Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

alternatively Classicsonline AmazonUK AmazonUS


Lorenzo PALOMO (b.1938)
Cantos del alma, for soprano, clarinet and orchestra (2002) [24:47]1
Sinfonía a Granada, for soprano, guitar and orchestra (2007) [33:12]2
Maria Bayo (soprano); José Luis Estellés (clarinet)1; Vicente Coves (guitar)2; Luis García Montero (narrator)2;
City of Granada Orchestra/Jean-Jacques Kantorow
rec. 4-10 June 2007, Auditorium Manuel de Falla, Granada
Texts and translations available at
NAXOS 8.570420 [57:59]
Experience Classicsonline

Lorenzo Palomo, a native of Córdoba, is a composer in whose music the traditions of Andalusia are never very far to seek – though he now lives in Berlin. His work has been fairly extensively performed in Spain and elsewhere; his Canciones españolas had its first performance, by Montserrat Caballé in 1987 at Carnegie Hall, for example, and his Dulcinea was premiered in May of 2006 in the Berlin Konzerthaus, with the chorus and orchestra of the Berlin Deutsche Oper. This is the second CD devoted to his work in the Naxos series of Spanish Classics: see the review by Göran Forsling and the review by Evan Dickerson.

Cantos del alma sets four poems by Juan Ramón Jiménez (1881-1958), a fellow Andalusian, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1956. The four texts chosen concentrate on Jiménez’ poetic skill in the evocation of landscape and object, but the selection also allows Palomo to respond to the poet’s sense of the interaction between the human soul and its surroundings, this being essentially the poetry of a kind of belated romanticism. In his settings, Palomo’s writing for the clarinet is particularly fine, not least at the beginning and end of the sequence. In the last song, ‘Los palacios blancos’, setting lines on the death of a child, the interweaving of soprano and clarinet achieves a poignant beauty, in music which is simultaneously elegiac and expressive of a sense of transfiguration, as the soul of the child enters the ‘white palaces’ of heaven. The four poems are symmetrically separated by an orchestral interlude which carries the title ‘Serenata antillana’. The reference to the Antilles evokes Jiménez’ much loved wife and inspiration, Zenobia Camprubí, whose family came from Puerto Rico – the island coming to be very valuable to the poet. Unfortunately on my copy, this track was faulty, though I could hear enough to find the piece richly evocative. Cantos del alma is the more substantial of the two works on this disc, the poems of Jiménez stimulating Palomo to the composition of music of considerable emotional depth and beauty.

The second work here, Sinfonía a Granada is a little more lightweight. The work was commissioned by the Regional Government of Granada and, though one doesn’t doubt the sincerity of the composer’s fascination with that wonderful city and its surrounding area, there are times when the music doesn’t entirely rise above the level of vivid local colour, when it settles for being a kind of high-class musical tourist brochure. Clarinet and soprano voice are replaced by guitar and soprano, poems by Juan Ramón Jiménez are, as it were, replaced by (lesser) poems by Luis García Montero. Again there are four songs and an instrumental interlude – though this time the interlude occurs after the third song rather than after the second. Montero himself is heard as a narrator. The writing for guitar – played with fluent idiomatic control by Vicente Coves – is steeped in the musical gestures of flamenco, especially the rhythmic patterns of the bulerías. ‘Subiendo a la Alhanbra’ is a kind of musical aubade, and the rhythm of the bulería again dominates in ‘La tierra y el mar’, where affinities with Rodrigo are perhaps most noticeable. ‘Danza del Sacromonte’ was, the composer tells us, inspired by a specific experience: “A couple of years ago I was spending the night in the company of the great flamenco singer, Enrique Morente, and other friends in the narrow streets of Sacromonte. A gipsy girl came out if a cave some distance from us. She was very graceful with long hair, and carrying a guitar. The tapping of her shoes resonated loudly in my ears. Her silhouette, lit up by the moon, stood out marvellously in the night. That image fascinated me”. The result is a striking piece, a miniature tone poem full of vivid colours and rhythmic patterns. It is a piece which might surely find its way into programmes, on disc or in the concert hall, independent of the rest of the Sinfonía a Granada. And perhaps in that suggestion lies the problem. The very title ‘Sinfonia’ perhaps encourages one to expect more unity than one encounters here. The work tends to fragment into five sections; in truth it would have been better described as a suite. As such, it contains - with its echoes of flamenco and gipsy rhythms, of Rodrigo, of the remembered melismata of much older musical traditions, some pleasantly attractive and colourful music, but feels a little lightweight after the powerful songs of the Cantos del alma.

Palomo has been very well served by his performers here. The two instrumental soloists are excellent and any Spanish composer (one is tempted to say any composer) who has his music sung by Maria Bayo is on to a very good thing. The City of Granada Orchestra play with discipline and colour under the direction of Jean-Jacques Kantorow. The whole makes a useful addition to a valuable series.

Glyn Pursglove


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

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.