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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Javier Perianes, Noches en los Jardines de Espana (Nights in the Gardens of Spain) and Solo Piano Works

Pianist Javier Perianes, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and conductor Josep Pons collaborate for a beautiful version of Noches en los Jardines de Espana (Nights in the Gardens of Spain) (Harmonia Mundi) for piano and orchestra. Maestro Perianes gives us a rather delightful selection of de Falla's solo piano works as well. The end result is top-notch de Falla, played with luminous transparency, with the Spanish element and the interpretive impressionist element balanced well.

The Jardin orchestral work in this performance is filled with the perfume of the flowers, the fresh but sultry feel of a tranquil space in time in the season of full blooming, with the magic of the night and its reveries. It is a very sensuous and not-too-romantic version, which to me most closely approximates de Falla's intentions and reveals the work in all its originality.

The piano solo pieces are marvelous companions to the main work. They too have shimmer and a very Spanish melodic and rhythmic element. The works cover a broad spectrum of de Falla's career, from the rather early but highly evocative 1906-09 "Cuatro piezas espanolas" to the 1935 "Pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas".

Javier Perianes seems an ideal de Falla interpreter. And this is some of de Falla's most spellbinding music. Highly recommended.

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