Rodrigo: Cuatro estampas andaluzas; Four Piano Pieces; Cinco piezas del siglo XVI

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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.


Christopher Wood