Sunday, February 2, 2020

Manuel de Falla - Orchestral Works (Eduardo Mata)


Composer: Manuel de Falla

  • La vida breve
  • El amor brujo
  • Siete canciones populares espanolas (orch. Luciano Berio)
  • Homenajes
  • Dances from The Three-Cornered Hat
  • Master Peter's Puppet Show
  • Psyché
  • Harpsichord Concerto
  • Julián Orbón (1925-1991) - Himnus ad Galli Cantum
  • Julián Orbón (1925-1991) - Tres cantigas del Rey

Various Soloists
Simón Bolívar Symphony Chorus & Orchestra of Venezuela
Solistas de México
Eduardo Mata, conductor

Recorded: 1993-1994 (by Dorian Recordings)
Released: 2004 (by Brilliant Classics)




These recordings (formerly on the Dorian label) are very good if not the best available for the Falla selections. Marta Senn is a fine soprano in La Vida Breve, where great care was taken to secure authenticity in the Flamenco episodes, but she doesn’t quite match Victoria de los Angeles in her classic stereo recording for EMI. Similarly in El Amor Brujo, I prefer Nati Mistral on both RCA and Decca, but this is a very lively and well played performance, with the Venezuelan orchestra in fine form. Berio’s orchestration of the Seven Popular Spanish Songs also sounds very fine, if like most Dorian recordings from this source the sound is a touch low-level. Turn it up, and everything snaps into focus nicely.

In the dances from The Three-Cornered Hat, Eduardo Mata’s interpretation strikes me as a touch lacking in sparkle and drive despite some fine details, and the big final crash on the tam-tam is missing. But Julianne Baird sings beautifully in both Master Peter’s Puppet Show and in the rare Orbón items. Rafael Puyana also serves up a masterful performance of the quirky Harpsichord Concerto, which really doesn’t require a conductor at all. The one big negative: there are no texts and translations for the vocal works, which rules this out as a first choice and diminishes its value considerably. But if you don’t care what all of the shouting is about, you can pick this up knowing that you’ve gotten a bargain.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday


Manuel de Falla (23 November 1876 – 14 November 1946) was a Spanish composer. He attended the Real Conservatorio de Música y Declamación, studied piano with José Tragó and composition with Felipe Pedrell. Falla composed his first important work, the one-act opera "La vida breve", in 1905. Among his other best known works are two ballets ("El amor brujo" and "El sombrero de tres picos") and the nocturne for piano and orchestra "Nights in the Gardens of Spain". With Isaac Albéniz and Enrique Granados he is one of Spain's most important musicians of the first half of the 20th century.


Eduardo Mata (5 September 1942 – 4 January 1995) was a Mexican conductor and composer. Mata studied composition under Carlos Chávez, Héctor Quintanar and Julián Orbón at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico. He also studied at Tanglewood with Max Rudolf, Erich Leinsdorf (conducting) and Gunther Schuller (composition). As a composer, Mata composed several works in the 1950s and 1960s, including three symphonies and chamber works. As a comductor, Mata recorded over fifty albums, most of them with the Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM, the Dallas SO, and the London SO.


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