Search MusicWeb Here


selling Internationally

aBantock 4CDs £16 post-free

 

2CDs £9 post-free

New! CRD


£9 post-free

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Editor-in-Chief: Rob Barnett


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

 

  • Bantock Khayyam
  • Arthur Butterworth Symphonies
  • William Wordsworth Symphonies
  • Sir John in Love
  • Violin Concertos


Shostakovich 5, 8 9
Great concentration


Complete Works
Special price £135.75


Fröhlich Quartets
What a discovery!


GREIF Sonate de Requiem for Cello and Piano


a sonic treat


Terrific performances


the finest Verdi cast available


Let me tell you
Stratospheric Barbara Hannigan


David Pia


Beethoven Rattle


Highly Impressive


Matthews Shostakovich
Sheer delight!


To live with


outstanding retrospective


A superb celebration

 

 


alternatively AmazonUK

Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946)
Piano Music Volume 2
Canción (1900) [02:16]
Cortejo de los gnomos (1901) [02:18]
Vals-Capricho (1900) [03:11]
Canción de los remeros del Volga (1922) [03:39]
Mazurca (c.1899) [05:23]
Fantasia bética (1919) [13:17]
2 Dances from “La vida breve” (1913) [08:02]
Suite from “El sombrero de tres picos” (1919) [17:39]
Daniel Ligorio (piano)
rec. February-March 2005, Estudios Moraleda, Barcelona
NAXOS 8.555066 [55:47]



This second volume completes Ligorio’s survey of de Falla’s piano music (see review of Volume 1 - 8.555065). Even with the completion and editing of some unfinished ballet and opera transcriptions the discs are somewhat short. Recently I listened to Baselga’s single BIS record which shows that the original piano music, including the juvenilia, fits neatly onto one generously timed CD.
 
Still, we will not doubt Ligorio’s labour of love. I compared him with Baselga in the first two pieces listening on headphones. The Naxos recording sounded impressively rich, the BIS a little less immediate. But listening to the rest of the programme over loudspeakers the Naxos sometimes seemed clattery in loud passages, the BIS full-toned but with good perspective.
 
As to the performances, I thought at first Ligorio was getting a little more out of the music. At a slower tempo his “Canción” sounds even more like a spare Satie Gymnopčdie and his “Cortejo de los gnomos” is amusingly grotesque. Baselga is good but slightly bland in comparison. On the other hand, Ligorio plays the “Vals-Capricho” drily and mechanically, as if for a puppet show. It’s an idea, but here Baselga’s nostalgic rubato and warmer textures seem to find more in the music.
 
Honours are even, I’d say, in the bleakly Stravinskian setting of the “Song of the Volga Boatman”. Why insert it in the group of early pieces, though? Ligorio’s “Mazurca” has more of the Mazurka feel to it though Baselga’s more inflected version has its attractions. 
 
This is probably not music you need to hear often but it’s important to have a good “Fantasia bética” – de Falla’s one masterpiece for solo piano. Ligorio is good but he sounds a little laboured in certain passages beside Baselga.
 
Ligorio has compared the published versions of de Falla’s transcriptions with the composer’s sketches in an attempt to come up with a version which is as close as possible to the orchestral score. His notes give minimum information. The second dance from “La vida breve” and the final “Jota” from “Sombrero” are recorded for the first time so I presume they were not actually completed and published. This latter emerges as rather lumpy, not quite the scintillating finale it can be on the orchestra. Did de Falla not complete it because he had doubts? On the whole, while Ligorio plays these transcriptions well he does not convince me they are a genuine alternative to the colourful orchestral originals.
 
While recognizing that Ligorio scores over Baselga in a few of the early pieces my recommendation is fairly clear. Go to Baselga for the complete original music on one disc, and get good orchestral versions of the ballet and opera extracts. Or go to Alicia de Larrocha (Decca), who chose what she presumably thought the best of the original pieces and added a few of the transcriptions.
 
Christopher Howell

see also review by John France
 



 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Altus
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
CRD
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Prima voce
Red Priest
Redcliffe
Retrospective
Saydisc
Sheva
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Editor in Chief
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger
 

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.