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Stephen Wright
American Record Guide, March 2017

The three works for piano and ensemble—Geografias, In Passing, and Swallow—are dreamscapes, often nightmarish, fragmentary, and elusive, brimming with anguish, tension, and a transitory profundity and poignancy that lingers after the players fall silent and the dreamer wakes—and, like dreams, it’s hard to recall details even minutes later.

The recordings span 1992 to 2011 and were made in a church, studio, the Concertgebouw, and the Zaragoza Auditorium in Spain—but the sound quality is remarkably homogenous. The audience for Swallow is a bit phlegmatic, but silent elsewhere. Sometimes ensemble is ragged in Geografias, but performances are otherwise faultless.

It’d be easy to overlook this, but you’d miss out on some beautiful strange sounds and viscerally thrilling pianism. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Laurence Vittes
Gramophone, February 2017

The highlight of the disc is Greco’s deliriously surreal Swallow, written in 1992 for pairs of oboes, clarinets, bassoons and horns plus piano, and played with intoxicating style by the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, …Inspired by the daily sunrise bursts of a ‘squadron of sparrows’ outside his rooftop studio while living in Amsterdam along a canal, Greco threw a toolkit of sounds at his musical aviary, from low bass throbbings to audaciously light-hearted woodwind triplets.

The highly entertaining Off with its Head!, one of Harpsichords Unlimited’s more than 40 commissions for Elaine Comparone and The Queen’s Chamber Band…was recorded at its premiere by the Enigma Ensemble from the Chamber Orchestra of Zaragoza. With its edgy, retro urban energy…it sounds like music for cartoons yet to be made.

Geografias del silencio, the tide-track, is an epic yet intimate response to the long sea voyages of the illustrious Italian navigator Alessandro Malaspina in the form of a 25-minute Romantic piano concerto, brilliantly virtuoso to the end. The lone studio recording on the CD is of In Passing, which posits oboe/cor anglais, violin, cello and piano to be a compelling chamber ensemble and proves it with writing that shows off each instrument, alone and in stunning combinations. © 2017 Gramophone



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2016

A compilation of live and studio recordings made over the past twenty-four years of music by the American-born multi-media performer and composer, Jose Luis Greco. Born in New York City in 1953 to parents who were Spanish dancers, Greco first studied piano and guitar, his early career taking him into the world of dance, jazz and rock music, only moving to composition in his late twenties. It was an esoteric backdrop of styles out of which the ‘classical’ side of his life emerged following a move to Holland in the 1980’s, he eventually moved back to his roots in 1994 to live in Madrid. Since then, he has been prolific in his output, the diversity of works ranging from opera to chamber music, the present disc offering just a sample of his highly personal style. It opens with a score for piano and orchestra, Geografias del silencio (Geographies of Silence), the reason for its name being too long to enumerate, but there is nothing silent in this busy score couched in a mix of atonality and rhythmic tonality. In one long movement, its various moods picturing a Spanish explorer seeking out Spanish colonies, and his resultant trials and tribulations, the work ending in anger. In Passing has the subtitle Six Passes for Oboe/English horn, violin, cello and piano, and was written for a contemporary ballet, seemingly continuing where the previous track ended, the piano again being the main protagonist in the score’s twenty minutes. Greco has certainly forged his own style, a fact made clear as we move to Swallow—a picture of swallows he saw flying from around his Amsterdam home—the disc ending in jovial mood with Alice in Wonderland’s immortal words, Off with his head!. A patchwork of recording dates, venues, highly committed performers and sound engineers, all ending up as an unexpected unified whole. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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