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Album Review: Tras los cristales
Jose Bonet
Cover image of the album Tras los cristales by Jose Bonet
Tras los cristales
Jose Bonet
2006 / Jose Bonet
21 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
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!
December 29, 2009
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