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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Rodrigo, Serranilla, Songs with Guitar Accompaniment, Jose Ferrero, Marco Socias

Any appreciator of Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999) and the Spanish folk-classical nexus will doubtless find the volume on tap today fascinating and rewarding. Serranilla, Songs with Guitar Accompaniment (Naxos 8.573548) gives us some 24 songs, sung very well by the late Jose Ferrero (1972-2016) with very appropriate guitar work by Marco Socias. The latter arranged-transcribed the guitar part (from piano versions) for some 17 of them. The rest are as Rodrigo scored them. In this set of world premiere recordings we get the melodic brilliance of Rodrigo in a Spanish folk mode and his Spanish-classical style in seven settings from "Con Antonio Machado."

These deserve a wider hearing and in the guitar accompanied versions we have especially fine vintage Rodrigo, some 60 year's worth. Everyone will recognize and appreciate his "Aranquez, ma pensee," a song setting of the principal theme from "Concierto de Aranquez." But the rest have the power to enchant as well.

The guitar and tenor combination seems just right for Rodrigo's intimate approach and the Ferrero-Socias handling of it all is very idiomatic and beautiful to experience.

A volume to savor! Well worth hearing many times.

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