Falla • Albéniz • Granados

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Albeniz,etc,Falla,Granados
LABELS: Cedille
ALBUM TITLE: Piano Espa–ol
WORKS: Works by Falla, Albéniz, Granados,
PERFORMER: Jorge Federico Osorio (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CDR 90000 075

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If you enjoy CDs like recital programmes, here’s a virtuoso one played with big-toned, uncomplicated relish and idiomatic feeling. But if you’re looking to build up a collection it’s neither an obvious starting-point nor a gap-filler. Four Soler sonatas and a handful of Granados’s dances are neither here nor there on that count. They are, however, very enjoyably performed. Jorge Federico Osorio’s precision and agility give Soler bite and formalised melancholy, and he responds enthusiastically to the sonatas’ flamboyance. Granados follows on surprisingly well, in that the first dance has detail that sounds not so far away. For the rest, lyrical and languid, restless and conversational, the pianist has the measure. In Falla he is energetic and spirited, though it’s here and in the Albéniz Suite española that you begin to notice limitations, mainly in the extrovert music. The performances favour drive over toughness in the grinding harmonic clashes of Falla’s ‘Andaluza’, and in lyrical moments they bask rather than probe. Certainly there’s a remarkable difference from Hervé Billaut’s new recording of the Albéniz (see above): the latter takes between one and two minutes longer over most pieces, often because he finds more to say about it. No doubting Osorio’s flair, though, but his piano sound is slightly clangy.

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Robert Maycock