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 …….
Years before J.S. Bach paved the way toward what is now largely considered the height of the German Baroque, Dietrich Buxtehude was hard at work in northern Germany on his own individual union of the Italian and French Baroque styles. His Op. 1 is a sumptuous, dynamic set of seven sonatas scored for violin, gamba, and continuo (played here by cello and harpsichord). Unlike composers both before and after him, Buxtehude was far from formulaic when it came to the organization of his sonatas, each one having its own unique combination and sequence of movements.