Maria Garzon at the Spanish Academy in Rome.
Many years ago Carla Bazzini,the agent of Paul Tortelier and Gyorgy Sandor spoke to me about a remarkable new recording of the original piano version of the Enigma Variations by Elgar together with his Concert Allegro and some other smaller pieces.
It was recorded by the young spanish pianist Maria Garzon.
Just recently I was reading an article in All about Piano
and was again reminded of this name.
She had taken part apparently in the surprise 60th birthday concert for Noretta Conci-Leech to consolidate all her work in helping young musicians at the start of their careers.
Seven grand pianos on the stage of a notable City Institution with Leslie Howard and Andrew Wilde at the helm with other well known musicians and students of Norettas including Maria Garzon.
This had been the official recognition of the Keyboard Charitable Trust organised as a surprise birthday gift from her husband John Leech.
So I was doubly surprised and delighted when I was rung up by a Maria Garzon who having got my number from her ex teacher and now great friendNoretta Conci-Leech , wondered if I could help her with a concert she had been invited to give at the Spanish Academy in Rome?
She had been invited to give a recital as a homage to her friend and composer colleague Alejandro Yague who had passed away last year.
A former Prix de Rome and thus resident at the Academy in 1976-78.
A composer and student of Goffredo Petrassi and assistant to Stockhausen both of whom I knew well from their performances in the theatre just a stones throw from the Spanish Academy.
On the programme of all Spanish music was the difficult Fandango by Soler which she was playing with the score and she needed someone she could trust to turn pages for her.
Although the authenticity of this piece is somewhat in doubt it is generally considered to be one of the major keyboard works of Padre Antonio Soler.
The concert opened with two keyboard sonatas in G major and F sharp major and closed with the Fandango.
Introduced by the pianist it included Halley by Yague dedicated to her as well as works by Albeniz,Granados and her friend Joaquin Rodrigo.
An informal concert for friends of the Academy.After a very warm appreciation of not only fine playing but her very informative introduction we were treated to two encores of the De Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance and a charming little piece that had been one of her first pieces learnt as a child. It was not only a great pleasure to meet Maria Garzon but also to be able to be invited to her Music Society in West Hampstead delighted in her turn to help the next generation to be heard as Noretta had done for her all those years ago.
And what a wonder this Spanish Academy is .
Situated in the Gianicolo ,just by the famous Fontanone the overlooks the whole of Rome.
The American Academy in the Medici Palace is just next door and boasts Liszt’s piano.
But here in S.Pietro in Montorio where the Academy is based in the famous Tempietto of Bramante and what a wonder it is.