Notes and Editorial Reviews
Cuentos de Español:
Series 1; Series 2.
Recuerdos de la antigua España. Siluetas
Jordi Masó (pn)
NAXOS 8.570370 (73:05)
Another enjoyable album—the fifth—in Jordi Masó’s traversal of the complete piano music of Joaquin Turina. This CD consists of four suites of what might be termed musical postcards of Spain, or in the case of the
, a depiction of
Spanish icons such as “the eternal Carmen.”
In his review of the first disc in the series, Peter Burwasser neatly summed up the effect of this music: “Turina consistently displays excellent craft and affection for his native culture, even as the work . . . feels oddly aloof from the natural passion of Iberian music.” (
28:6). That aloofness is here evident in the
Cuentos de Español.
The sixth movement of Series 1, subtitled “Malaga,” is at once less pianistically sophisticated and less downright earthy than the Malaga depicted by Albéniz in
. By comparison, Turina is a little more well mannered.
Elsewhere, notably in the
, the composer seems more inclined to set surface prettiness aside. “L’éternelle Carmen” is suitably sultry and capricious, “Don Juan” believably vigorous, and the “Habanera” movement nice and languid (although melodically it is not as memorable as those by Bizet and Chabrier). The
, a later suite from 1931, is the most overtly virtuosic, resplendent with trills, cadenzas, and in the final movement (“Le phare de Cadix”), flashing glissandos.
Masó’s mastery of this repertoire is never in doubt: his melodies sing and his rhythms snap. The recording of the piano is suitably warm. As I said, an enjoyable disc, although if you are not collecting the whole series, I would suggest you go for the third volume containing the pieces representing Spanish women,
FANFARE: Phillip Scott
Works on This Recording
Siluetas, Op. 70 by Joaquin Turina
Jordi Masó (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: by 1932; Spain
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