Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A visit to Andalusia

From June 26, 2012:


Though this is the 8th disc in Jordi Maso's survey of the complete piano music of Joaquin Turina, don't worry that there might not be pieces of interest left. All of the music on the CD shares a common theme: the music of Turina's homeland, Andalusia, and it's definitely worth the visit.

We somehow never feel closer to our roots than when we're away. Turina wrote his piano suite Jardins d'Andalousie in Madrid, and filled the movements with the rhythms and folk melodies of his native land. In Le Quartier de Santa Cruz, written immediately afterwards, he zeroes in on the neighborhood of Seville where he grew up. Though the sound-world of this music was adapted from Debussy and Ravel, Turina is expressing his most personal thoughts and emotions.

Nostalgia for home continues in the late work Las musas de Andalucia, and especially in En el cortijo (Impresiones andaluzas), which was interrupted by the Spanish civil war. Though the landscapes are varied - urban and rural, mythological and modern, dramatic and pastoral - every individual piece and variation seems intensely personal. This comes partly from the composer's inspiration but also from Jordi Maso's interpretations: full of character and technically secure. It's great that Maso & Naxos are providing this Turina series to go with those of Granados, Mompou, Monsalvatge and other Spanish composers for the piano.

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