Manuel Blancafort i de Rosselló was born on 12th August 1897 in the spa town of La Garriga, near Barcelona, into an educated, middle-class Catalan family. His parents owned a famous hotel in the town which was frequented by many artists, intellectuals and politicians. An enterprising man, and an enthusiast for technological innovation, his father had also set up a factory in La Garriga to produce pianola rolls, and this in effect became Blancafort’s music school. It was his meeting with Mompou, in 1914, that was to prove the most significant for the young Blancafort, not only musically but also aesthetically and spiritually. Mompou took on the rôle of elder brother, supporting Blancafort and guiding him as he took his first steps as a composer …….
Joan Cabanilles worked for most of his life in Valencia, whose magnficent cathedral was a reminder of that trading city's glorious past. Organist Léon Berben plays an organ not in that cathedral, but an instrument in Basque country from the middle of the eighteenth century. It's a magnificent choice, and this collection of Cabanilles organ pieces would be worth the money for the graphic design alone. Check the booklet cover reproduction of the screaming faces painted on some of the organ pipes, for a start. Annotator Miguel Bernal Ripoll, whose words appear in English, French, Spanish, and German, writes that "Cabanilles appears like a Janus-headed deity with one face turned toward the past and the other definitely towards the future.
Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture "Donald" Byrd II (December 9, 1932 – February 4, 2013) was an American jazz and rhythm & blues trumpeter. A sideman for many other jazz musicians of his generation, Byrd was best known as one of the only bebop jazz musicians who successfully pioneered the funk and soul genres while simultaneously remaining a jazz artist.