This is real light music of the best kind. Tuneful, exotically scored (by the conductor Fruhbeck de Burgos), and giving orchestra and recording engineers alike a chance to show their paces, the Suite Espanola makes highly entertaining listening.
The Suite española, written by the piano virtuoso and composer Isaac Albéniz, is one of the most outstanding works in the history of Spanish music. Albéniz invites the listener to join him on a musical journey through eight great Spanish cities, each steeped in tradition, investing each scene with local colouring as an homage. Albéniz made full use of musical folk idioms combined with dazzling virtuosity in many of his other works too, and deeply impressed Debussy and Ravel, as is testified by their own compositions.
Originally conceived for the piano, the Suite has been arranged for large orchestra by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos who makes the most of the orchestras tonal palette to underline the expressivity of the music. The final movement (Cuba) is replaced by Cordoba, a piano piece from Albénizs Cantos de España, op. 132, also arranged by Frühbeck de Burgos for orchestra. The obvious advantages of the arranger himself conducting the orchestra are well demonstrated by the present highly successful recording. The precision of the rhythmic interjections and the melodic flow are highly impressive. The music evokes various scenes, such as the impression of a barren Spanish landscape in the shimmering heat or bustling life in the various cities of Spain.
"...Isaac Albeniz was one of the most prolific composers of his era. The vast majority of his compositions are for the piano, an instrument on which he was a virtuoso, but he also wrote operas to English librettos. He began young, making his first appearance in public in Barcelona at the age of four. It is said that his playing even then was so astonishing that the audience suspected a fraud. He was only seven when he first played in Paris and also produced his first composition to gain a place in a repertory; it was a 'Pasodoble', and it was taken up by military bands in Barcelona..." - Malcolm Rayment, liner notes
180 Gram Vinyl
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Rafael Fruhbeck De Burgos, conductor
Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909)
1. Castilla (Seguidillas)
2. Asturias (Leyenda)
3. Aragon (Fantasia)
4. Cadiz (Cancion)
5. Sevilla (Sevillanas)
6. Granada (Serenata)
7. Cataluna (Corranda)