Houston composer’s haunting music

I DON’T WRITE much about music on this blog. However, I’m going to make an exception because I want to share my enthusiasm for the music of a young composer, a native of Colombia who lives and works in Houston.

His name is Christian Restrepo. He came to Texas to do graduate work at Sam Houston State and the University of Houston, where he got his doctorate, but he has stayed here, working as a concert pianist, teacher – and as a composer. He also plays tango music with a group at various places in town.

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Christian Restrepo

 

To describe him as energetic would be an understatement. Watching the way he bounces up enthusiastically to greet a person, the way he grasps an outstretched hand, and the way he expresses himself, orally and on the piano keyboard, brings to mind the Energizer Bunny – but with a charming personality.

I first heard Restrepo at the Alliance Française, where he was playing the piano for an art exhibit opening night reception. I learned that he recently recorded a CD of his music called “Música en Silencio.”

It’s a wonderful CD, full of beautiful, evocative sounds. Most of the 10 works are piano pieces but there is one piece for bass clarinet solo and another for piano and saxophone.

His Sonatina en Tres Movimentos starts with a movement that offers strong playful hints of Gershwin’s “American in Paris.” The last movement is a rhapsody based on Beethoven’s Für Elise. Sandwiched in between is a movement that reminds me of Chopin’s sonatas. All of them, however, quickly move to establish their independence and the result is a piece that works wonderfully as one.

Other tracks, Poema Nocturno for Alto Saxophone and Piano and Habanera Triste, in particularcome across as enchanting, mysterious pieces with heavy jazz and blues influences.

Taken as a whole, Restrepo’s CD is a beautiful production, filled with hauntingly beautiful sounds.

IF YOU’RE interested in getting this CD, you can email Restrepo directly at christianliszt@gmail.com.

 

 

About juanzqui7

Former Texas reporter, columnist and editorial writer.
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