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Falla: Nights In The Gardens Of Spain, The Three-Cornered Hat / Mena, Bavouzet, BBC Philharmonic

De Falla / Bavouzet / Bbc Philharmonic Orch / Mena
Release Date: 02/28/2012 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10694  
Composer:  Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Jean-Efflam BavouzetRaquel Lojendio
Conductor:  Juanjo Mena
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


There’s always room for another terrific Falla collection, though there’s certainly no shortage of them. Indeed, The Three-Cornered Hat has already been very kind to Chandos: Tortelier’s Philharmonia version is excellent (coupled with Albeniz’s Iberia in the Arbos orchestration). This one is just as fine, maybe even better. Juanjo Mena certainly gets the BBC Philharmonic to wake up from its usual bland, business-as-usual attitude and deliver tangy, idiomatic results. Listen to his perfectly judged rhythmic accents in the Dance of the Miller’s Wife, or his riotously brilliant final Jota. These zesty and energetic sections are more than offset by the poetic stillness of Raquel Lojendio’s lovely
Read more offstage soprano solo in Part Two. It’s just an excellent performance, about as good as it gets.

This is just as true of the other works on the disc. Homenajes receives a nicely contrasted interpretation that gives the piece a wider expressive range than usual–the tribute to Debussy is particularly atmospheric. Nights in the Gardens of Spain is marvelous. Bavouzet, as has become clear over the past couple of years, is a very major artist, and his performance has an especially noteworthy vitality and sparkle. So many performance of this work wallow in a sort of droopy, soggy “impressionism.” Certainly Mena and Bavouzet capture the music’s many moods, and they don’t stint on its mysterious, nocturnal tints, but they do it with a welcome rhythmic focus and firmness of outline. For a typical example, consider the vibrant Poco più animato at figure 5 in the first movement. This is great stuff, and the sonics are as bold and tactile as the interpretations.

– ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Nights in the gardens of Spain by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (Piano)
Conductor:  Juanjo Mena
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911-1915; Spain 
2. Homenajes (4) for Orchestra by Manuel de Falla
Conductor:  Juanjo Mena
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920-1939; Spain 
3. El sombrero de tres picos by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Raquel Lojendio (Soprano)
Conductor:  Juanjo Mena
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; Spain 

Sound Samples

El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat): Introduction
El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat): Part I: Afternoon
El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat): Part I: Dance of the Miller's Wife: Fandango
El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat): Part I: The Grapes
El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat): Part II: The Neighbors' Dance: Seguidillas
El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat): Part II: The Miller's Dance: Ferruca
El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat): Part II: Interlude: Allegretto
El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat): Part II: Interlude: Tranquillo
El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat): Part II: Dance of the Corregidor
El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat): Part II: Final Dance: Jota
Noches en los jardines de Espana (Nights in the Gardens of Spain): I. En el Generalife (In the Generalife)
Noches en los jardines de Espana (Nights in the Gardens of Spain): II. Danza lejana (Distant Dance)
Noches en los jardines de Espana (Nights in the Gardens of Spain): III. En los jardines de la Sierra de Cordoba (In the Gardens of the Sierra de Cordoba)
Homenajes: No. 1. Fanfare sobre el nombre de E. F. Arbos
Homenajes: No. 2. A Claude Debussy
Homenajes: No. 3. Rappel de la fanfare
Homenajes: No. 4. A Paul Dukas
Homenajes: No. 5. Pedrelliana

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