While Alicia de Larrocha’s playing of “Iberia” is terrific, I wanted to start off my review by emphasizing just how beautiful the earlier “Suite Espanola” is. It is a veritable wonder in the hands of De Larrocha, who plays it with amazing fluidity and suppleness. The wonderful melody in the central section of the opening work, “Granada”, is almost bewitching, its rhythmic elegance presented with loving assurance. While it looks on paper like a simply melody and accompaniment in triple metre, De Larrocha transforms these notes on a page into a flowing theme that avoids any sense of being pat or clumsy.
De Larrocha is also capable of fire: her terrific performance of the Suite’s most famous individual movement, “Asturias”, is another highlight. De Larrocha’s choice of tempo and dynamic levels displays her mastery in this type of music. The dramatic staccato ostinato which opens the piece is played with understated intensity, and the understatement continues with fine effect as the accented chords arrive to provide the music’s climax. The interpretation is both exciting and unexaggerated by any misplaced virtuoso flourishes.
The suppleness found in “Granada” is present throughout this collection. I’ll point to “Almeria,” the 5th piece from the “Iberia” collection, where De Larrocha plays the repeated-note melody, in the middle section featuring the drone on C, with a similar ravishing delicacy and musicality. Throughout, the melodic interpretation and re-creation of Albeniz’s rich textures is first rate. De Larrocha brings the intensity: the downward sequence that forms the climax of “El Albaicin” is one of the high points of the “Iberia” cycle and I love the controlled energy projected by de Larrocha in this passage.
I had been previously familiar with an older version of “Iberia” De Larrocha had recorded (in the 1970s, also for Decca/London) and I was honestly surprised to hear how this late 1980s digital recording actually outpaced the very strong earlier effort. This newer recording under review here gives in a bit more to Albeniz’s lush textures, while the older effort is interesting in how it emphasizes some of the bare writing in octaves to create a slightly more modernist or streamlined Albeniz. The newer one though is remarkable in both the assurance with which De Larrocha plays this virtuosic and difficult music – the writing in the concluding pages of “”Triana” is almost frightening in its difficulty level, to take one example, but you wouldn’t know it from the way she plays it -- and the musicality and subtlety of the melodic playing.
De Larrocha is an acknowledged master in this repertory. Representing a summation of her ability and love for the music, this is one of the best piano recordings I have had the pleasure of hearing in recent years. Recommended with warmth.
Amazon.com: 10 件のカスタマーレビュー
The “Suite Espanola” here is a wonder2017年2月3日 - (Amazon.com)
Well Played But...2017年8月23日 - (Amazon.com)
The performance on this disc is ever bit as good as everybody says it is. But the piano sound, while very clear, is also rather distant. The result if this is that, at least on the stereo I listen to every morning, the volume needs to be cranked for a full sound on the soft parts, which the becomes irritating, with both the sharpness of the highs and overtones. I read that the sound on this is demonstration quality. That may be true for expensive equipment in a soundproof room, but that's not what I've got so I'll move on
Michael R. Linton
A MUST have2013年11月14日 - (Amazon.com)
Piano music of the most brilliant beauty played by one of the greatest musicians of the century. Yes, it really is spectacular.
Be transported2015年4月27日 - (Amazon.com)
Anyone who loves world-class pianists must add this album to their collection.
Juan V. De la Sierra
Alicia de Larrocha - Iberia2009年10月6日 - (Amazon.com)
Although these recordings are decades old, they were excellently recorded and sound as fresh as modern digital recordings. The performances are definitive and totally masterful. These interpretations may never be surpassed.