Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Enrique Granados: Goyescas

Los Requiebros
Coloquio en La Reja
El Fandango de Candil
Quejas o la Maja y el Ruisenor
El Amor y la Muerte: Balada
Epilogo: Serenata del Espectro

Ana-Maria Vera: piano

Signum Classics SIGCD146 [54 mins, for release January 12]

This Bolivian/Dutch pianist, a child prodigy who made her professional debut at eight, has long aspired to record this key work of Granados (1867-1916) composed in the 19th C Spanish traditionalist style. Goyescas was premiered in 1911, and the composer was killed by a German torpedo in the English Channel.

The folkloristic music of Albeniz & Granados became so popular and ubiquitous that in the mid-20th C a group of composers including Luis de Pablo (who has been much celebrated in Musical Pointers and its predecessor Seen&Heard) formed the group dubbed Generation of '51, to break away and try to bring Spanish music belatedly into the 20th C.

It has been a pleasure to come back to the Goyescas and bask in their colourful "high-Romantic impressionism" [Ates Orga] with Ana-Maria Vera, who plays these pieces (the best known of the genre alongside Albeniz's Iberia) in complete identification with the idiom. The Maiden & the Nightingale often appears in recitals, but it is rare nowadays to hear the whole cycle performed (or indeed the operatic version of 1915).

Ana-Maria Vera's accounts have a naturalness which bespeaks lifelong identification, supported by easy virtuosity and command of expressive colouration, captured by exemplary studio recording in the Netherlands, 2006. She now lives in London with her husband and daughter, and I shall look out for opportunities to hear her in live recital

Peter Grahame Woolf