Cuarteto Quiroga with Javier Perianes play Piano Quartets by Granados and Turina

'The musicians breathe life, light and shade into its notes'

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COMPOSERS: Granados,Turina
LABELS: Harmonia Mundi
ALBUM TITLE: Granados, Turina
WORKS: Granados: Piano Quintet, Op. 49; Turina: Piano Quintet, Op. 1; Calíope
PERFORMER: Cuarteto Quiroga; Javier Perianes (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: HMC 902226

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Here we have two Spanish composers and two G minor Piano Quintets, both of which brought their creators to national attention – Granados in Madrid in 1895 and Turina in Paris in 1907. There’s a small handful of recordings of these pieces, but it seems to be the first time they’ve been brought together on disc. And in these deft and sensitive performances by the Cuarteto Quiroga and pianist Javier Perianes, they make an appealing pair.

Massenet dubbed Granados the ‘Spanish Grieg’, and there’s something of the Norwegian’s poignant lyricism in this three-movement quintet. Particularly so in the middle movement Allegretto Quasi Andantino, whose ghostly folk melody and bell-like piano part are magically done here. The fast outer movements – the first packed with counterpoint, the finale a fleet dance – are dispatched with welcome lightness of touch.

Turina’s quintet is a larger-scale four-movement piece, cut from the same cloth as Franck’s chamber music. Although the musicians breathe life, light and shade into its notes, it’s hard to hide the sense that Turina was yet to find his true voice. But there are flashes of personality: a plainchant-inspired Fuga Lenta and fiery instrumental recitatives in the finale. And the brief Calíope that rounds off the disc reveals the real Turina.

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Rebecca Franks