Palatin violin IBS222021
Support us financially by purchasing from

Fernando PALATÍN (1852-1927)
Adiós al Alcázar [6:45]
Fantasía Española (1880) [10:02]
Elegía (1876) [5:01]
Impromptu (1880) [2:08]
Mazurka sentimental (1916) [3:39]
Fantasía de Carmen (1882) [11:36]
Cuento triste (1921) [3:58]
Andaluza (1917) [4:21]
Floresta (1915) [4:16]
Avispas (Wasps) (1878/9) [3:11]
Meditación [3:42]
Bluette [4:15]
Cuento alegre (1916) [2:01]
La Maja coqueta (1917) [2:45]
Rafael Muñoz Torrero (violin)
Julio Moguer (piano)
rec. January 2020, Auditorio Manuel de Falla, Granada
IBS CLASSICAL IBS222021 [68:13]

Who was Fernando Palatín? Strictly speaking he was Fernando Palatín y Garfias, born in Seville in 1852, who studied in Paris with Joseph White and Jean-Delphin Alard. At the age of 17 he won the Premier Prix for violin, an almost automatic guide to success – other winners included Kreisler, Capet, Thibaud, Flesch and Enescu – but events such as the Franco-Prussian war conspired to thwart him. He returned to Pau in Spain and for decades carved out local successes whilst continuing to tour as a virtuoso soloist earning the admiration of his peers before spending the last years of his life back in his native Seville.

He's not in English-language dictionaries and, unlike his somewhat older contemporary, Sarasate, left behind no recordings so it’s necessary to rely on contemporary accounts such as a recital notice in The Times which spoke of his having ‘a talent of the first order, a musician consummate in his art and whose skill as a performer is associated with a deep intelligence of art.’ This seems to argue for a spiritual and expressive depth unusual in violinists of his time. Now we have a chance to hear some of his music for violin and piano performed by Rafael Muñoz Torrero and Julio Moguer, who perform fourteen character pieces only two of which breach the ten-minute mark.

It's clear from these pieces that whilst Palatín shared Sarasate’s engagement with Spanish-themed music, his main concern was not in virtuosic self-promotion. Rather, he presents a fine balance between technical difficulty and subtly coloured motifs, something that the Fantasía Española – composed when he was not yet 30 – shows very nicely. It’s the kind of material Sarasate would have enjoyed but Palatín’s is a quieter voice, the material is well distributed between violin and piano – there’s a truly independent piano part in fact – and it’s not taken too fast. The Elegie shows the lyric elasticity of which he was something of a minor master and the Impromptu reveals his genial ear for bagatelle-like material. The Mazurka sentimental dates from 1916 – he died in 1927 – and has plenty of insinuating charm whereas the Fantasía de Carmen, the other ‘big’ work in the programme offers a potpourri, very familiar for its time (and which includes the Habanera), but without forcing the soloist into combative postures.

Some of the pieces in the album are, like this one, obviously ‘Spanish’ whilst others are more generic, more Central European in their influences, such as the Cuento triste but he also has a strong folkloric side (Andaluza) and a Schumannesque element (Floresta). The Meditación shows his qualities of sentiment, whilst the Bluette is a rather Old School, Kreislerian Gavotte.

It’s to IBS’s credit that they have supported this accomplished album, excellently – and appropriately - recorded in Grenada by two fine musicians devoted to promoting the life and work of Fernando Palatín.

Jonathan Woolf