusively on working on a beforehand proposed difficulty (those of Chopin, saving all distances, are the highest model of the genre), but in which the problem to be solved was not only technical, but also interpretive (work with the dynamics, the agogic, the phrasing, the different sound planes, etc.). The set grew in this way for a couple of months until reaching the number of twelve small pieces of these characteristics, thus acquiring both its definitive form and the title of the collection.
These Twelve Studies were written under the influence of a very special emotional situation, coinciding with the first steps of my relationship with Pilar Sanz, whom I married five years later. And despite the fact that music reaches where words cannot, on this occasion it seemed to me that the sense of each piece lacked a meaning that needed to be expressed in writing. That is why each study is preceded by a short poem, whose objective is none other than to create (or suggest) the appropriate state of mind for its interpretation.
With Pilar, on our wedding day (February 11, 2016)
The titles of each of the Twelve Studies are as follows:
I. Canción de cuna (Cradle song)
II. Crece y mengua (Wax and wane) (2+3+4+5+4+3+2)
III. Cabeceando (Plunging)
IV. Nieve (Snow)
V. Adivinanzas (Riddles)
VI. Carta de (des)amor (Homenaje a Felix Mendelssohn) ([Dis]love letter [Tribute to Felix Mendelssohn])
VII. Perlas y penas (p y f) (Pearls and sorrows [p and f])
IX. Marcha (March)
X. Scherzo para un duende (Scherzo for an elf)
XI. Invención (Invention)
XII. Epílogo (Epilogue)
Cover of the CD "Diálogos concertados", where the recording of the Doce estudios is included (Bassus Ediciones, 2021)
Once completed, the fingering of the Twelve Studies was reviewed by Ana Benavides, a pianist especially interested in the pedagogical repertoire, who in 2021 made a recording of them, along with the Siete pieces and the Lindaraja Prelude (2017). This recording was included in the CD "Diálogos concertados", from the Bassus Ediciones label, together with pedagogical pieces by Manuel Carra, who was my teacher of the Intermediate Piano Degree at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid at the end of the 1970s.
The edition of the Twelve Studies has a cover designed by Paula Villanueva Sanz.
Cover of the edition of the Doce estudios (Designed by Paula Villanueva Sanz)