Francisco Escudero (1913–2002) was Basque, and in the notes one is told that Basque folk music permeates his work. Illeta, written in 1950, is one of his major works, a setting for baritone, chorus, and orchestra of a poem by Xavier Lizardi depicting a funeral. To ears completely unfamiliar with the music of the Basque region, the music speaks strongly the language of Debussy and at times Puccini—a good deal of the utterly gorgeous opening movement resembles a very unlikely combination of the last of the Debussy Images with the more menacing parts of Tosca added in. Later the Stravinsky of The Rite of Spring will show up along with a strong sense of the movies. Throughout, the music is definitely comprised of very identifiable influencesRead more and is well within the tradition of Spanish-flavored exotica as practiced at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. That said, the music is extremely attractive and very well performed. At Naxos’s price, this is a worthy addition to the collection of anyone interested in the late ephemera of impressionism. Texts and translations are included, and the sound is excellent.