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From polyphonic chants and masses; through the harpsichord virtuoso music of Soler; and to the unmistakably Iberian and evocative music of Granados, Mompou and Rodrigo; Spain has rich and multifaceted musical heritage. Spanish music has often connections with the country’s bright sunlight and culture of dance and fiesta; the rhythmic energy of dances such as the flamenco and fandango complimenting unforgettable evocations of landscape and shimmering horizons. From Alfonzo X “El Sabio” to Victoria, and Albeniz to Villa-Rojo, the Naxos catalogue of Spanish music speaks to us with a unique passion which will enrich and delight.

Check out the following selection of Spanish Classics, selected  from our dedicated Segment Catalogue – click on the cover image to view the PDF file.


Recent Releases


Naxos 8.572625
BALADA, L.: Caprichos Nos. 1 and 5 / A Little Night Music in Harlem / Reflejos
Pietu, Mata, Franco, Iberian Chamber Orchestra, Temes

Catalan-born Leonardo Balada fuses tradition with modernity and folk with the avant-garde, producing music of stunning sonorities. Caprichos No 1 pays homage to the poet Lorca in a blend of virtuosic writing and transformative dance rhythms. In Caprichos No 5, based on Albéniz’s piano music, distorted melodies are revealed, as well as instruments engaging in exciting duels. A Little Night Music in Harlem sees Mozart translated via surrealist sleight of hand, whilst Reflejos balances lament with typically incendiary brilliance.

Naxos 8.572475-76
CABEZON, A. de: Tientos and Variations (Complete)
Wilson

“El ciego tañedor” or “the blind keyboardist”, Antonio de Cabezón was one of the most inspired masters of his day and a protégé at the court of King Philip II (whose favourite painting, reproduced on the cover of the booklet, came into his possession while Cabezón was with him in Brussels in 1555). Keyboard music was attaining a status equal to vocal polyphony at this time, and Cabezón’s sophisticated Tientos are at the forefront of a rapid rise in a new intensity of expression. Where the Tientos relate to vocal styles the Variations can frequently be traced to popular songs and dance tunes such as the Folía.

Naxos 8.572636
MONTSALVATGE, X.: Piano Music, Vol. 3 - Calidoscopio / 5 invocaciones al Crucificado
Maso, Villalba

Xavier Montsalvatge was a major contributor to Catalonian culture in the 20th century. His works for two pianos collect most of his musical preoccupations into a single programme. The jazz-tinted Barcelona Blues reflects his “passion for the ballet”, and the Tres divertimentos his fascination with ‘Les Six’. Borrowing the sonorities of Bartók, Sum Vermis expresses the “tortured symbolism” of Jacint Verdaguer’s poetry. One of Montsalvatge’s own favourites, the rarely performed5 Invocaciones al Crucificado evokes biblical dramatic intensity, and the self-paraphrasing Calidoscopio looks back over the composer’s own creative past. Jordi Masó’s complete recording of Montsalvatge’s solo piano music can be found on 8.570744 and 8.570756.

Naxos 8.570893
SARASATE, P. de: Violin and Piano Music, Vol. 3
Tianwa Yang, Hadulla

         
 

Tianwa Yang’s admired and revelatory Sarasate series continues with a volume of captivatingly melodic compositions. Given Sarasate’s prodigious status in the violin pantheon, technical demands on the performer are often—but not universally—constant. But so too is his unfailing gift for lyricism, whether in the elegant Boléro, the balletic Sérénade andalouse or the aria-like Rêverie. The dazzling bowing difficulties in the Fantaisie-Caprice are thrilling, and so are the bird call harmonics of Los pájaros de Chile, written during a South American tour and only very recently published.

Naxos 8.572516
SOLER, A.: Keyboard Sonatas Nos. 16-27
Shimkus

This collection completes the 27 sonatas by Padre Antonio Soler which make up his contribution to the Fitzwilliam manuscript. Nos 1–15 are available on Naxos 8.572515. These bipartite sonatas contain prime examples of Soler’s theories of modulation, from elegant “slow” passing between notes to “agitated” extremes of contrast. The result is constant surprise, both in spectacular technique and expressive depth. Award-winning pianist Vestard Shimkus has been described as “a phenomenon” (conductor Paavo Järvi), “superb” (American Record Guide) and “inspired” (BBC.co.uk website).

Naxos 8.572682
TURINA, J.: Piano Music, Vol. 8 - Jardines de Andalucia / El barrio de Santa Cruz / En el cortijo
Maso

Turina was one of the great musical poets of his native Andalusia, and his music is drenched in its colour, variety and dance. Jardins d’Andalousie illustrates his dazzlingly picturesque absorption of the seguidilla rhythm and an invocation of courtly scenes. Le Quartier de Santa Cruz is one of his longest piano works and depicts a dramatic narrative of love, duel, and drama in Seville, whilst En el cortijo visits the plains for a quartet of rural episodes of rich characterisation and virtuosity. Jordi Masó’s ongoing Turina cycle has received worldwide acclaim.

Naxos 8.572647
GERHARD, R. / MONTSALVATGE, X. / CASSADO, G.: Piano Trios
Trio Arriaga

These three Catalan piano trios reveal illuminating facets of each composer. Roberto Gerhard’s early trio exudes a distinctly French ethos, alongside that of de Falla, very different from his later asperity. Xavier Montsalvatge’s much later work, written between 1986 and 1988, owes its origin to disparate sources but forms an impressive whole, and is lyrical, expressive, sensual and dance-like in turn. Admired as a cellist, Gaspar Cassadó composed a brilliantly virtuoso trio, influenced by earlier Spanish models, but revealing great panache and considerable demands via guitar imitations, malagueña rhythms and lashings of folkloric brio.

Naxos 8.572876
THE GUERRA MANUSCRIPT, Vol. 2
Sancho, Ars Atlantica

Named after an eminent scribe at the court in Madrid, the Guerra Manuscript contains over one hundred secular songs from the second half of the seventeenth century. The anthology is a valuable repository of music from anonymous sources but also from Spain’s very finest Baroque composers, such as Juan Hidalgo and José Marín. These expressive songs, largely on poetic and mythological themes, are performed by some of the world’s leading interpreters of the genre, whose first volume in this series [8.570135] received great acclaim.



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