Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Enrique Granados; Isaac Albéniz - Goyescas; Iberia (Artur Pizarro)


Information

Composer: Enrique Granados; Isaac Albéniz

CD1:
  1. Granados - Goyescas: I. Los Requiebros
  2. Granados - Goyescas: II. Coloquio en la reja
  3. Granados - Goyescas: III. El Fandango del Candil
  4. Granados - Goyescas: IV. Quejas, ó la Maja y el Ruiseñor
  5. Granados - Goyescas: V. El amor y la muerte
  6. Granados - Goyescas: VI. Epilogo
  7. Albéniz - Iberia: Book 1 - 1. Evocatión
  8. Albéniz - Iberia: Book 1 - 2. El Puerto
CD2:
  1. Albéniz - Iberia: Book 1 - 3. Fête-Dieu à Seville
  2. Albéniz - Iberia: Book 2 - 4. Rondeña
  3. Albéniz - Iberia: Book 2 - 5. Almería
  4. Albéniz - Iberia: Book 2 - 6. Triana
  5. Albéniz - Iberia: Book 3 - 7. El Albaicín
  6. Albéniz - Iberia: Book 3 - 8. El Polo
  7. Albéniz - Iberia: Book 3 - 9. Lavapiés
  8. Albéniz - Iberia: Book 4 - 10. Málaga
  9. Albéniz - Iberia: Book 4 - 11. Jerez
  10. Albéniz - Iberia: Book 4 - 12. Eritaña

Artur Pizarro, piano
Date: 2010
Label: Linn Classics
http://www.linnrecords.com/recording-albeniz-iberia-and-granados-goyescas.aspx

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Review

Pizarro captures the dreamlike sound world of Goya’s Spain

The six thematically connected Goyescas, published in two volumes (1910 and 1914), are subtitled “Los majos enamorados” (“The Majos in Love”). The majos were the dandified lower classes of Spain (especially Madrid) at the turn of the 18th century, and a favourite subject of Goya. So these “Goya-like” works, inspired, as Granados wrote, by “the psychology of Goya and his palette”, are love poems and Artur Pizarro captures their improvised, dreamlike quality to perfection with a golden tone and caressing touch. I think, though, that he seriously overdoes the internal musings of No 2, “Coloquio en la reja”. At 13'33" it seems interminable. As realised by Ken Caswell on Volume 2 of a most valuable and (for once) convincing series of Welte piano rolls on disc (Pierian), Granados’s 1913 recording lasts just 9'27" without losing any of the work’s essential character. In the suite’s most famous number, popularly known as “The Maiden and the Nightingale”, Pizzaro elongates Granados’s string of rits, ralls and tenutos to a lengthy 8'05" (Granados 6'34", the endearing Myra Hess in 1957, 6'32"). Pizarro can boast a finer recorded sound but Alicia de Larrocha (on EMI or Decca) still reigns supreme in all six – and includes “El pelele”, published separately but traditionally included in the set.

In Iberia, Albéniz’s formidable masterpiece (12 works published in four volumes, 1906-09), Pizarro has not only de Larrocha’s legendary recording(s) to compete with but Marc-André Hamelin’s very different take (Hyperion, 6/05). To generalise, if de Larrocha takes the more robust and theatrical view of the music and Hamelin is the more technically nonchalant and textually astute (the only one, by the way, fully to accommodate Albéniz’s extreme dynamics, ranging from quintuple piano to quintuple forte), Pizarro is the more emotionally contained. He is at his best when the music demands charm and introspection (“Rondeña”, “El polo”), less good at conveying such frequent requests for brusque, sec and appassionato (“El Corpus en Sevilla”, “Eritaña”) where Hamelin’s crisper, wittier turn of phrase conjures up castanets and rioja. That said, it is difficult not to fall for Pizarro’s lyrical grace, the even temperament of his approach and the unfailingly lovely sound he produces (he has been very well recorded), a distinct advantage over de Larrocha.

-- Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone

More reviews:
BBC Music Magazine  PERFORMANCE: ***** / SOUND: *****

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Enrique Granados (27 July 1867 – 24 March 1916) was a Spanish pianist and composer of classical music. His music is in a uniquely Spanish style and, as such, is representative of musical nationalism. Granados is best known for his compositions for piano such as 12 Spanish Dances and Goyesca, a suite based on Franciso Goya's painting. Granados was an important influence on at least two other important Spanish composers and musicians, Manuel de Falla and Pablo Casals.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrique_Granados

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Artur Pizarro (born Lisbon, 1968) is a Portuguese pianist of international acclaim. At age five, he began studying with pianist Sequeira Costa, continued working with Costa until 1990. He also worked with other teachers, including Aldo Ciccolini at the Conservatoire de Paris. He performs internationally in solo recitals, in duos, with chamber music groups, and as a soloist with the world's leading orchestras. He has an extensive discography available on Linn Records, as well as on Naxos, Hyperion, Collins Classics, and other labels. Pizarro is a Yamaha-International Artist.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artur_Pizarro

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