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)
Cello Concerto - Concerto in Modo Galante (1949) [26.09]
Violin Concerto - Concierto de Estio (1944) [21.39]
Cello Concerto - Concierto como un divertimento (1981) [26.06]
Cançoneta for violin and orchestra (1923) [3.39]
Asier Polo (cello)
Mikhail Ovrutsky (violin)
Castille y Léon SO/Max Bragado-Darman
rec Valladolid, July, Nov 2001, DDD
Complete Orchestral Works: Vol. 3
NAXOS 8.555840 [77.33]


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It has taken me until now to sample the Naxos series of Rodrigo's orchestral works. My loss! I jumped on the boat at volume 3 and can only say that if the others are of equal artistic and technical quality then this is one of those sequences not to be missed.

The playing ripples with vitality and courtliness. The remarkably powerful sound seethes with detail.

Rodrigo, rather like Martinů and Sibelius, has highly specific hallmarks which proclaim his personality without equivocation: long Hispanic melodies the equivalent of a sunny sierra, jerky ostinati, peppery trumpet roles. His music shares characteristics of Vivaldi, of Boccherini and of Stravinsky.

These pieces sparkle with activity yet yield to longing - as in the Adagietto of the Galante. The motoric chatter of the solo violin in the outer movements contrasts with the poetic side represented by the hushed Siciliana in the Estio - a summer concerto indeed. The raw braying and yelping of the brass proclaim a Northern energy in the finale - this is no longer a summer of siestas! The violin flickers and flames. The Canconeta is half Havanaise and half love song. This is music of utmost tenderness. It is played with a sense of wonder. The Divertimento concerto was written for Julian Lloyd Webber and his estimable premiere recording is on a twofer from BMG (also reviewed on this site). This however is an excellent version and more closely and also a shade less subtly projected by the engineers. It is a delight from start to end and the adagio nostalgico glints with a myriad firefly sparks over which the cello sings a fine noble melody. Not for the first time I detected a touch of Barber in this music. The busy allegro scherzando is not up to the standard of the other movements.

A cracking collection of music outside the Guitar ghetto. Go for it. You will not be sorry.

Rob Barnett

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