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)
Piano Concerto (rev. Achúcarro) (1942 rev 1996) [30.29]
Preludio para un poema a la Alhambra (1928) [7.36]
Música para un jardín (1935) [11.11]
Homenaje a la tempranica (1939) [5.34]
Juglares (1923) [5.26]
Daniel Ligorio Ferrandiz (piano)
Castille y León SO/Max Bragado-Darman
rec Valladolid, July, Nov, 2001, DDD
Complete Orchestral Works: Vol. 4
NAXOS 8.557101 [60.17]


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This confirms my favourable findings on volume three in this series. The music is unfamiliar but probing and pleasing. Rodrigo's melodic, sharp-focus Hispanic impressionism paints in clarity and delicacy.

The Preludio looks towards the Alhambra in a shimmer of colours suggestive of the brilliance of Frank Bridge and Eugene Goossens. The Musica para un jardin (a depiction of the seasonal life of Madrid's El Retiro park) is similarly subtle but surprisingly avant-garde in feeling in the case of its own first movement. The Homenaje has a seriously tragic momentum. Juglares is Rodrigo's first orchestral work - smiling, placid and ferial though it too rises to a powerfully tragic moment. Not for the first time does the music stand in tribute to Petruchka's Easter Fair.

The 1990s revision of the 1942 Concierto Heroico may well have shorn the work of some of its more transfigurational material. The Naxos disc gives us Joaquín Achúcarro's version which was premiered in 1996 in Valencia. Only in the torrid steady intensity of the great Largo do we glimpse the composer of the Aranjuez concerto. The work dates from the turbulent days of 1942 and is dedicated to the Roman ruins of the town of Sagunto in the province of Valencia. Sagunto was Rodrigo's birthplace. There are some moments of legendary vision and at those times we can perceive echoes with the contemporary and 1930s works of Ivanovs (Atlantis), Ireland (Legend) and Bax (Saga Fragment). Much of the rest of the work refers to Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky (a little), Bach, Beethoven (a real pesante in the finale) and the primitive brass writing of the early masters of the Iberian renaissance.

Attractive if not quite in the same league as volume 3. I would now like to hear the original version of the Heroico as recorded by EMI in their complete Rodrigo edition.

Rob Barnett

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

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