Known principally as a virtuoso pianist and the composer of some of the greatest masterpieces in the Spanish piano music repertoire, Granados also wrote a number of orchestral pieces that have rarely been recorded. In light of this, and to mark the centenary of his death which falls this month, Naxos is releasing three new discs of his orchestral works. The pieces on this first volume, all receiving their world première recordings, demonstrate the range of influences that fed into his compositions, the most substantial and ambitious being the Suite on Galician Songs. The orchestra, from Granados' native Catalonia, worked under conductor Pablo González from 2010-15. Together, they make an ideal pairing for this new cycle of Granados' highly attractive, yet largely unknown works.
Although he is best known as the composer of some of the greatest masterpieces of Spanish piano music, Enrique Granados also wrote a much less well-known sequence of orchestral music. The cinematic Marcha de los vencidos evokes the painful trudging of ‘the defeated’ in an unspecified battle, while the incidental music for the play Torrijos demonstrates Granados’s talent for lyrical writing and his love of the stage. The ambitious Suite sobre cantos gallegos uses Galician folk melodies and dance rhythms to reflect the landscapes of the region. This is the first recording in a series marking the centenary of Granados’s death.
Listen to an extract from Suite sobre cantos gallegos:
IV. Final: La fiesta
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about this new release
About the Artists
Pablo González studied at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama and went on to become winner of the Donatella Flick and the Cadaqués International Conducting Competitions. He has held the positions of associate conductor with both the London Symphony and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras, as well as principal guest conductor of the Orchestra of the City of Granada. From 2010 to 2015 he was music director of Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya. Also active in opera, he made a highly successful British operatic début conducting L’elisir d’amore for Glyndebourne on Tour, leading to another major collaboration in 2016/17.
The OBC (Barcelona Symphony Orchestra – the National Orchestra of Catalonia) was founded in 1944. Its commitment is to promote classical and contemporary music of all cultures, giving special attention to Catalan composers. The OBC has enjoyed collaboration with renowned conductors and soloists as well as major Spanish institutions and festivals. The OBC has visited some of the world’s major concert halls, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and has taken part in international festivals including the Proms in London at the Royal Albert Hall and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival.
Cor Madrigal was founded in Barcelona in 1951 by Manuel Cabero and has collaborated with a number of great conductors, including Celibidache, Cambreling, Frühbeck de Burgos, McCreesh, Decker, Gonzalez, Hager, King, Mena, Pinnock, Rostropovich and Soustrot. Mireia Barrera was appointed chorusmaster in 1993. The Cor Madrigal has been the partner choir of the Auditorium of Barcelona and the Symphony Orchestra of Barcelona since the 2012–13 season.
Piano music by Granados
“The playing of Douglas Riva exudes authority...These are splendid performances of beautiful music. The featured works stand well together, and listening to the entire disc as a whole is a very pleasant experience.”
– MusicWeb International
Listen to an extract from Dansas espagñolas:
No. 6. Rondalla aragonesa
“Pianist Riva lovingly delivers these works with a richly seductive piano sound. He has technique to spare and a wonderful lyrical sense, hearing notes of chords as melodic strands connecting to what came before and comes after, and he balances them accordingly - no small feat.”
– American Record Guide
Listen to an extract from Escenas poéticas: Danza de la rosa
“This is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding piano discs I’ve heard this year...an essential purchase for all pianophiles.”
– MusicWeb International
Listen to an extract from In the Village:
No. 3 Cortege, Wedding March
More releases by the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and National Orchestra of Catalonia
“This is an exceptional disc all round.”
“David Krakauer plays to the manner born as well he might as one of the world’s leading advocates of Klezmer.”
– MusicWeb International
“Michal Nesterowicz’s tempi are flawless, and he cares for much of clarity, so that Meyerbeer’s music is never pompously overblown.”
– Pizzicato ★★★★★
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