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Thomas Tirino
- Classical and Cultural

Music Performance Reviews

By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower

Thomas Tirino

The Latin Lover
The Spanish Institute
684 Park Avenue at 68th Street

May 1, 2002

Thomas Tirino on Piano
Thomas Tirino on Piano
Photo by Roberta Zlokower

Thomas Tirino is a leading authority of Ernesto Lecuona, a Cuban composer. Mr. Tirino has researched Lecuona's manuscripts and archives for many years to create a repertoire of his works for his own concerts. In 1995, Mr. Tirino participated in the Lecuona Festival in Havana, a televised performance. He has recorded a five CD series of the complete piano works of Lecuona on BIS label and has presented concerts in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Minsk, Tokyo, and Lincoln Center. Mr. Tirino is now recording music of Latin America and Spain. (Spanish Institute Notes).

The Program follows: Zambra Gitana, Ante El Escorial (Lecuona), Andaluza (de Falla), Quéjas, ó la Maja y el Ruiseñor (Granados), Danza Ibérica (Nín), Brejeiro, Vem Cá, Branquinha (Nazareth), Suite Andalucia, Córdoba, Andaluza, Alhambra, Gitanerías, Guadalquivír, and Malagueña (Lecuona).

Thomas Tirino played evocatively and romantically, with spring-like marching melodies, toward the beginning of the program, in a clean, crisp, and polished manner. He evoked the music that matched the elegant tapestries, crystal chandeliers, and the classically formed fireplace of the sumptuous Spanish Institute concert room. One could enjoy the azaleas in bloom, outside the large window, that adorn Park Avenue, while listening to and immersing in this most melodic and, at times, dynamic performance. The first Lecuona piece was thematic, as if a love story was evolving in our midst. The Andaluza exuded a strong Spanish influence with endless notes and everlasting moods. The Granados piece sounded like a ballet, with long, swirling, chiffony gowns, with perhaps the sea as a backdrop. Tirino highlighted the strong contrasts with several surprises.

Danza Ibérica was Flamenco-inspired, in the Pilar Rioja style. Tirino played this piece with closed eyes, swooning to the melody, as if envisioning, within his mind, an untamed Flamenco performance that inspired his musicality. Nazareth's music also seemed to evoke thoughts of ballet, with staccato, skipping rhythms that were reminiscent of NYC Ballet's Mercurial Manoeuvres. Lecuona's music seemed Tango- and Samba-inspired, with Argentinean and Brazilian undertones. These pure melodies could easily have been vocalized. Several encores followed.

Thomas Tirino has a tender, oft tenacious, mastery of his keyboard. His concerts and CD's would be worth pursuing. I also recommend The Spanish Institute's special events and concerts, as this is a magnificent setting for a lovely spring evening, or for any season, for that matter. The ambiance of the concert room, as well as the wine reception on the terrace, was wonderful.

Dr. Henri Delbeau and Thomas Tirino
Dr. Henri Delbeau and Thomas Tirino
Photo by Roberta Zlokower - Click picture for Review, Dr. Henri Delbeau at Faust Harrison Studio

Dr. Henri Delbeau and Guests
Photo by Roberta Zlokower

Thomas Tirino and Guests
Thomas Tirino and Guests
Photo by Roberta Zlokower

Henri and Roberta
Henri and Roberta
Photo by Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at