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Falla: Piano Music / Benita Meshulam


Release Date: 03/29/2005 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 6835   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 40 Mins. 

Imported from : UNITED KINGDOM   
CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Benita Meshulam has already established her credentials as a top-ranked player of Spanish piano music with remarkably idiomatic recordings of Granados (a scintillating Goyescas for Chesky) and contemporary composer Xavier Montsalvatge (ASV). In this gorgeous-sounding recording, Meshulam demonstrates her affinity for Falla’s flavorful piano works. With a veritable rainbow of colorations and superbly judged rhythmic accenting, she gets to the very heart of this wonderful music. Her Nocturno is suitably dreamy, her Cuatro piezas españolas conveys the essence of its wistful moodiness, and the subtle inner voices of the Danza de la vida breve are heard in all their tangy splendor. Meshulam’s rubato-laden Ritual Dance of Fire is probably Read more the most engaging account I’ve heard since the 1950s orchestral version by Constantin Silvestri (on a Hungaroton disc that remains in LP limbo). And even the diffuse Allegro de concierto for once does not outstay its welcome.

Competition? To my ears, Meshulam displays a greater willingness to take risks than the more sedate Alicia De Larrocha (RCA), and her rhythmic thrust is more compelling than Miguel Basalga’s (BIS). In the dances from El sombrero de tres picos, Meshulam has a more sensual and varied tonal palette than Jean-François Heisser (Erato). Meshulam’s Cuatro piezas españolas has a bit more stylish inflection than the otherwise estimable Ralph Votapek’s (coupled with a fine Goyescas on Ivory). Her reading of what is arguably Falla’s finest and most polytonal work, Fantasia baetica, comes extremely close to the inimitably committed account by the late Esteban Sánchez (in a partial Falla collection with less agreeable sound on Ensayo). If you are seeking a complete edition of Falla’s piano music in excellent sound, this bargain-priced Brilliant Classics set is the one I would choose. Highly recommended.

Jeffrey J. Lipscomb, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1. El sombrero de tres picos: Miller's Dance "Farruca" by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; Spain 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
2. El sombrero de tres picos: Miller's Wife "Fandango" by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; Spain 
Length: 3 Minutes 54 Secs. 
3. El sombrero de tres picos: Neighbor's Dance "Seguidillas" by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; Spain 
Length: 3 Minutes 30 Secs. 
4. La vida breve: Dance by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904-1905; Spain 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
5. Homenaje "Le tombeau de Claude Debussy" by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; Spain 
Length: 3 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Notes: Version: 1920 
6. Serenata for Piano in E minor by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; Spain 
Length: 4 Minutes 3 Secs. 
7. Mazurka for Piano in C minor by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Length: 5 Minutes 10 Secs. 
8. Serenata andaluza for Piano by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; Spain 
Length: 5 Minutes 45 Secs. 
9. Nocturno for Piano by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; Spain 
Length: 4 Minutes 36 Secs. 
10. Fantasía bética for Piano by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; Spain 
Length: 13 Minutes 46 Secs. 
11. Piezas Españolas (4) for Piano by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902-1908; Spain 
Length: 17 Minutes 47 Secs. 
12. El amor brujo: Danza rituel del fuego "Ritual Fire Dance" by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1915; Spain 
Length: 3 Minutes 49 Secs. 
13. Vals-capricho by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1900; Spain 
Length: 4 Minutes 6 Secs. 
14. Allegro de concierto by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; Spain 
Length: 10 Minutes 44 Secs. 
15. Obras Desconocidas (3) for Piano by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899-1920; Spain 
16. Pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; Spain 
Length: 4 Minutes 12 Secs. 
17. Obras Desconocidas (3) for Piano: no 1, Canción by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1900; Spain 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
18. Obras Desconocidas (3) for Piano: no 2, Danza de Gnomos by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; Spain 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
19. Obras Desconocidas (3) for Piano: no 3, Canto de los Romeros del Volga by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Benita Meshulam (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; Spain 
Length: 4 Minutes 14 Secs. 

Sound Samples

El sombrero de 3 picos (The 3-Cornered Hat) (version for piano): Danza del molinero (Dance of the Miller)
El sombrero de 3 picos (The 3-Cornered Hat) (version for piano): Danza de la molinera (Dance of the Miller's Wife)
El sombrero de 3 picos (The 3-Cornered Hat) (version for piano): Danza de los vecinos (Dance of the Neighbours)
La vida breve (version for piano): La vida breve: Danse espagnole No. 1 (version for piano)
Homenaje, "Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy" (version for piano)
Serenata
Mazurka in C Minor
Serenata andaluza
Nocturno
Cancion
Fantasia baetica
4 Piezas espanolas: No. 1. Aragonesa
4 Piezas espanolas: No. 2. Cubana
4 Piezas espanolas: No. 3. Montanesa
4 Piezas espanolas: No. 4. Andaluza
El amor brujo (Love, the Magician) (arr. for piano): El amor brujo (Love, the Magician): Ritual Fire Dance (arr. for piano)
Cortejo de gnomos
Vals-capricho
Allegro de concierto
Canto de los remeros del Volga: (Song of the Volga Boatmen)
Pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas

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