An unlikely encounter
The first time Cristina Delgado heard Pedro Iturralde live was at a concert of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, where he played Glazunov's Concerto for Saxophone and String Orchestra. That day, after much applause, he also played La Pequeña Czarda, his first creation. The budding musician was only 14 years old and, fascinated by what she heard, she asked her mother for a meeting with Pedro Iturralde in person as her only birthday present.
"My mother found him, I don't know how, and on my birthday she gave me a plane ticket to Madrid with a card that said, 'Monday at 4 p.m. Pedro Iturralde is waiting for you at the Real Conservatorio de Madrid.' Then I was admitted to his saxophone class. Then he opened the doors of his house to me and little by little a great and beautiful friendship developed until the moment of his death in November 2020. For this very personal reason, and for the undeniable quality of his works, I decided to make this album, which represents the rescue of a part of his legacy that is not yet sufficiently recognized."
An original project
The pieces by Pedro Iturralde chosen for this recording are the following :
- Pequeña Czarda
- Suite hellénique
- Aires rumanos
- Dixie for saxes
The objective is to compile compositions that reflect the more classical part of his work, such as Pequeña Czarda, his first creation. Inside the disc, there will also be explanations and anecdotes about the origin of each composition as told to Cristina by her friend and mentor.
"In addition to being a great musician and teacher, he was a really great person. He not only taught me music, but he taught me to love music and to love the saxophone."
What makes this project special is also the arrangements and instrumentation: a string nonet, a jazz trio formation, and solos on flute, vibraphone and marimba, accompanying the saxophone as a solo instrument.
Several professional musicians from the classical and jazz scene of the Canary Islands will participate in the album. The arrangements are entrusted to Francisco Hernández and Eduardo Rojo, renowned composers and arrangers who have been working for years in the islands and abroad.
Maestro & Selmer
Pedro Iturralde has played Selmer instruments throughout his career. After buying his first Selmer alto saxophone in 1949, he acquired a Mark VI tenor and then a Series III soprano. As to clarinets, he played a Centered Tone and a Series 10.
Manuel Fernández, our distributor in Spain and Portugal, had a friendly relationship with the artist.
« SELMER was his family and he had a great respect for everything that concerned the company. I first met him in 1983, with some friends we had in common. He had just been appointed professor at the Royal Superior Conservatory of Madrid. I knew who he was, of course, but we hadn't yet had the opportunity to talk casually around a table. Since then, we had a friendly relationship. He was an incredible human being, a man without borders, an indefatigable traveler and available to everyone. His door was always open.»
Born in Falces (Navarra) in 1929, Pedro Iturralde learned music with his father, and then made his debut at the age of 9 on saxophone and clarinet in the municipal band of his town. At the age of 18, he made his first tour abroad. From that moment on and until the end of his life, he will not stop traveling and sharing his music all over the world.
A renowned performer and composer, he leaves behind beautiful jazz and classical pieces that will remain in the repertoire…