Raul Sunico (Photo by Jamillah N. Sta Rosa)

FORMER Conservatory of Music dean, Gawad CCP awardee and internationally acclaimed pianist Raul Sunico launched an album on May 26 consisting of recordings of revolutionary composer Julio Nakpil’s works.

The album, titled “Music of Julio Nakpil (1867-1960) Volume I: Works for Piano,” featured 11 compositions of Nakpil performed by Sunico and collaborating artist and Thomasian alumnus, Heliodoro “Dingdong” Fiel. 

The album was part of the Julio Nakpil Music Project, a national research project funded by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in cooperation with the Bahay Nakpil-Bautista Foundation led by UST Research Center for Culture Arts and Humanities (RCCAH) Director Assoc. Prof. Alexandra Iñigo Chua.

“Nakpil’s music is uniquely Filipino in its expressive and structurally simple character whose intermittent unconventional approaches to harmony led to some awkward technical passages for the pianist,” Sunico told the Varsitarian.

“Many of his section endings conclude in a marching band-style cadence, owing perhaps to his experience as a revolutionary,” he added. 

Among the pieces included in the album are “Ilang-ilang: Mazurka de Salon, Ob. 5,” Nakpil’s first published work, and “Recuerdos de Cápiz: Habanera caracteristica, Ob. 8,” a piece that exemplifies characteristics of the habanera and a melodic motive that resembles the kundiman

Included in the album are “Luz Poetica de la Aurora: Gavota” (Poetic light of the dawn: Gavotte), “Ob. 9a for two-hands” and “Luz Poetica de la Aurora: Gavota, Ob. 9b for four-hands.”

Sunico and Fiel recorded the performances in 2019 but due to the pandemic, the album was not released until this year. 

Other volumes of Nakpil’s compositions are expected to be released later.  

Sunico said some students from the Conservatory of Music contributed in refining the recordings.

Stream the album below:


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