Turina, Cassadó, Granados

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COMPOSERS: Cassadó,Granados,Turina
LABELS: Chandos
WORKS: Circulo…; Piano Trio No. 2 in B minor
PERFORMER: Bekova Trio
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 9834

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Turina is an also-ran in Spanish music of the first half of the 20th century. He enjoyed friendships with Albéniz and Falla, but their influence could not prevent him turning out reams of not terribly memorable music. One of his happier creations is the Second Piano Trio, particularly its appealingly wistful opening movement – even if as a whole it owes rather more than it ought to Ravel. The other work by Turina on this disc – Círculo… – also rises from the foundations of Debussy and Ravel, but is unfortunately more typical of its composer, dutifully grinding through native Spanish influences and gesturing occasionally towards Gershwin, as if extending a hand in need of saving. Granados, whose piano trio also features, was prone to a discursiveness that could easily turn him into a bore, as in large sections of Goyescas. The tendency is not fully developed in the trio, but there are foreshadowings in its first movement, where more fluidity would have helped the Bekova Trio maintain the movement’s integrity. The Bekovas are generally an efficient ensemble, but violinist Elvira Bekova’s vulnerability in the upper register occasionally limits one’s enjoyment of what is in any case relatively undistinguished music.

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Christopher Wood