Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Joaquín RODRIGO (1901-1999)
Concerto para una fiesta (1982) * [29.03]
Concerto Madrigal (1966) * ** [32.34]
Ricardo Gallén (guitar) *
Joaquín Clerch (guitar) * **
Asturias SO/Maximiano Valdés
rec Auditorio Principe Felipe, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain, 2-4 Oct 2001, DDD
Complete Orchestral Works: Vol. 5
NAXOS 8.555842 [61.38]


Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

A late-comer so far as this series was concerned, I have already sung the praises of volumes 3 and 4. This volume follows very hot on their heels.

Many people recognise the Concierto de Aranjuez - the majority without being able to name the work or the composer such is its ubiquitous presence. In this disc we look beyond Aranjuez and the Fantasia para un Gentilhombre (a coupling beloved of many - eminently by Narciso Yepes on DG). The guitar concertos first came to my attention when I bought a bargain 2LP collection of the Rodrigo guitar works (Philips) in 1979. The Romero family were the mainstays in that case. Here the changes are rung.

The Fiesta has charm: low key, relaxed, supple and undemanding. The premiere took place at Ridgelea Country Club, Fort Worth Texas on 6 March 1983 to mark the coming out of Alden and Lauri McKay. The soloist was Pepe Romero. It was written to a commission by the girls' parents. Inspiration gutters in the finale so we must keep our hopes within limited bounds.

While Fiesta is in the standard three movements, the Concierto Madrigal (which is for two guitars) is in ten episodes ranging from 1.40 to 6.03. Most are less than three minutes duration. The work is helped along by the ear-catching antiphonal effects of the two guitars. The engineers make good use of this. The movements range far and wide: snappy (Fanfare), inventive and plangently reflective (Madrigal), mordantly edgy (Entrada), nervy-ominous (Girardilla), deliciously innocent raindrop evocations (Pastoral and Arietta) and scathingly percussive Stravinskian (Zapateado). The final Caccia returns to the madrigal around which the concerto is built O felici occhi miei. This work is of very high quality. It was written for Alexandre Lagoya and Ida Presti but premiered by Ángel and Pepe Romero with the Los Angeles Phil conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos on 30 July 1967 at the Hollywood Bowl.

These works are most attractively performed, recorded and balanced. They are despatched with style by all concerned though the orchestra seems less secure than Max Bragado-Darman's Castille y Léon orchestra as used in volumes 3 and 4. Nothing to deter unduly and, given the imaginative qualities of the Madrigal and of the two soloists, a firm recommendation is in order.

Rob Barnett


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