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The Rodrigo Edition / Enrique Batiz


Release Date: 06/09/1992 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 67435   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Alfonso MorenoNancy AllenLisa HansenJorge Federico Osorio,   ... 
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony OrchestraRoyal Philharmonic OrchestraMexican State Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 5 Hours 5 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Rodrigo was more than just the composer of Concierto de Aranjuez, as this set shows -- Nancy Allen provides delicacy and virtuosity in a stunning account of Concierto serenata, Osorio's brilliant and extrovert account of Concierto heroico is magnificent, and Lisa Hansen is a silver-toned soloist whose nimble playing securely gets around the myriad of notes in Concierto pastoral.

The immense popularity of the Concierto de Aranjuez and the Fantasia para un gentilhombre has been such that they have tended to obscure the many other concertos of Joaquin Rodrigo. At the same time, as this four-disc survey demonstrates, he was a much more modern composer than the two famous guitar works would
Read more suggest. Indeed, some of the music would prove rather "difficult" for many for many of the listeners who have enjoyed his guitar music, as the second movement of the Concierto Serenata immediately confirms. His group of concertos covers most of his career, the earliest being the piano concerto, Concierto heroico, from 1933, and extends through to the flute concerto, Concierto pastoral, commissioned from the 77-year-old composer in 1978 by James Galway. Throughout the whole of this period Rodrigo's style was to show little change, his mixture of melody and a pungent modernism providing the inspirational basis. There is a Spanish element that runs through his works, though he places this at the disposal of his music rather than using it as the starting point.

This very convenient package of four discs contains the complete concertos apart from the second guitar concerto and the later cello concerto. They were first issued as a boxed set in 1992 on the EMI label, having been derived from a number of recordings made over the period 1980 to 1985, which places all of the tracks in the digital era. The soloists were well chosen, the harpist, Nancy Allen, providing the required delicacy and virtuosity in a stunning account of the Concierto serenata. Osorio's brilliant and extrovert account of the Concierto heroico is magnificent, Bátiz taking the second-movement scherzo at a pace that ensures clarity. Throughout the first disc the RPO plays with verve and considerable impact when called upon, though it does have a few moments of uncomfortable string intonation in the Concierto pastoral. Lisa Hansen is a silver-toned soloist whose nimble playing gets around the myriad of notes with the utmost security.

Alfonso Moreno is a strong advocate of the Concierto de Aranjuez and Fantasia, though at times he is rather optimistic that his fingers can preciously meet the fast tempos. For both works I would prefer the scintillating and physically strong playing of Norbert Kraft on Naxos. The dry and confined sound accorded to the two guitar soloists in the Concerto madrigal is a drawback that no soloist could transcend. The LPO suffers from a very obviously multimiked sessions in the Watford Town Hall, some instruments close, others quite recessed. It is doubly puzzling when compared with the bright—almost overbright—sound given to the violin concerto, Concierto de estio, at the same venue 18 months earlier. It is a work of horrendous difficulties for the soloist, and you have to compliment Agustin León Ara at coming so close to navigating a safe passage through them. Intonation often becomes suspect as he hurtles through pages black with notes, and above all he brings such a sense of mischievous happiness to the final Rondino.

We move to Mexico for the two concertos that open the third disc, the State Philharmonic Orchestra having a more "authentic" Spanish pungency than the British orchestras but lacking a degree of security in tenus of string intonation. I particularly enjoyed the Concierto Andaluz for four guitars, the very varied colors they produce constantly delighting the ear. Returning to Watford, the cello concerto, Concierto en modo galante, is given a masterly reading by Robert Cohen. His playing moves effortlessly from the suave beauty to a spiky brilliance, with the LSO providing a beautifully detailed accompaniment.

The fourth CD contains six orchestral pieces, the earliest being the Five Children's Pieces, completed in 1924 as a work for piano, and later orchestrated. Each one is given a title, and it is then left to the listener to devise the scenario. The Mùsica par un jardin also started life as a group of piano pieces on the theme of cradle songs that bear the titles of the four seasons. Totally different from their gentle nature is that of the symphonic poem A la busca del más alla (In search of the beyond). Completed in 1976, it is a very powerful score not intended to look into the future, but it takes the listener on an exploration into the mystery of the unknown. Rodrigo uses a large orchestra with tremendous élan, the LSO reveling in the virtuoso demands. Per la fior del Iliri blau (For the flower of the blue lily) is based on the Valencián poem that reflects the mourning of all nature for the death of the young Prince. As that would suggest, the work is essentially elegiac, the many solos immaculately performed by members of the LSO. Soleriana, a work in two movements, is conceived as neo-Classic evocations of 18th-century Spain. The composer goes back a further two centuries in Zarabanda lejana y villancico, a work in homage to Luis Milán, the 16th-century master of the vihuela, the forefather of today's guitar.

Enrique Bátiz is a master of this genre of music, his Latin American background providing interpretations that search far below the surface of the music. At times I feel he would have welcomed more urgent tempos from some of his soloists, but he is always a sympathetic accompanist. He has greater freedom in the orchestral works, the music shaped with obvious affection. He is always a conductor who values the creation of a work, even at the expense of performing accuracy, and you have here that feeling of spontaneity in the vibrancy of his readings.

-- David Denton, FANFARE [reviewing this set's release as MHS 546010W]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Alfonso Moreno (Guitar)
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; Spain 
2.
Concierto serenata for Harp by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Nancy Allen (Harp)
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; Spain 
3.
Concierto pastoral for Flute by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Lisa Hansen (Flute)
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978; Spain 
4.
Concierto heróico for Piano by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Jorge Federico Osorio (Piano)
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; Spain 
5.
Concierto madrigal for 2 Guitars by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Alfonso Moreno (Guitar), Deborah Mariotti (Piano)
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1968; Spain 
6.
Concierto de estio for Violin by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Agustin Leon Ara (Violin)
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; Spain 
7.
Concierto andaluz for 4 Guitars and Orchestra by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Alfonso Moreno (Guitar), Cecilia López (Guitar), Jésus Ruiz (Guitar),
Minerva Garibay (Guitar)
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mexican State Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; Spain 
8.
Concierto en modo galante for Cello by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Robert Cohen (Cello)
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; Spain 
9.
Fantasía para un gentilhombre by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Alfonso Moreno (Guitar)
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mexican State Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; Spain 
10.
Per la flor del lliri blau by Joaquin Rodrigo
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; Spain 
11.
A la busca del más allá by Joaquin Rodrigo
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1976; Spain 
12.
Música para un jardín by Joaquin Rodrigo
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957; Spain 
13.
Zarabanda lejana y villancico by Joaquin Rodrigo
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930; Spain 
14.
Soleriana: no 4, Pastoral by Joaquin Rodrigo
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; Spain 
15.
Soleriana: no 5, Passepied by Joaquin Rodrigo
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; Spain 
16.
Piezas (5) infantiles for 2 Pianos by Joaquin Rodrigo
Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; Spain 

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