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Paul Corfield Godfrey
MusicWeb International, June 2012

…Turina’s music is…a series of impressionistic portraits in the style of Granados’s Goyescas or Debussy’s Préludes. They are beautiful pieces.

The excerpts from Las musas d’Andalucia comprise the three numbers for solo piano from a nine-movement work describing the Greek Muses. It also included settings for voice and string quartet. They are beautiful pieces, superbly written for the instrument, with decided overtones of Ravel. Urania starts with a jaunty fugue, but this is very quickly interrupted by swinging jota rhythms and proceeds joyously.

The slightly earlier En el cortijo (On the farm) was given the subtitle Impresiones andaluzas, and reflects the atmospheric writing of the earlier Jardins d’Andalousie and Quartier de Santa Cruz. The influence here is very decidedly Debussian, with passages in the opening movement and the third both reminiscent of La cathédrale engloutie. Broad chorale-like melodies are surrounded by figurations. The first movement then erupts into lighter glissandos and trills reflecting the title Night in the countryside. The second movement, In the shadow of the farmhouse, also has hints of Debussy but now it is a Spanish golliwog who dances his cakewalk. The third movement leads directly into a depiction of Horsemen galloping across the plains which owes nothing to Liszt’s Mazeppa.

Masó…does the music proud. His playing is superlatively responsive and idiomatic. The recording has sufficient bloom to lend romantic enchantment to Turina’s visions of his beloved homeland. This is unjustly neglected music which deserves attention. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2012

It is strange that Joaquin Turina never deserted the influences of his musical homeland, though it gave him little support in his younger days. It was with his departure for Paris that his life was to change, for there he established a major career as both composer and pianist. Yet there remained a desire to return home, so that at the age of thirty-one he was belatedly welcomed home as the leading Spanish composer of his era. His brilliance at the keyboard never overcame his inherent shyness, and he increasingly concentrated on composition rather than presenting himself on the concert stage. As with previous releases in this outstanding cycle—one of Naxos’s most inspired—the music takes us on journeys, both real and imagined. Here we are in Andalusia looking at four outstanding gardens in the region in 1924, often drawing on the inspiration of Debussy. At almost eighteen minutes, Le Quartier de Santa Cruz is one of the composer’s most extended piano scores, his other works created from a number of cameos. Here we have Santa Cruz’s labyrinth of the narrow streets, and the activity that brings colour and bustle. It is one of his most outgoing virtuoso pieces, the melodic material so catchy. La musas de Andalucia features among his most adventurous scores, and includes parts for voice, piano and string quartet, the three sections involving solo piano being included here. Finally En el cortijo (On the farm) picture four sections looking at rural life. Here, and throughout the disc, I can only give my utmost admiration to the quality of Jordi Masó’s playing and the obvious enjoyment and understanding of Turina’s music. The sound quality of this series continues with a realism of piano sound that is all to rare. © 2012 David’s Review Corner

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