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The two books of Goyescas constitute Granados’s best and most durable, as well as his best-known, music. Subtitled Los majos enamorados (Young men in love) they are highly imaginative transcriptions into music of the tapestries and pictures of Francisco Goya (1746-1828), the wild and demonic genius who with Velasquez is usually thought of as one of the great exemplars of Spanish painting. They were completed in 1911 and first performed by Granados himself in Barcelona on 9 March that year. Publication in 1914 was in two books, the first four pieces in one and the remaining two in a second. Each of the Goyecas has a different dedication: the best-known of them, Quejas ó la Maya y el Ruiseñor, Granados inscribed to his wife Amparo; the others are to the pianists Emil [von] Sauer, Édouard Risler, Ricardo Viñes, Harold Bauer and Alfred Cortot respectively.
Released to mark the centenary of the Georgian-born pianist Nikita Magaloff’s birth, these recordings were made over two periods in Geneva’s Victoria Hall (a hallowed Decca recording venue) – in November 1952 (Book I and El pelele) and October/November 1954 (Book II). This is their first release on Decca CD. Lyndon Jenkins writes the excellent sleeve notes.
Enrique Granados: 1. Los requiebros
1. Los requiebros
Enrique Granados: 2. Coloquio en la reja
2. Coloquio en la reja
Enrique Granados: 3. El Fandango del Candil
3. El Fandango del Candil
Enrique Granados: 4. Quejas ó la maja y el ruiseñor
4. Quejas ó la maja y el ruiseñor
Enrique Granados: 5. El amor y la muerte (Balada)
5. El amor y la muerte (Balada)
Enrique Granados: 6. Epilogo (Serenata del espectro)
6. Epilogo (Serenata del espectro)
Enrique Granados: 7. El pelele (Escena goyesca)
7. El pelele (Escena goyesca)
“flowing lyrical quality … rhythmic vitality and intensity”
“these are magical creations, intimate and evocative, and Mr. Magaloff plays them with a sensitiveness that rises to quiet nobility in the middle section of El amor y el muerte (the coda to this piece quotes a longish section of the much better known Lover and the Nightingale). The recording is first-rate”
27th May 2012
“cherishable for articulation as vigorous as it is fine, poetry inseparable from intelligence, and a contained, attractive, unclamorous sound...A handful of ideas is constantly revisited — the effect a hypnosis that makes one avid for life.”
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