Capricho Latino
Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909)
Asturias (Leyenda) arr. Rachel Barton Pine [6:02]
Roque CORDERO (1917-2008)
Rapsodia Panameña [9:14]
Balada Española (Romance) arr. Jesús FLORIDO (b.1969) [2:10]
César ESPEJO (1892-1988)
Prélude Ibérique (1958) [4:44]
Manuel QUIROGA (1892-1961)
Emigrantes Celtas (1924) [3:09]
Terra!! Á Nosa!! (1924) [2:10]
Eugène YSAŸE (1858-1931)
Sonata No.6 for solo violin (1923) [6:34]
Luis Jorge GONZÁLEZ (b.1936)
Epitalamio Tanguero (2004) [5:48]
José WHITE (1835-1918)
Etude No.6 (a Secindino Arrango) (1868) [5:11]
Francisco TÁRREGA (1852-1909)
Recuerdos de la Alhambra (1896) arr. Ruggiero Ricci [3:47]
Joaquín RODRIGO (1901-99)
Capriccio (Offrande à Sarasate) (1944) [6:18]
José SEREBRIER (b.1938)
Aires de Tango (2010) [8:18]
Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-92)
Tango Etude No. 3 con Libertango arr. Rachel Barton Pine [4:22]
Alan RIDOUT (1934-96)
Ferdinand the Bull (1971) [10:43] ¹
Rachel Barton Pine (violin solo)
Héctor Elizondo (narrator) ¹
rec. July 2009 and January 2011, Fay and Daniel Levin Performance Studio, WFMT, Chicago
CEDILLE RECORDS CDR 90000 124 [79:38]

With the exception of Alan Ridout’s 1971 Ferdinand the Bull, Rachel Barton Pine’s disc consists of solo violin fireworks predicated on Latino lines. Even when the composer is Ysaÿe, in one of his famous 1923 solo sonatas, the recipient of the dedication is the violinist Manuel Quiroga, and the work infused with the dedicatee’s Iberian passion. For good measure we are helpfully treated to two of Quiroga’s own pieces, and these are real rarities on disc.

In fact it’s as well to begin with this virtuoso fiddler. Like its companion piece Emigrantes Celtas was written the year after Ysaye’s solo sonatas, so it’s been cannily chosen for reasons both of chronology and content. It’s a melancholy fantasy whereas Terra!! Á Nosa!! Is a vibrant folklotic drama complete with bagpipe drone imitations. Incidentally Quiroga did record some of his own compositions but never the solo works. He was a bewitching colourist and his genre pieces reflect his vivid sense of drama. Barton Pine has arranged Albéniz’s Asturias cleverly fusing the piano and guitar arrangements. But she’s certainly not averse to broadening the repertoire substantially, which she does when tackling Roque Cordero’s Rapsodia Panameña. This work is an uneasy accommodation of Panamanian ease and abrasive twelve-tone writing, a bridge never wholly successfully realised to my mind, though others may well disagree. The Balada Española is better known as the music from the film Jeux interdits and from Narciso Yepes’s guitar recording. It survives the translation to violin, with all the associated transformative difficulties of melodic projection rather well.

César Espejo wrote his Prélude Ibérique in 1958 for Henryk Szeryng. It’s a busy, virtuosic affair, quite showy in places, and Barton Pine responds with some intense vibrato. Another technically difficult piece is that of Luis Jorge González whose Epitalamio Tanguero was written in 2004 for the soloist and her husband. We also have the old world charm of José White, whose Etude No.6 is a dancing affair, and that guitar standby, Recuerdos de la Alhambra which Ruggiero Ricci has arranged, and very adeptly, for violin. Serebrier’s Aires de Tango is another piece dedicated to Barton Pine and its melancholy romanticism comes buttressed by fast bowing demands. Piazzolla’s Tango was arranged by the soloist and it opens with uncharacteristic ‘machine gun’ attacca. The difference in acoustic between the reciter, Héctor Elizondo, and Barton Pine is not beneficial to Ferdinand the Bull, a witty and imaginative tale, well told, and finely performed. Barton Pine is in the Levon Chilingirian class in this performance.

For those who fancy the concentrated pleasures of a Latin or Latin-inspired solo violin outing, this imaginatively selected programme has been excellently realised.

Jonathan Woolf

This imaginatively selected programme has been excellently realised.