2010 / Jose Bonet
Metropolis is Spanish composer/pianist Jose Bonet’s third solo piano album and contains thirteen original pieces inspired by a variety of memories and emotions from the composer’s life. The music is classically styled and structured, but is distinctively contemporary and accessible. Some of the pieces are light and playful while others are darker and heavier - such is life! In the liner notes, Bonet writes: “When joy or sorrow pervades me, they seem to walk along my body leaving behind a halo of melodies.” He goes on to say that whenever he hears his own music, he is immediately transported back to the experience or emotion, unable to hear just the notes of the music, which makes each piece an intensely personal gift to the world.
Metropolis begins with “Bonanova,” a happy piece with a dancing right hand melody and a rolling broken chord pattern on the left. “Cancion de amor” (“Song of Love”), is passionate yet tender, and very beautiful. “Contento” is one of my favorites. Warm, lively, and uplifting in spirit, it’s amazing how much can be expressed with so few notes. “Desconcierto” (“Bewilderment”) is another favorite. Parts of the piece seem to go in circles in confusion, while others move forward. This piece includes some jazz elements as well as classical, almost Mozartian waltz figures. “Princesa” is the dark and dramatic story of a Spanish princess. The rhythm is fascinating in that it slips a beat every once in awhile, giving the piece a bit of an edge. I’d love to know the real story behind the piece, but my imagination also likes to run with it and fill in its own blanks. “Face” hints at Erik Satie, with its minimalist approach and unexpected discordances. Very beautiful and graceful, but not predictable - fun! “Navegar” is bright and carefree - almost buoyant. “Cuento de Navidad” (“Christmas Store”) is dark and a little scary. Somebody wasn’t enjoying the shopping trip! “Un dia” (“One Day”) takes off at a gallop, expressing unbridled joy and exhilaration - another very amusing piece, and I’ll be it’s fun to play, as well. “Mirall” (“Mirror”) is another favorite. Very dark and mysterious, a couple of passages take on a Baroque style, return to the main theme, and then it ends in the Baroque style. Great stuff!
Metropolis will most likely not appeal to those looking for ear-candy, but those who are willing to really listen for Jose Bonet’s stories and emotional expressions are in for a treat! It is available from www.josebonet.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!
- Kathy Parsons
Entre Ayer Y Hoy
2001 / Jose Bonet
Entre Ayer Y Hoy (Between Yesterday and Today) is Spanish pianist/composer Jose Bonet’s debut CD, released in 2001. The CD consists of thirteen original piano solos that range from bright and spritely to dark and introspective. Bonet’s music has very strong classical roots, yet his approach is contemporary and easily accessible for listeners who might not have a background in classical music. Bonet studied music notation and piano at the Conservatory in Valencia (Spain) and has composed music for television and infomercials. His approach to his music is nicely summarized in the following quote: "I must do a kind of music that is simple, and as beautiful as possible, following the maxim, `Most beauty in a minimum of notes’." Inspired by a feeling, a memory, or a story, Bonet says that he relates to the music as if the notes were words to tell a story. "It is a mirror of my soul, of my eyes, of a fragment of my life.
Entre Ayer Y Hoy begins with “Atrezzo barbaro,” a lively, energetic piece that starts the set with a smile. “Consecuencia” is a bit darker and more serious. The left hand keeps it in motion with rolling broken chords while the right hand plays a simple, mysterious minor key melody. “Barna” is about as joyful and carefree as it can be as it dances all over the piano with a light staccato touch - sunshine set to music! “Notas de Otono” is much more melancholy, but I really like it! I also really like “Que te iba a decir,” an animated, high-spirited piece the overflows with happiness and joy. “Pensando en ellas” is a sweet daydream set to music. Interesting rhythmic changes flow like one thought to the another while in a relaxed state - a fascinating study! “Impresionismo” stays very fluid and seems to follow its own muse. There are no hard edges or defining guidelines, much like an Impressionist painting. The title track closes the set with a reflective and gracefully flowing piece that is just a little sad.
The music on Entre Ayer Y Hoy expresses a wide range of moods and experiences, making it fascinating both musically and emotionally. Jose Bonet is currently composing the music for his third release, and I can’t wait to hear it! Entre Ayer Y Hoy is available from www.josebonet.com, Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes. Recommended!
- Kathy Parsons
“Tras los cristales
2006 / Jose Bonet
Tras los cristales (After the Glasses or After the Crystals) is Spanish pianist/composer Jose Bonet’s second solo piano CD and contains seven original pieces composed in a classical style that is straight-forward and easily accessible. He sums up his approach to his music by saying, “I must do a kind of music that is simple, and as beautiful as possible, following the maxim, ‘Most beauty in a minimum of notes.” Inspired by a feeling, a memory, or a story, Bonet says that he relates to the music as if the notes were words to tell a story. “It is a mirror of my soul, of my eyes, of a fragment of my life.” Bonet studied notation and piano at the Conservatory of Valencia (Spain) and has composed music for TV and for infomercials. He has also performed his music for prominent audiences and events, and is currently composing the music for his third album.
Tras los cristales begins with “Nina,” a song for a young girl. The left hand plays a rolling rhythm that gives the piece a gentle energy and keeps it in motion. The melody is simple, lovely, and heartfelt, conveying joy and innocence. The title song is slower and more introspective. The left hand again plays rolling broken chords while the simple melody alternates between major and minor modes, telling a quiet story that is both happy and melancholy - a favorite. “Jeuves 27” (“Thursday 27”) has a more carefree, moderately Baroque style - fun! “Paris” tugs at the heart with a lonely feeling and a sense of loss - another favorite. I’m not sure what “Bil-Bil” refers to, but this piece is bluesy with an uneven rhythm that gives it an edge. It is too structured to be called “jazz,” but it sounds breezy and like it’s fun to play. “Una mica” (“Small One”) is a short, whimsical little piece that alternates between gloomy and playful with a minimal number of notes. “El Saler” is an elegant piece named for a beautiful beach near Bonet’s hometown of Valencia. Very calm and relaxed, it’s a lovely close to a fascinating CD.
Tras los cristales is a wonderful introduction to the music of Jose Bonet! It is available from www.josebonet.com, Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes. Give it a listen!
- Kathy Parsons
“Spanish-born composer and pianist Jose Bonet, known for his piano works, offers his release Entre Ayer Y Hoy (Between Yesterday and Today). Bonet combines a frolicking nature with a dramatically intense style. His love of the music is evident in each piece. He allows his emotions to emanate from the keys as he plays, his self-expression to flow through the notes he has written.
Atrezzo Barbaro" is his first presentation on this album. It is artfully written and beautifully performed, and finds him adding a soft Spanish flair to his classical style. This becomes his signature sound. "Consecuencia" is a romantic and entrancing selection. You can feel the depth of feeling pour into the song, in which he combines quick movements with spirited keywork.
Isabel" is a gentle and sadly demonstrative musical number. Here we begin to fully realize that this artist allows himself to be exposed through his works. He is unafraid and he holds nothing back. "Que Ti Iba A Decir" is a more lively number. The quick pattern of notes makes for a lively, energizing, happy song.
Oddly enough, although out of my usual comfort zone, I actually enjoyed the repetitious nature of "En Aquel Momento." Entrancing and sensitively laid out, it builds on itself, repeating the notes over and over. Somehow, surprisingly, it does not become boring or mundane. The music is distinctive and does not become tiring; it remains fresh and interesting.
Bonet has a sense of magic and he expresses it through extraordinary music. His joy and his sad moments are all laid out for your entertainment. He wants you to share in his art, and he does his best to envelope you in the charm of his music. He uses the music to express himself but also to recount his Spanish history. He believes music to be the sincerest language; it is a form of realism in which nothing should be hidden from the listener. When asked whether he prefers the joy of live entertainment more than the preciseness of recorded work, he states, "The records [are] planned and studied so that the final result is perfect. The live concerts have a special magic. The tranquility of the study and the passion of the concert." No matter the format, he wants to please his listeners.
Jose' loves the keyboard and the music loves him; it is a creative collaboration. Jose Bonet is unabashed at exposing himself to you in his entirety, and it all comes together on Entre Ayer Y Hoy.
[ To learn more or to purchase this album, visit www.josebonet.com.]
REVIEW BY: Tammy Childs
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/04/2005”
- Tammy Childs
JOSE BONET:"ENTRE AYER Y HOY"This is a precious collection of melodic instrumental pieces played with piano by Jose Bonet. "Entre ayer y hoy" clearly proves that we are dealing with an experienced musician with excellent skills, not only as a performer but also in the creative arena. The record, entirely composed by him, is very near to the kindest side of Classical Music, with New Instrumental Music touches, and almost always full of melodic romanticism. A certain nostalgic air is present in most of the themes, although there are others with merry, festive passages. All the pieces are a clear sample of the talent of the artist. "Notas de Otonio" has a very special emotional warmth. "Isabel" has an incomparable magic. "Atrezzo barbaro" is most remarkable because of its great strength. Jose Bonet is one of those artists that know how to take us into musical landscapes full of feelings. Of an impeccable make, this is a release that will surely be liked by a wide range of listeners.
- Eduardo Fontana