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Phillip Scott
Fanfare, June 2007

"[Ligorio] gets off to a fine start with the Nocturno, the two serenades, and the Allegro di concierto. Suitably dreamlike in the first, he still maintains a sharpness of line that links this early music to Falla's mature Spanish style. In Ligorio's hands, the Serenata andaluza is a clear precursor to the Three Cornered Hat of nearly 20 years later. Perhaps the pianist is at his best in the Allegro di concierto: a dazzling virtuoso piece written for a competition (where it was ousted by Granados's piece of the same title). The Allegro needs to be tossed off, as it were, rather than put under the microscope, and Ligorio displays the requisite technique and the appropriate attitude."

"I like his way with the well-known and much recorded Cuatro piezas españolas. In "Aragonesa" he takes a playful approach, employing subtle shading to emphasize the playfulness of Falla's invention. Similarly, he finds tenderness in the central pieces and fire in the concluding "Andaluza." I would guess this music has been under Ligorio's fingers for some time, and it is good to hear a pianist with a musicological interest bringing personal interpretive touches to his performance. The tribute to Dukas is suitably solemn, although its introspection feels like an experiment, as the composer moved towards his pared-back late style (more fully realized in the Harpsichord Concerto)."

Kenneth Page
Limelight, April 2007

[Ligorio’s] playing is sensitively thoughtful, and overcomes the listener’s early temptation to dismiss Falla’s music as all too simple for sophisticated tastes. He composed these works as a young man enjoying the sound and texture of his instrument and giving himself plenty of opportunity to find out how best to make thoughts become sounds. He was not exploring durability or range, or demanding that the piano comply with some urgent desire to be a virtuoso. His restraint itself becomes a virtue. …Anyway, music need not be spectacular to be pleasing and involving, and Ligorio’s subtle interpretation of Falla’s keyboard work gives this CD great charm.

John Brunning
Classic FM, March 2007

This CD is the first in a series in which Daniel Ligorio will record all of de Falla's piano music. Some of these early works, dating from the turn of the 20th century, are in the Romantic style, which Falla later abandoned. His orchestral masterpiece Love the Magician needs little introduction, but arguably the most interesting aspect of this recording is that Ligorio has revisited Falla's sketches, so as to get closer to the effect produced by the original version for full orchestra. His assured playing, coupled with a rich and natural piano sound, promise great things for subsequent releases.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2007

Though Manuel de Falla was to be the father of 20th century music in Spain and would be listed among today's popular composers, his fame does largely reside on two colourful ballets and the piano concerto, Nights in the Garden of Spain. For solo piano he was to compose just a handful of works, the major part of this disc given to pieces composed while he was still in his early twenties and predate his departure for Paris where his whole career took on a new lease of life. Those early pieces - Nocturno, Serenata and the Serenata Andaluza - are simple salon pieces, the Allegro de Concierto from 1903 being his first work of any real merit, though it is clumsily written and hardly sufficient to point to a future composer of merit. But jump forward five years and the impact of Paris and Falla was completing the Cuatro Piezas Espanolas, the mix of Spanish rhythms and French Impressionism finding an immediate place in the piano repertoire. Then jump another twelve years for the first of two gratitude pieces to his French mentors, Debussy and Dukas, sombre and very beautiful. Finally to the composer's piano version of the popular ballet, Love the Magician, with the performer, Daniel Ligorio, having added some additional 'orchestral' colours. This is my first acquaintance with Ligorio, described in the booklet as 'one of the leading young pianists in Spain'. There are few demands on his technique until we arrive at the ballet, but he obviously enjoys the music and offers a restrained view of the ballet. Certainly the contents of the disc are quite often recorded and are not as unique as the pre-release publicity would have us believe, but it is still very welcome.

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