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Allen Linkowski
American Record Guide, April 2000

"As Douglas Riva states in his excellent notes, Goyescas 'is one of the truly great effusions of romantic pianism and one of the most important Spanish keyboard works'. Its sounds evoke the very essence and atmosphere of Spanish music."

James Miller
Fanfare, April 2000

"Because [Riva] seems unwilling to acknowledge some of the music's technical difficulties, he smears an occasional mordent or grace note, but the sacrifice is well worth it, given the spirit with which he attacks the difficult music and makes sense of its violent mood swings. If you've been on the fence, wondering what this interesting piece is like, Riva and Naxos have almost given you an engraved invitation to sample it."

Jed Distler, November 1999

Any new release of Goyescas faces unavoidable comparison to Alicia de Larrocha’s standard-setting interpretation (her 1976 Decca version is the finest of her four recordings). Happily, Douglas Riva’s persuasive playing stands up well to such formidable competition. Having prepared a critical edition of Granados’ piano works, Riva knows this music cold, and dispatches its colorful, multi-leveled textures and idiosyncratic figurations with fluent elegance. True, he doesn’t command De Larrocha’s wide vocabulary of articulations, nor her fearless dynamism. Yet his stylish, clear-cut playing benefits from engineering that’s superior to Decca’s tubby sonics. As a bonus, Riva includes the previously unrecorded “Serenata goyesca”, a slight, rather inconclusive piece that may have formed part of Goyescas’ first draft. Riva provides his own excellent, informative annotations. A highly recommended release. © 1999

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