PERFORMER: Jean-François Heisser (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 0630-14776-2
Some of Granados’s imaginative responses to the visual world of Goya are more popular than others, but they work best as a complete cycle – better, too, than in the contrived operatic version he made later. Cohesion is one of Heisser’s strengths. Do not be deceived by the decorative, fanciful tone and dry sound at the start. A strong, joyous energy abounds by the end of the first piece, and the torrential emotions and even more torrential notes of the climactic ‘Love and Death’ go as unstoppably as Liszt in free flow.
Played like this, the Goyescas take their rightful place in line from the high Romantics’ literary and pictorial pretexts for a searching of souls. For once, it is a realistic option if you want your collection of Spanish pianists to include more than Larrocha. Robert Maycock