Turina: Canto a Sevilla

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COMPOSERS: Joaquín Turina
LABELS: Chandos
ALBUM TITLE: Turina: Canto a Sevilla
WORKS: La procesión del rocío; Rapsodia sinfónica; Danzas gitanas; Canto a Sevilla
PERFORMER: María Espada (soprano); Martin Roscoe (piano); BBC Philharmonic/Juanjo Mena


The largest item on this second disc from Juanjo Mena and the BBC Philharmonic dedicated to Joaquín Turina is Canto a Sevilla (1925-6), one of his many works inspired by Andalusia and specifically its historic capital. Its form is unusual, a sequence of four songs highlighting Sevillian scenes or traditional events, interspersed with similarly descriptive orchestral interludes. The musical material is vital and vibrant – a Spanish view of Spain rather than something touristic.

There is sunshine and spice in soloist María Espada’s soprano, though also a sense of containment, and while the orchestra is on precise form Mena’s interpretation here and in the Danzas gitanas (1929-30) needs more tanginess and rhythmic sway; despite his undoubted connection with his fellow Spaniard’s music, he doesn’t quite clinch it in realising his vision.


Another Sevillian piece, La procesión del rocio (1912; the title refers to another religious festival, at which a statue of the Virgin is paraded through the city) is equally colourful – an outstanding orchestral debut piece for the composer. Its striking colour and atmosphere are well conveyed. A little more poetry and less prose would not come amiss in the short, concerto-like Rapsodia sinfónica (1931), in which Martin Roscoe is the bright-toned soloist. George Hall