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Monday, September 3, 2018

Leonardo Balada, Caprichos Nos. 6, 7, and 10, Ensemble Col legno, Robert Ferrer

Barcelona native Leonardo Balada (b. 1933) lives and viva his music! We have now a third volume of his Caprichos (I reviewed volume one earlier, among other CDs, type his name into the blog search box in the upper left for those.), namely Caprichos Nos. 6. 7 and 10 (Naxos 8.579036). Ensemble col Legno under Robert Ferrer prevail for most of the numbers and they get the whimsical nature of these works just right. Luis Fernandez-Castello is the soloist on clarinet for the bulk of this music and he is nicely puckish. Other soloists are top-notch as well.

We are treated to Caprichos No. 6 (for clarinet and piano, 2009), No. 7 ("Fantasies of 'La Tarara'" for clarinet and instrumental ensemble, 2009), Caprichos No. 10 ("Fantasy of 'La Pastoreta'" for violincello and piano, 2013). Plus we get also "Ballet City" for chamber ensemble, 1959/2013, and "Spiritual" for cello and piano, 2002.

All-in-all there is nothing quite so crisply Modern in the harmonic-melodic zone while being so playful and good humored. It is the playful side of the composer on view and it is a delight to hear. Recommended.

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