Turina: Danzas fantasticas; Danzas gitanas Opp. 55 & 84; Tres danzas andaluzas; Suite de danzas del siglo XIX; Dos danzas sobre temas populares espanole

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Turina
LABELS: Naxos
ALBUM TITLE: Turina
WORKS: Danzas fantasticas; Danzas gitanas Opp. 55 & 84; Tres danzas andaluzas; Suite de danzas del siglo XIX; Dos danzas sobre temas populares espanole
PERFORMER: Jordi Maso
CATALOGUE NO: 8.55715
Joaquín Turina, himself a first-rate

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pianist, was nothing if not an utterly

competent purveyor of colourful,

attractive evocations of his native

Andalusia, and there is much to

enjoy in this new disc (promised

as the first volume of the complete

piano music). Most of all, perhaps,

the ever-popular Danzas fantásticas

in their rarely heard original piano

form, which I find suits them better

than the composer’s rather splashy

orchestral impressionism. It’s only

when one compares Turina’s music

with the real summits of Spanish

keyboard writing – with, say, Albéniz

or Falla, or Granados’s Goyescas – that

one becomes aware of the music’s

narrow and rather self-satisfied

compass, its contentment to depict

rather than imaginatively infuse its

subject-matter. The ritual dances,

seductions and invocations of the two

sets of Danzas gitanas evoke parallels

with Falla’s El amor brujo, but with an

altogether lower expressive charge.

The disc is charming and

entertaining, especially when played

with the sympathy and sensitivity

that the always dependable Jordi

Masó brings to it. His range of touch

and ability to bring out the almost

orchestral colouring of Turina’s piano

writing are most impressive, and he

infuses a supple liveliness into the

underlying dance rhythms that this

music always requires. A promising

start to what is likely to be an

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interesting series. Calum MacDonald