The indefatigable Jordi Masó continues his exploration of the
piano works of Turina in this, the fifth volume of his series.
The pianist has made an important contribution to chamber works
by the composer for Naxos; his ensemble expertise in the violin
works was especially fine and he knows, from the inside, how the
late impressionist stresses that course through the music are
best to be developed and suggestively realised. In the medium
of the solo piano works that is more stark, but also more concentrated.
have in this volume both sets of Contes d’Espagne. The first
was written in 1918 and its geographical lexicon of Andalucían
sunshine is as potent as ever. Devout flourishes vie with
impressionist tinged, Debussian paragraph points, and hints
of Granados propel the luxuriant rhythmic and melodic charge.
The harmonic implications are heady and verdant. Song is seldom
far from the surface, not least in Miramar (Series I) and
amidst the burnished Iberian landscape hints perhaps of Rachmaninoff
are evident too in the chording – try Dans les jardins
de Murcia. If you want dramatic colour, colloquial strength,
easeful lyricism, melodic richness and a sense of place, look
no further. I can’t decide which set I prefer. The second
includes some festive dynamism, as well as limpid song, both
affecting and reflective. True, the second set of 1928 is
less obviously artful than the earlier one, but it does include
some wonderful things. The sixth piece is the one most reminiscent
of the first set in its texture but the fact that they are
so distinguishable surely only adds to the appeal.
de l’Ancienne Espagne is
another dance patterned charmer, rich in Habanera and vigorous,
but taking in saturnine material and chiselled bass chording.
Silhouettes is a suite from 1931. It is typical Turina
in its free spirited and unpretentious vitality, and its dramatic
and vivacious masculinity exerts an undeniable spell.
alluring sun bathed piano writing meets its match in this
devoted exponent, and the attractive recorded sound is another