One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger




Jesús GURIDI (1886-1961)
Piano Music
Danzas Viejas (1939) [5:42]
Cantos populares vascos (1917) [7:40]
Vasconia (1924) [13:18]
Ocho apuntes para piano (1954) [15:38]
Lamento e imprecación de Agar (1958) [8:30]
Vals de Mirentxu (1915) [3:19]
Tres piezas breves (1910): Amenecer [2:35]; Nostalgia [3:05]
Victoria Aja (piano)
rec. 30-31 July 2001, Estudio L'Auditorium de Anacrusi. DDD




As those who already know Guridi's orchestral music (Claves, EMI and Naxos) and his opera Amaya (see review) we are in the company of a melodic nationalist. I am not sure how he would have greeted a recording under the banner of 'Spanish Classics'. He was after all a proud Basque first and foremost and his solo piano music is not out of character with his melodic nationalist reputation.

The Ancient Dances are by no means self-consciously 'antique' or arty. Their elements mix Ravel (Danses Sacrees et Danses Profanes) with folk material - on this occasion from Spain. Other parallels include Moeran, Warlock and Bax in their most folksy balladic style. The Muerdago (tr. 2) is extremely touching. The Cantos populares vascos are in much the same unassuming and graceful vein. They may be better known to us from their orchestral versions on Naxos, Claves and EMI - the latter conducted by Arambarri. Most of these pieces are dreamy, seemingly gazing out from the mountains into the aquamarine green Atlantic and the Bay of Biscay. The eighth and final piece breaks the mould with a bright dance. Vasconia frames the substantial seven minute blue-eyed Medtnerian Leyenda between two vigorous pieces - a Viejo carillon and a Tocata festiva. The Ocho apuntes (Eight Sketches) are from 1954 and have an antique neo-Handelian accent. Flecks of nationalist-romanticism take us back to certain works by Bax (Hill Song and Burlesque) and Moeran (Mountain Song). The Lamento e imprecacion de Agar introduces a degree more toughness falling short of out-and-out dissonance. Victoria Aja touches in the lights and the half-lights with joyous subtlety rising to a statement of considerable grandeur at 5.00. The Vals is from his 'Basque operatic idyll' Mirentxu. This is gentle but not especially memorable. The trembling Amenecer is pleasant as is the promisingly titled Nostalgia - both are among Guridi's earliest works.

Victoria Aja studied with Craig Sheppard, Benjamin Kaplan and Murray Perahia. She has a velvety touch and is particularly good at the mezzo-tints which Guridi uses to such touching effect in these poetic and gentle sketches. There’s no heaven-storming here but gallons of nationalist atmosphere and smiling romance.

Rob Barnett




We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

a vibrant slice of life

stylistically assured

About Every Hill and Valley
Swedish Songs

Hallberg and Dente
interesting and most welcome

An inspired partnership
additional review

A valuable document

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Return to 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.