‘Zarzuela and Spanish Orchestra Music’
Chapí: La revoltosa – Preludio*†
Soutullo: La leyenda del beso - Preludio
Chueca: La Gran Vía - Intoducción
Luna: El niño judío – Preludio
Bretón: En la Alhambra – Serenata* / Bolero de concierto*
Guridi: Diez melodías
Granados: Goyescas - Intermezzo
Turina: La procesión del Rocío / La oración del torero
Gran Orquesta Sinfónica* / Orquesta Nacional de España (all other tracks)
Recording: Madrid, 1953-1956
This is the second Argenta CD on Medici, a companion to the first disc which was devoted to the music of Falla in acclaimed performances from Paris in 1957.
"Zarzuela and Spanish orchestral music" covers music by four composers of the Zarzuela - Chapí (being the most famous), Soutullo, Chueca and Luna. This is followed by Tomas Breton, one of Spain's most respected composers and teachers with his popular serenade 'En la Alhambra', a musical portrait of Granada's great Moorish Palace and 'Bolero' from his four 'Andalucian Scenes'. Guridi's popular 'Ten Basque Dances' represents a sequence of tiny dances from the Basque region while Granados's Intermezzo from 'Goyescas' is a wonderfully lyrical orchestral interlude. Albeniz's Navarra and Turina's 'Procesion del Rocio' and 'La oración del torero' (The Bullfighter's Prayer) are now part of the Spanish repertoire and frequently recorded.
Argenta was a champion of Spanish music but his recordings of this repertoire have not been available for many years an then only in Spain. Collectors have frequently requested that these titles be made available to a far wider audience - they are integral to Argenta's discography.
The stereo sound (Chapí is mono) is of excellent quality throughout providing a wonderful range of colour and immediacy.
Argenta finds not only all the explosive energy of the more animated music (a very exciting 'Dance of Terror', for example) but also relishes the more reflective moments and draws out dark colours in the work's most sinister passages. The ending, which can sometimes seem rather abrupt, is superbly managed here too...A valuable concert. (Nigel Simeone, International Record Review – MM025-2)
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