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Rodolfo Halffter Chamber Music 1

Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-3 (Maria Elena Barrientos)
Huesped de las nieblas/Pastorale /Egloga
(Madrid Community Orchestra Soloists)

Naxos Spanish Classics 8.572418

A fine introduction to a fastidious Spanish/Mexican composer (1900-1987) whose three concise piano sonatas start from a look back to Scarlatti and finish with his own take on Schoenbergian dodecaphony.

I found them all fresh and arresting, and very viable for piano recitalists to consider; clearly written, with spare textures, whether looking back or forward, I enjoyed them all.

The programme as a whole is well judged, with instumental pieces (accompanied by a different pianist) to refresh the palate between the main courses.

A substantial "find", which whets the appetite for Volume 2.

Peter Grahame woolf