Latin sonatas is a journey through the popular music of Brazil, Cuba and Puerto Rico, its rhythms, harmonies and colours, in a contemporary language breathing new life into the old form.
From the first movement of Sergio Assad Sonata, Xianji Liu’s precision and sonorous clarity in every note stands out, rekindling the rhythms hidden in the figuration. The Andante bursts with lyricism, sonorous wealth and variety, with crystalline clarity in the tied sounds. Liu demonstrates maturity in the work’s conception, drawing each motif, reminding us of it and allowing the central movement to reveal its coherence. The Presto is by no means a wild race, Liu astonishing with the evenness of his touch, the sonorous clarity and the diction of the melodies, while taking care with each note in the accompaniment, each harmonic, each chord, constructing a great sonorous building. Xianji Liu’s interpretation of Sonata del Decamerón Negro (Brouwer 2012) reveals the rhythms, repetitions, echoes and harmonics of the first movement. His lyricism is seen in the central section and he becomes a Renaissance minstrel, to give Milán’s tientos their gravity. Xianji Liu masters the complexity of Sierra’s music. The first movement clearly sets out the motifs and rhythms, tracing an arch structure perfectly fitting sonata form. The second movement themes are not lost, nor the intensity of the chords, nor the transparent sounds of the close. The confrontation between the two musics Sierra writes in the Scherzando is also perfectly interpreted”
Xianji Liu, the first ever Chinese-born winner of the Franciso Tarrega International Guitar Competition in Benicasim (Spain), is an emerging star in the world of the classical guitar. He has been invited as a concert soloist, chamber musician, and has appeared with orchestras across Europe, North America, and Asia. In addition to winning the 50th Tarrega competition, he has also been awarded first place at the VI Concurso Internacional de Guitarra Clásica GSD 2016, and a special prize for the best performance of the famed Fantasia para un Gentilhombre concerto by Joaquin Rodrigo. He has also been awarded a variety of scholarships, including the Zuyd, Holland, and was recently given the prestigious DOMS-Stiftung Basel scholarship. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recital throughout Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Spain, France, China, USA, Austria, and has been invited to perform at a variety of festivals, including the Guitarra en los Jardines de Falla (Granada 2016), and the Shanghai Guitar Festival. Xianji is also apart of the Beijing Guitar Quartet, who were featured as guest performers in Forum Gitarre Wien Festival in 2010 and the Guitar Foundation of America in 2012. After completing his Bachelor’s degree with the famed Professor Zhi Chen in the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, Xianji continued his studies with the internationally renowned guitarist Roberto Aussel in the Hochschule fuer Musik und Tanz in Cologne, Germany. He is currently completing the Konzertexamen with Prof.Ricardo Gallen in the Hochschule fuer Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar.