In December 1986, the music magazine "Scherzo" celebrated the first anniversary of its existence. To celebrate this event, the famous pianist Cristina Bruno offered a concert that included the premiere of two works composed for the occasion: a Scherzo by the Spanish composer Eduardo Rincón, and the present piece, entitled -understandable coincidence- with the same name.
This concert also meant the public reappearance of Cristina Bruno, who had been away from concert activity until then due to a long recovery after a traffic accident. Aware of her enormous technical and musical faculties, she wanted to make a work that fit her temperament and, at the same time, had a close relationship with the anniversaries that motivated the concert.
Cristina Bruno (photo taken in 1975)
The result of all this was this Scherzo, in which the piano virtuosity is joined by a clear reference to the classical form (three sections, the last being a recapitulation of the first), as well as to certain stylistic peculiarities of the romantic scherzo and, more specifically, Chopinian: ternary meter, agitated designs in the extreme sections, and a central "trio" of calmer character and a dramatic point. The fondness towards that past atmosphere wants to be so evident that, at times, the music seems to want to escape from its atonal world, through a small "wink" to a G major as bright as fleeting.
The Scherzo was composed in October 1986, and is dedicated to Cristina Bruno, who was responsible for the premiere at the Fernando de Rojas Hall of the Madrid Fine Arts Circle, on December 23 of the same year.
The score was published in 1989 by Real Musical. A first recording was published in 1987 on an LP released by the Etnos label, which included the live recording of Cristina Bruno's concert. Later it was part of a CD performed by María Luz Rivera, published in 1998 on the Musigrama label.
Cover by Daniel Gil for the commemorative CD of the 1st anniversay of the magazine Scherzo (Etnos, 1987)
Cover of the CD of María Luz Rivera (Musigrama, 1998)
In 1998, the pianist Chiun-Fan Chang, who was my pupil at Madrid Conservatory, dedicated her Doctoral Thesis at the University of Cinicinatti to an exhaustive analysis of the Scherzo and the Sonata for piano, under the title The fusion of the traditional and the contemporary: The survival of traditional form within a modern musical language in the piano music by José Luis Turina.
Cristina Bruno for "Scherzo", with two Spanish premieres
By Antonio Fernández-Cid
(Review published in the newspaper ABC. Madrid, december 26, 1986)
Model celebration. "Scherzo" commemorates its first year of brilliant musical services, with a program of high quality and perfect sense by a classy Spanish performer, which we recover after a prolonged silence. With two capital works in the history of the keyboard and two absolute premieres of our musicians, in the presence of their authors and that adopt the same title as the center of the celebration magazine. With the purpose of publishing the versions we heard and an exemplary response from the public: in the crowd, at an inauspicious time and day, the silence, the applause... and the endurance of a temperature, a terrible handicap for the pianist, much less bonanzable than the artistic one.
Yes; with the Fine Arts Circle full, Cristina Bruno ratified the truth of an unusual class. She is an artist that has nothing to do with the interpreter, even with the good routine performer. She creates music, serves it with a sensitive personality, a natural distinction, reflected in sound and phrasing, and an exquisite and refined technique, without prejudice to circumstantial specks [...] that prevent mechanistic realizations if more perfect, perhaps of less artistic carats.
The idea is splendid: to commission two composers of today, although from different generations, to write two works, titled precisely like the magazine and the contrasting musical form: Scherzo. That of José Luis Turina -1952- is a great success. Pianistic work, which uses the keyboard in its entirety and does so with consistent virtuosity. It may be that in the adopted ABA formula the central period is a bit disproportionate with respect to the extremes, but the whole is happy and the page deserves to persist in the repertoire. [...] The reproduction of Cristina Bruno, who played both premieres from memory, admirable. And the applause of the public for the composer, performer and organizers, quite justified.
Susana Marín, a perspective program
By Martín Codax
(Review published in the newspaper La Provincia. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, March 22, 1988)
With a piano recital by Susana Marín, the Contemporary Music Week concluded last Saturday. Its program, less defined in forms and styles than the previous five, proposed an acceptable perspective of twentieth-century pianism.
[...] The transfiguration of Turina's "Scherzo"
And the program ended with a Spanish piece premiered last year: the Scherzo by José Luis Turina, a very elaborate transfiguration of the Chopinian mold, whose references he exalts in a design of splendid piano substance and with a rigorously current sense of form and sonorities. "Neoromanticism" in the last Spanish hour?
In any case, an interesting game of tangencies that does not shy away from "melodic" speculation in the central "trio" nor does it renounce in terms of impulse -repressed or open, ironic or textual- the decorative offer that is the eternal temptation of the piano.
Pianist Susana Marín
By Elvia G. Sabina
(Review published in Diario de Avisos. Santa Cruz de la Palma, March 23, 1988)
As part of the series of contemporary music concerts held in the auditorium of the Casa de Cultura, a recital was given on Friday 18 by the young pianist Susana Marín.
The program made up of various authors has been the most "classic" of those that have been made and we could say, without a doubt, the most affordable.
The last work performed was the Scherzo by José Luis Turina, a magnificent work that, as its name indicates (scherzo = game), is playful and brilliant; it moves from one end of the keyboard range to the other, full of colorful and powerful chords, groups of notes and glissandos. In pieces we can follow the melody, but it is not the most important thing, the figurations, the dynamics and the rhythm will be more remarkable.