(Books One and Two) España
TELDEC 8573-81703-2 [62:25]
So many films use exotic Spanish rhythms, harmonies
and orchestrations to enhance atmosphere and drama of exotically
located films. Here is a beguiling compilation of delightful Spanish
music played with great sensitively and style.
Iberia 1st book
The opening passages of 'Evocation' are played
with subtle technique, passion and colour; the gentle rhythms
sympathetically drawn - dreamy and evocative with exquisite pianissimo
passages. 'El Puerto' is throbbing and exciting with very lovely
phrasing and colour. The syncopated passages are a delight to
hear. 'Fête-Dieu à Séville' is a celebration
in Spanish style, it's a colourful musical portrait; all life
processes there - timpani rolls, bells tolling and strutting Spaniards.
Suddenly, the excitement gives way to tranquil pianissimo.
Iberia Book 2
The 'Rondeña' takes its name from the
small town of Ronda. Its fandango dance rhythm conjures up a scene
of heat, siesta and gentle living, the time signature constantly
changing. 'Almeria' is another colourful portrait of a Mediterranean
Frequently changing rhythms are followed by a
beautiful expressive melody which catches the listener unexpectedly.
Barenboim's technique cleverly portrays the scene with delicate
tints and dynamics, a most delightful track. The final piece in
Book 2, 'Triana', so named after a part of Seville has graceful
'Pasa Doble' dance rhythms gradually building up to a feisty forte
The six pieces that form the suite España,
written in London in 1890, are simple in structure but nonetheless
melodic and begin with a short prelude. 'Tango', the best known
perhaps, has a dreamy quality despite its exotic rhythm. 'Malaguena'
takes its name from the city of Malaga and its rhythm from the
Fandango. Beneath an ostinato figure in the right hand, an obvious
Spanish melody can be heard in the left hand, with arpeggiated
chords. 'Serenata' is somewhat less Spanish in style and sound
but is very sensitively played. 'Caprichio Catalan' - in this
evocative piece, Albeniz is remembering his homeland, its simple
melody is pleasing and memorable. Finally, 'Zortico', a Basque
dance rhythm in 5/8 time, is both colourful and passionate in
Daniel Barenboim seems to have a particular
affinity for Spanish music. His empathy with the musical soul
of Albeniz, and what he was trying to say, makes this recording
anexciting and most enjoyable experience.