The Flavors of Spanish Piano Music

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Isaac Albéniz with his daughter Laura. Isaac Albéniz with his daughter Laura. (Collection R. Moya/Wikimedia Commons)

There’s a certain romantic quality to Spain's landscape, to its architecture and especially to its piano music. With elements of guitar, folk songs and dances, the spirit of Spain is rolled into some very flavorful keyboard pieces.

The foundation of the Spanish piano sound comes from Domenico Scarlatti, who composed nearly 600 sonatas. This week's program features his Sonata in E Major performed by Vladimir Horowitz, one of the great players of Scarlatti’s music.

Also on the program is a trip to Andalusia in the South of Spain. From there we hear a guitar-like prelude from one of Isaac Albeniz's most famous pieces, his Cantos de Espana, and Manuel de Falla’s danceable Andaluza from his Four Spanish Pieces, of which the manuscript was actually composed in Paris.

Program playlist:

Mateo Albeniz: Piano Sonata in D
Alicia de Larrocha, piano

Federico Mompou: Cancons I Dansas, No. 14
Alicia de Larrocha, piano

Enrique Granados: Los Requiebros from Los Majos Enamorados (Part 1)
Christina Ortiz, piano
Brilliant Classics

Isaac Albéniz: Prelude to Cantos de Espana,Op. 232 (B.44)
Ruth Laredo, piano
MCA Classicas

Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata in E Major, (L. 430)
Vladimir Horowitz, piano
CBS Records

Manuel de Falla: Andaluza rom Four Spanish Pieces
Benita Meshalum, piano
Brilliant Classics

Enrique Granados: Berceuse: Lento from Romantic Scenes
Alicia de Larrocha, piano
BMG Classics

Carlos Surinach: Trois Chansons et Danses Espagnoles: Larghetto
Mirian Conti, piano
Koch Records

Isaac Albéniz: Fete-Dieu a Seville from Iberia (Book 1)
Claudio Arrau, piano
Phillips Classics

Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata in G, K. 13 (L. 486)
Glenn Gould, piano
Phillips Classics

Comments [2]

Arthur D. Robbins from NYC

Dear Mr. Duval,

Thank you for your wonderful programming of Spanish music. It is a curiosity that you routinely fail to highlight the performances of Douglas Riva who, as you know, has recorded every last note of Granados's music for Noxos. Is it personal prejudice, a dislike for his playing?

Thank you for your response.

Arthur Robbins

Sep. 17 2015 08:56 PM
Yves from Queens, New York

The quality and expansiveness of this particular program was only exceeded by David Dubal's bona fide respect for the interpreters that is buttressed by a deep reservoir of musical knowledge and elegance in commentary. Thank you for giving me an incentive to stop my car and discarding my future-oriented New Yorker "on the go" stance for the first time in decades. I hope NAVARRA as played by Rubinstein will also feature in the future. What a pleasure hearing Arrau and de Larrocha again.

Apr. 23 2015 11:26 PM

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