WORKS: Sinfonía sevillana; Danzas fantásticas; Ritmos; La procesión del Rocío
PERFORMER: Castile & León SO/Max Bragado Darman
CATALOGUE NO: 8.555955
I don’t believe I’d previously heard of, let alone heard, the Castile and León Symphony Orchestra or its conductor Max Bragado Darman. But on this showing it is an excellent band for which the music of Joaquín Turina is meat and drink. I confess a certain resistance to Turina – his works so often strike me as archetypally Spanish in their externals yet void of substance: all the refinement of Falla but little of the intelligence. Yet when played with this much dash and colour and conviction, and so brightly and crisply recorded, such well-known works as the Danzas fantásticas and Procesión del Rocío do seem to justify their inclusion in the canon of ‘Spanish classics’. So, too, does the ‘choreographic fantasy’ Ritmos, even though it’s little more than a linked sequence of character dances.
The three-movement Sinfonía sevillana, claimed in the booklet notes as ‘Turina’s orchestral masterpiece’, is more a triptych of impressionistic picture postcards than a symphony; though it certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome, even this excellent performance cannot conceal a certain diffuseness. Still, Turina has more enthusiastic admirers than me, and there’s no denying that this is a very enjoyable disc, so well-played and recorded I wouldn’t have complained if it had been a full-price release. Calum MacDonald