Rodrigo: Cuatro estampas andaluzas; Four Piano Pieces; Cinco piezas del siglo XVI
ALBUM TITLE: Rodrigo Piano Music Vol. 1
WORKS: Cuatro estampas andaluzas; Four Piano Pieces; Cinco piezas del siglo XVI
PERFORMER: Artur Pizzaro
CATALOGUE NO: 8.557272
Artur Pizarro has been here before.
And not without success: in 1995
he impressed many with a selection
of Rodrigo’s piano works on the illfated
Collins label. Unlike Collins,
however, Pizarro is back. And this
time the CD’s title suggests that a
Rodrigo retrospective is in store.
But will anyone except ardent
Rodrigans be celebrating? Pizarro
is certainly a very fine interpreter of
his music – and here does more than
reprise his earlier offerings: several
of the same pieces are included but
in leaner, often dramatically tauter
readings. A sort of belt tightening has
taken place. But can Rodrigo’s narrow
emotional compass withstand the
completist approach? One of the titles
here, ‘Distant Sarabande’, suggests
the mood from which Rodrigo varies
little: a nostalgic, often wistful glance
towards the musical models of the past
from the standpoint of the present.
‘Berceuse d’automne’ is typical, the
formal right-hand melody conveying
the manners of a more courtly age,
while a discordant left is a rude
irruption from the 20th century. But
how much of the same is desirable?
Thankfully, if anyone can sustain
such a project it is Pizarro, whose
effortless touch always makes
Rodrigo’s stylistic hybrids dance
and sparkle. Good luck to him.