The American cellist John-Henry Crawford releases his second album today, entitled "CORAZÓN: The Music of Latin America." Released by Orchid Classics, it travels through 140 years' worth of Latin-American music, highlighting works from Argentina, Cuba, Brazil, and Mexico. Composers featured include Leo Brouwer, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Carlos Guastavino, Manuel Ponce, Egberto Gismonti, and Astor Piazzolla.
The disc follows Crawford's first album, "Dialogo", which was also recorded with pianist Victor Santiago Asunción. While that disc focused on more standard cello repertoire (featuring sonatas by Brahms, Ligeti, and Shostakovich), on "CORAZÓN" Crawford has clearly become at home with Latin-American repertoire. Alongside the cello-piano works, he also explores music for cello and guitar with the South Korean guitarist Jiji.
"In the summer of 2019, I traveled to Mexico to compete in the IX International Carlos Prieto Cello Competition, and little did I know, the trip would transform my life musically," writes Crawford of the inspiration behind the album.
"At the time I was very well acquainted with Latin American music, but after having the great fortune of winning first prize and returning to Mexico multiple times for performances, I fell in love with the music of Latin America, the culture, the history, and the Spanish language. As the [album's] title suggests, this music pulls at the heartstrings and exudes romance and passion."
You can pre-order "CORAZÓN" in your medium of choice here.
Below you can hear an exclusive recording of Crawford and pianist Victor Santiago Asunción performing Carlos Antonio Guastavino's Pampamapa.