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Spanish Classics - Turina: Piano Music Vol 4 / Jordi Masó

Release Date: 07/31/2007 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570026   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Joaquin Turina
Performer:  Jordi Masó
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

TURINA Niñerías: Series 1, op. 21 : Series 2, op. 56. Miniaturas. Jardin de niños Jordi Masó (pn) NAXOS 8.570026 (68:30)

Masó’s series of Turina’s piano music continues strongly with this fourth release. These are suites of short pieces, mostly on childlike themes; indeed, both Read more style="font-style:italic">Niñerías suites are subtitled “Petite Suite.” Debussy is a major influence: “Dance of the Dolls” from Niñerías Series 1 and “The Soldiers are Approaching” from Miniaturas could have come straight from the French master’s La boîte á joujoux.

Another fleeting influence is Poulenc, notably in the very first track (Prelude and Fugue) where the themes for both the prelude and fugue consist of C-Major scale passages. The fugue is particularly ingenious, considering the simplicity of the thematic material, but, as with Poulenc, there is a sophisticated mind at work behind that simplicity. Clever use is made of the traditional tune “Porque es un chico excelente” in the finale of the first set of Niñerías (“Jeux”); that, of course, is the Spanish translation of “For he’s a jolly good fellow,” which I now intend to adopt permanently because it’s so much better than the English!

Some of the quiet movements are not far removed from the world of Turina’s contemporary Mompou—the impressionistic “Cloches” from Jardin de Niños for one—with the intriguing difference that Turina’s musical statements are public while Mompou’s are essentially private.

This music covers the period from 1919 to 1931, but the tone and style remain consistent. Unlike other works recorded in this series (such as Mujeres españolas in the previous volume), Turina has cut back on the virtuoso element in these suites. There are few pianistic flourishes, yet the clarity of the writing and the sheer attractiveness of the ideas suggest the composer may be underrated. Certainly, these 32 miniatures are distinguished additions to the piano sub-genre of “scenes from childhood.”

As far as recorded competition is concerned, there is very little. The same program minus the Miniaturas was recorded by Antonio Soria 10 years ago on the first volume of his 16-CD complete Turina edition; I have been unable to track down a copy. Mirian Conti includes the first set of Niñerías in an out-of-print Koch release: she dispatches them with typical panache, in a distancing acoustic. I would recommend the Naxos release in preference: the quality of the piano sound is first-class and Masó plays with charm, poise, and sensitivity. A delight.

FANFARE: Phillip Scott
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Works on This Recording

Niñeras, Book I, Op. 21 by Joaquin Turina
Performer:  Jordi Masó (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918; Spain 
Venue:  Auditorium, Jafre, Spain 
Length: 24 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: Auditorium, Jafre, Spain (10/19/2006 - 10/20/2006) 
Niñeras, Book II, Op. 56 by Joaquin Turina
Performer:  Jordi Masó (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930; Spain 
Venue:  Auditorium, Jafre, Spain 
Length: 15 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Notes: Auditorium, Jafre, Spain (10/19/2006 - 10/20/2006) 
Miniaturas, Op. 52 by Joaquin Turina
Performer:  Jordi Masó (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; Spain 
Venue:  Auditorium, Jafre, Spain 
Length: 13 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Notes: Auditorium, Jafre, Spain (10/19/2006 - 10/20/2006) 
Jardin de niños, Op. 63 by Joaquin Turina
Performer:  Jordi Masó (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1931; Spain 
Venue:  Auditorium, Jafre, Spain 
Length: 15 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Notes: Auditorium, Jafre, Spain (10/19/2006 - 10/20/2006) 

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