• Enrique Granados, Isaac Albéniz

    Iberia & Goyescas

    Artur Pizarro

    Iberia & Goyescas 2 sacd CKD 355
    Linn Records

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Artur Pizarro explores the piano works of Spanish greats Albéniz and Granados.

Piano enthusiasts will be delighted with the release of Enrique Granados's Goyescas & Isaac Albéniz's Iberia from prize-winning pianist Artur Pizarro. Pizarro has a natural affinity to this music: the legacy of great Spanish composers permeates the Portuguese pianist's musical education and upbringing. In addition to being two of the most important piano works written in the twentieth century, these works represent the pinnacle of piano composition in Spain.

Enrique Granados composed Goyescas, his 'crowning achievement', in 1911. This suite for piano would later be transformed into an opera; the vocally-inspired writing and the romantically stylized love story would perfectly suit opera's requirements. Inspired by the works of Goya, Goyescas paints a picture of a Madrid of the past: the technically demanding, almost improvisatory flavour and Spanish-inspired melodies and harmonies create a sound world reminiscent of the city.

Also renowned for its great difficulty, Isaac Albéniz's Iberia was completed in 1909, with Olivier Messiaen stating 'Iberia is the wonder for the piano; it is perhaps on the highest place among the more brilliant pieces for the king of the instruments.' Each individual piece is a perceptive portrait of a different area or characteristic of Spain: hear the rhythms of a southern fandango and northern jota in 'Evocación'; the Andalusian flamenco sounds in 'Málaga'; and the evocative coplas in 'Jerez'.

5 stars - Instrumental & Chamber Editor's Choice: 'Artur Pizarro's interpretations offer a richly rewarding alternative view of this music... ' Classic FM Magazine

5 stars - Instrumental Choice: '...his formidable technique provides the means to a musical and poetic end...' BBC Music Magazine