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Monday, August 8, 2016

Granados, Dante Symphonic Poem, etc., Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Pablo Gonzalez

As far as Spanish masters go, Granados (1867-1916) will sneak up on you. Sure, there are the "Goyescas," but there is a good deal of his music worth hearing that is not often making the circuits these days. Naxos' second volume of his orchestral works will be a nice surprise for those of us not previously exposed to it all. In fact there are three world premiere recordings here and they are worth the wait. Dante Symphonic Poem, etc. (Naxos 8.573264) spotlights some fine performances of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra under Pablo Gonzalez--plus soloists--that will be manna for all who appreciate the composer.

We get the orchestral version of the "Intermezzo" from "Goyescas" plus "Dance of the Green Eyes" (1916) and "Gypsy Dance" (1915) for that irresistible Spanish tinge, the latter two in first recordings.

Then "Sign of the Dead Man" (1897) (First Recording) and the "Dante--Symphonic Poem" (1908) give us a bit of late romantic-early impressionistic charm and bite.

This may not be indispensable unless you focus on the Spanish 20th century, but it is very enjoyable and at times brilliant. Nice one!

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