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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Enrique Granados - Piano Trio; Piano Quintet (LOM Piano Trio)


Composer: Enrique Granados
  1. Piano Trio, Op. 50: I. Poco allegro con espressione
  2. Piano Trio, Op. 50: II. Scherzetto
  3. Piano Trio, Op. 50: III. Duetto
  4. Piano Trio, Op. 50: IV. Finale
  5. Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 49: I. Allegro
  6. Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 49: II. Allegretto quasi andantino
  7. Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 49: III. Largo - Molto presto
  8. Goyescas: Imtermezzo (arr. for Trio by Gaspar Cassadó)

LOM Piano Trio
Joan Orpella, violin
José Mor, cello
Daniel Ligorio, piano
Manuel Porta Gallego, violin (5-7)
Joaquín Riquelme García, viola (5-7)

Date: 2010
Label: Naxos



Like that of many other composers, Granados’s career can, if one insists, be divided into three periods—in his case, Romantic, nationalist, and Goya-esque (?). These two pieces, among his few works for chamber ensemble, would fall into the Romantic (or “neo-Romantic,” as the annotator prefers) category. They do not sound particularly Spanish and establish Granados’s ability to write mainstream European music. The rhapsodic trio is an elegant piece, full of beautiful melodies and clever, imaginative touches. I am happy to have made its acquaintance. The quintet takes a more “serious,” conventional tack and has a nice, showy piano part, reflecting Granados’s skills at the instrument. I don’t expect to hear any better performances in the near future since neither of these pieces is a standard-repertoire item.

The opera Goyescas is based on the earlier piano suite of the same name. The librettist had to fit the words to existing music. It was supposed to receive its premiere in Paris but World War I intervened. Eventually, the Metropolitan Opera stepped in and in 1915 Granados sailed to New York for the first performance (January 1916). Because the Met had trouble making a fast scene change, he dashed off an Intermezzo to fill the necessary time. Ironically, it turned out to be one of his most popular pieces. As a good will gesture, Woodrow Wilson invited him to a reception at the White House, so Granados canceled his ship reservations and took a later sailing. He and his wife arrived safely in Liverpool but then took another ship to the continent. It was torpedoed in the English Channel and the composer and his wife were both drowned. Pablo Casals was a good friend of Granados and Gaspar Cassadó, who arranged the Intermezzo for piano trio, was one of his more successful pupils.

-- James Miller, FANFARE

More reviews:


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.


The LOM Piano Trio holds a strong and respected position in Spanish music and since its first concert in 2001. Its achievements have been recognised by leading musicians, including the cellist Lluís Claret, the conductor Antoni Ros Marbà and the cellist Bernard Greenhouse. The trio made its first recording in 2005, with works by Gerhard, Granados and Borgunyó, followed in 2007 by trios of Shostakovich. Other recordings include the complete Trios of Tomás Bretón and Enrique Granados for Naxos.


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