A Musical Journey - Spain
A Musical Visit to Andalusia, Sitges, Seville and Granada
Chapters 1- 3 and 7, Andalusian landscape
Chapter 4, Andalusia, Medin-Sidonia
Chapters 5, Catalonia, Sitges
Chapter 6, Andalusia, Seville Cathedral
Chapter 8, Andalusia, El Albaicin
Chapter 9, Andalusia, Arcos de la Frontera
Chapter 10, Andalusia, Sunset in Granada
Music by Maurice Ravel Rapsodie Espagnole. Slovak Symphony Orchestra/Kenneth Jean. Isaac Albéniz, piano suite Iberia, Zambra granadina and Asturias, CSSR State Philharmonic Orchestra/Peter Breiner. Gerald Garcia (guitar). No recording dates, venues or relationship with a Naxos CD indicated
DVD Director: Gachot
Cameraman: H T Aschwanden
Audio Format: DTS 5.1. Dolby Digital 5.1. PCM Stereo 2.0
Video Format: NTSC. Region 0. Colour. Aspect ratio 4:3
NAXOS DVD 2.110310 [55.14] 

Andalusia is an historic autonomous region of southern Spain with a population approaching nine million. With its capital in Seville it occupies a vast area from the Mediterranean and is traversed by the mountains of Sierra Morena and Sierra Nevada. After Moorish occupation it came back into Spanish Christian rule in 1492. The town of Granada has a spectacular setting among the mountains with the Alhambra Palace and Alcazaba fortress drawing many tourists.
The selection of pictures complementing the music of Ravel (CHs. 1-4) and Albéniz (CH.5 et seq) have a predilection, often found when Gachot is editor, for views of the countryside and waving fields of cereal crops. There are no views of the magnificent setting of Granada or the wonderful Alhambra Palace. There are, however, prolonged views of the setting sun nearby (CH.10). Interesting, but nothing like what could have been shown and of much greater interest and representative of this spectacular region.
With Andalusia having its own coastline on the Costa del Sol, why it was necessary to divert to Catalonian Sitges to show pictures of the seaside, boats on the sea and a child paddling defeats me (CH.5). There are a few items of interest included that illustrate the nature of the area and its architectural and geological features. Of greater, outstanding interest, is the Cathedral at Seville, reputedly the largest Gothic church in the world. Built in the 15th century on the site of a 12th century mosque the doorways are ornamented with a variety of sculpted figures. The elaborate interior holds many treasures, with its royal chapel, the ornamented retablo of the Capilla Mayor and statues of the Blessed Virgin (CH.6).
Other items of interest include the Albaicin, the oldest part of Granada. It reflects Moorish influence in its narrow alleys and houses (CH.8) along with Arcos de la Frontera. Set on a rocky hillside from which it dominates the plains below, the geological strata are a plus (CH.9).
The sleeve notes do not include details of the music played or the provenance of the recording used.
Robert J Farr 

Even more frustrating than usual in what is omitted picture-wise. How can one visit Granada and not show its setting or the Alhambra Palace? 

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