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Ernesto Halffter - Complete Music for Solo Piano

Adam Kent (piano)
Bridge 9106 (80 mins)

Ernesto (1905-1989) was the senior member of the Halffter composing dynasty and one of the influential musicians of the Generacion del '27, its artists and writers (Lorca, Bunuel, Dali etc) being better known. A prolific, lifelong composer, he studied with Ravel and was supported by Falla, whose unfinished Atlantida he completed in 1976, and was also a close friend of Mompou - this complete collection amounts to 20 tracks dating from 1911 to 1985, and includes Crepusculos (1920) and Homages (1988) to Turina, Mompou & his brother Rodolfo. There are two short sonatas (1932 & 1985) and a host of pieces with picturesque titles.

It is a little strange that such a friendly, accessible composer has been so overlooked (e.g. by Martin Jones for Nimbus, but this is the fate of Spaniards in UK). Adam Kent has given many all-Spanish recitals and is an excellent advocate. His detailed notes make good reading and tell you all that you could wish to know about Ernesto Halffter and his circle. This is warm music, which could have done with a little more warmth in the recording, but that is a small quibble. The sound is clear, in a rather too dry studio acoustic. The pieces are well crafted and should be a pleasure to play. Recommended warmly.

Listen to an Audio sample .

originally published in Classical London August 2001


© Peter Grahame Woolf