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Spanish Classics - Rodrigo: Complete Orchestral Works Vol 9


Release Date: 10/31/2006 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8555843   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Gwyneth Wentink
Conductor:  Maximiano Valdes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Principality of Asturias Symphonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This disc is pure pleasure, plain and simple.

The Concierto serenata for harp and orchestra is Rodrigo's finest concerto, the one best suited to its solo instrument, with tunes and timbres that reveal the composer's gracious lyricism (and disguise his near total lack of dramatic tension) to best effect. A harp, of course, sounds sort of like a guitar, and more so--much wider in range, dynamics, and sonorous potential. So it should come as no surprise that the Concierto de Aranjuez works even better in this, the composer's own transcription. The problem with the original version is that the guitar is usually inaudible unless the orchestra is kept down to the point where you wonder why it's there at all. Today of course,
Read more amplification helps, but it can't entirely conceal the basic mismatch of timbres.

These performances are splendid. Gwyneth Wentink commands a lovely, liquid tone that doesn't thin out excessively in the instrument's upper register, and she's perfectly balanced against the larger ensemble. Conductor Maximiano Valdes accompanies with spirit, and the orchestra plays this never very difficult music with the sweetness and purity Rodrigo's melodies require. I'm sure some listeners will disagree with me here (particularly guitar enthusiasts) about the relative merits of the two versions of the Concierto de Aranjuez, but Rodrigo's music with harp permits an additional touch of textural opulence otherwise missing in his orchestral writing. This disc is pure pleasure, plain and simple.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concierto serenata for Harp by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Gwyneth Wentink (Harp)
Conductor:  Maximiano Valdes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Principality of Asturias Symphonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; Spain 
Venue:  Oviedo, Asturias, Spain 
Length: 25 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Notes: Oviedo, Asturias, Spain (08/27/2002 - 08/29/2002) 
2.
Sones en la Giralda by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Gwyneth Wentink (Harp)
Conductor:  Maximiano Valdes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Principality of Asturias Symphonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; Spain 
Venue:  Oviedo, Asturias, Spain 
Length: 9 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: Oviedo, Asturias, Spain (08/27/2002 - 08/29/2002) 
3.
Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Gwyneth Wentink (Harp)
Conductor:  Maximiano Valdes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Principality of Asturias Symphonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; Spain 
Venue:  Oviedo, Asturias, Spain 
Length: 23 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Notes: Version: 1974
Oviedo, Asturias, Spain (08/27/2002 - 08/29/2002) 

Sound Samples

Concierto serenata: I. Estudiantina: Allegro ma non troppo
Concierto serenata: II. Intermezzo con aria: Adagio
Concierto serenata: III. Sarao: Allegro deciso
Sones en la Giralda: (Fantasia Sevillana)
Concierto de Aranjuez (version for harp and orchestra): I. Allegro con spirito
Concierto de Aranjuez (version for harp and orchestra): II. Adagio
Concierto de Aranjuez (version for harp and orchestra): III. Allegro gentile

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