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Basque Music Collection Vol 8 - Garbizu / Mandeal, Et Al

Release Date: 07/26/2005 
Label:  Claves   Catalog #: 2413   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Tomás Garbizu
Performer:  Ana-Maria MirandaEsteban Elizondo-IriarteXavier De Maistre
Conductor:  Christian Mandeal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orféon DonostiarraBasque National Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Tomás Garbizu Salaberría was born 12 September 1901 in San Sebastian and died in the same city on 27 November 1989. He had taught organ there for some three decades. Garbizu left behind a prolific collection of works: a great deal of sacred and choral music, songs, organ music, oratorios and zarzuelas. The works featured here were edited especially for this recording by composer Tomás Aragües. 

The Misa Papa Juan XXIII ( Misa Ecumenica) is for choir and orchestra. It is the most substantial work on the disc. There are six segments: Kyrie; Gloria; Credo; Sanctus; Benedictus; Agnus. The opening may fool you into believing that
Read more Garbizu will stick within the Fauré tradition but he pushes out further. The style of writing is not that far removed from the mainstream tonal English choral tradition. It is devotional but not without emotion and the style fits well alongside the work of Howells ( Missa Sabrinensis and Hymnus Paradisi), Dyson ( Quo Vadis), Walton ( Te Deum) and Delius ( A Mass of Life). The other composer I thought of was Paul Paray in his Joan of Arc Mass. In the Credo and the Benedictus Garbizu develops a joyously swinging march that suggests an affection for the ruddy-cheeked choral writing of Guridi in his Así cantan los chicos (Naxos 8.557110) and Eusko Irudiak (Claves CD 50-9709).

This Ave Maria for soprano and orchestra is one of numerous sacred compositions by Garbizu. By contrast with the Misa Papa Juan XXIII this setting leans towards the opera house - even towards operetta and specifically to Lehár. The soprano here, Olatz Saitua, has a voice of operatic stamp. She is tremulous across the long-held high lines demanded of her by the composer although this is not apparent from the other songs here. She leads us out of the ‘church’ and into the countryside for the Cinco Canciones Vascas. These are simple and usually tender songs with tunes that often sound disarmingly familiar. They drift once again towards the finest writing for operetta; balm-filled but not strongly memorable. Only the last of the five songs, Ama begira zazu is lively; redolent in that case alone of the exuberance of Canteloube’s Auvergnat works. The disc presents the world premiere of Un Grano di Trigo por un granito de oro (‘A grain of a wheat for a nugget of gold’). This is a setting of words by Rabindranath Tagore and is much more serious with a curve towards Berg but only in the orchestral writing. It seems there are many more songs by Garbizu in both Basque and Spanish. They are worth watching out for. Certainly the gauzy delicacy, sophistication and Ravelian poetry of the Tagore setting is not to be missed; more a scena than a simple song. 
The blaze of colour that is Final was well chosen to end the disc. It is a brilliant piece which once again has plenty of nostalgic tenderness as well as a grandly dramatic right-hook delivered through brass and organ. Mind you the organ also glitters. At the close magniloquent Hispanic gestures are set against a fine aspiring theme, rising Rodrigo-like, for the massed strings.

As ever with this series the booklet for this disc is extensive, well-presented, thorough - although I could have done with dates for all of the works here. It is translated from Basque into fluent English as well as Spanish, French and German.

For the present, collectors now have the pleasure of adding this music to their listening stock. Many tastes are catered for. Lovers of noble choral-orchestral music will need the Misa Papa Juan XXIII. The songs are sentimental for the most part although the Tagore setting is of a different order altogether. Lastly if you thirst for Iberian orchestral brilliance then you should hear the Garbizu’s Final.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Mass for Pope John XXIII by Tomás Garbizu
Conductor:  Christian Mandeal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orféon Donostiarra,  Basque National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: Composition written: 1962 - 1963. 
A Grain of Wheat for a Nugget of Gold by Tomás Garbizu
Performer:  Ana-Maria Miranda (Soprano)
Conductor:  Christian Mandeal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basque National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Ave Maria by Tomás Garbizu
Performer:  Ana-Maria Miranda (Soprano)
Conductor:  Christian Mandeal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basque National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Basque Songs (5) by Tomás Garbizu
Performer:  Ana-Maria Miranda (Soprano)
Conductor:  Christian Mandeal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basque National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942 
Concerto for Harp "Final" by Tomás Garbizu
Performer:  Esteban Elizondo-Iriarte (Organ), Xavier De Maistre (Harp)
Conductor:  Christian Mandeal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basque National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1982 

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