This is the second Argenta CD on Medici, a companion to the first disc which was devoted to the music of Falla in acclaimed performances from Paris in 1957.
"Zarzuela and Spanish orchestral music" covers music by four composers of the Zarzuela - Chapí (being the most famous), Soutullo, Chueca and Luna. This is followed by Tomas Breton, one of Spain's most respected composers and teachers with his popular serenade 'En la Alhambra', a musical portrait of Granada's great Moorish Palace and 'Bolero' from his four 'Andalucian Scenes'. Guridi's popular 'Ten Basque Dances' represents a sequence of tiny dances from the Basque region while Granados's Intermezzo from 'Goyescas' is a wonderfully lyrical orchestral interlude. Albeniz's Navarra and Turina's 'Procesion del Rocio' and 'La oración del torero' (The Bullfighter's Prayer) are now part of the Spanish repertoire and frequently recorded.
Argenta was a champion of Spanish music but his recordings of this repertoire have not been available for many years an then only in Spain. Collectors have frequently requested that these titles be made available to a far wider audience - they are integral to Argenta's discography.
The stereo sound (Chapí is mono) is of excellent quality throughout providing a wonderful range of colour and immediacy.
La Leyenda Del beso-Preludio
La Gran Via-Introduccion
El Nino judio-Preludio
En La Alhambra-Serenata
Bolero De Concierto
Diez Melodias Vascas/1 Narrativa
La Procesion Del Rocio
La Oracion Del Torero
“Highlights include the Diez melodies vascas by Jésus Guridi, a beautifully harmonised set of Basque dances that are resourceful and varied in character, and a riotously colourful account of Turina's irresistible La procesión del Rocío.”
“What impresses throughout the collection is the life and character that Argenta conjures up. With flexible, alert rhythms, and attention given to every nuance of phrasing and dynamics, there's a jauntiness about the whole thing not always to be found with other conductors.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.