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Three Portraits With Shadow / Amigo, Casariego, Extremadura Symphony Orchestra

Halffter / Casariego / Extremadura So / Amigo
Release Date: 03/09/2010 
Label:  Non Profit Music   Catalog #: 909  
Composer:  Rodolfo HalffterErnesto HalffterJulian Bautista
Performer:  Lola Casariego
Conductor:  Jesus Amigo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Extremadura Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

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R. HALFFTER Suite, op. 1. Marinero en tierra (arr. Encinar). 1 E. HALFFTER Canciones portuguesas. 1 BAUTISTA 3 ciudades. 1 Read more class="ARIAL12bi"> Short Symphony Jesús Amigo, cond; Lola Casariego (mez); 1 Extremadura SO NON PROFIT 909 (Hybrid multichannel SACD: 62:56)


The 56-member Extremadura SO may not be a large band, but they play with a svelte assurance and rich warm-climate tone that would be the envy of many more noted orchestras. This album is dedicated to the music of the two Halffter brothers, Rodolfo (1900–87) and Ernesto (1905–89), both influenced and guided by Albéniz, Granados, and Falla, and of course, the Frenchman Ravel, who had done so much to cause a nationalistic awakening in Spain and Portugal. The highlights from both of these composers are the two song cycles, Marinero en tierra (orchestrated many years later) and Canciones portuguesas. I wish I could tell you what they are all about, but as Non Profit has not seen fit to provide texts or translations (a serious omission), I cannot. But I can tell you that each owes a lot to Falla, and all are marvelous examples of the genre. Mezzo Lola Casariego sings with authority and a beautifully controlled instrument that delivers the high-octane content of these pieces in spades. R. Halffter’s Suite is a fine example of the type of neo-Classic influence in his home at the time.


Julián Bautista was a good friend of Lorca, and collaborated with him many times. In his Tres ciudades (Málaga, Córdoba, and Seville), the spirit of Andalusian music is certainly present. But his Short Symphony , an abstract work of great conciseness, reminded me many times of the music by Albert Roussel. Bautista is considered in many circles to have been the most talented composer of his generation, eventually leaving Spain in exile to Argentina.


All the forces here play with great expertise and a real flavor for the period, as might be expected. The surround sound is vivid and warm. This release surprised me, and I find it a most welcome—and needed—addition to my collection. You will too.


FANFARE: Steven E. Ritter
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Works on This Recording

1.
Suite para Orchestra by Rodolfo Halffter
Performer:  Lola Casariego (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Jesus Amigo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Extremadura Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Spain 
2.
Marinero en Tierra by Rodolfo Halffter
Performer:  Lola Casariego (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Jesus Amigo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Extremadura Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Spain 
3.
Canciones Portuguesas: Excerpt(s) by Ernesto Halffter
Performer:  Lola Casariego (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Jesus Amigo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Extremadura Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Spain 
Notes: Four of the six Canciones Portuguesas by Ernesto Halffter are sung by Lola Casariego. 
4.
Tres Ciudades by Julian Bautista
Conductor:  Jesus Amigo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Extremadura Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; Spain 
Notes: Movements: Malaga, Córdoba, Seville. 
5.
Sinfonia Breve by Julian Bautista
Conductor:  Jesus Amigo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Extremadura Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Argentina 

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