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Turina x Turina - Music for Wind Quintet
Joaquín TURINA (1882-1949)/José Luis TURINA(b. 1952)
Sevilla, Op. 2 (1908) [18.15]
La Oración del Torero, Op. 34 (1925) [8.08]
Danzas Gitanas, Op. 55 (1930) [12.11]
Mujeres Españolas, Series two, Op.73 (1932) [13.46]
José Luis TURINA
Variaciones sobre temas de Turina (2009 for piano four hands, arr. for wind quintet 2015) [9.02]
Azahar Ensemble
rec. 2017 Ölberg-Kirche, Berlin
PROFIL PH18073 [62.56]

This is a debut album from Spanish-based wind quintet Azahar Ensemble. The album contains four works in arrangements for wind quintet which were originally written by the famous Spanish composer Joaquín Turina; it was the composer’s grandson José Luis Turina who arranged these scores for wind quintet. Also included is one of José Luis Turina’s own works, originally for piano four hands, based on themes from his grandfather’s works, that he has arranged for wind quintet. Joaquín Turina is famous for his evocations of Spanish everyday life and heritage especially that of Andalusia and this collection in its guise for wind quintet is given a marvellous performance by Azahar Ensemble.

The opening work Sevilla, Op. 2, made up of three pieces, was originally written by Turina for solo piano in 1908. Said to be his first Andalusian inspired work it’s an early work composed whilst in Paris where he had studied under Vincent d’Indy. Inspired by an afternoon of bullfighting in Madrid, La Oración del Torero (The bullfighter’s prayer), Op. 34 from 1925 was originally composed for ‘Laúd’ Quartet which are lutes used in Spanish folk music. From 1930 the Danzas Gitanas, Op. 55 for solo piano were inspired by gypsy life in Granada and intended to represent moods, traditional music and dance rather than specific places. Fifteen years after his first set of Mujeres Españolas (Spanish Women) for solo paino, Turina completed his second series Op. 73 in 1932 which are miniature tone pictures of Spanish women. A prolific composer, Turina’s grandson José Luis Turina is included here with his Variaciones sobre temas de Turina. Originally scored for piano four hands here is his 2015 wind quintet arrangement that he prepared for Azahar Ensemble.

Founded in 2010 and taking its name from Azahares “the Fragrances of love songs and orange blossoms” the Azahar Ensemble excel in these Turina scores. From start to finish the wind playing of each work is out of the top-drawer. Especially noticeable is the level of commitment and immediacy given to these scores with playing of considerable style that produces warm and vivid tone colours.

Also most enjoyable, José Luis Turina’s Variaciones sobre temas de Turina is a fine work close to the soundworld of his grandfather Joaquín, being steeped in Spanish atmosphere and heritage.

Successfully recorded at Ölberg-Kirche, Berlin the sound engineers have provided clarity and pleasing balance. The booklet essay is reasonably helpful but additional information on each work wouldn’t have gone amiss. In this appealing release Turina x Turina the Azahar Ensemble excel with these wind quintet arrangements of works by renowned Spanish composer Joaquín Turina.

Michael Cookson

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