Don Quixote in Spanish Music

Don Quixote in Spanish Music

by José Ramón Encinar
     
 

Naxos has assembled an intriguingly diverse selection of music inspired by Don Quixote. The range of styles represented here dictate that the CD will be of most interest to listeners with broadly eclectic tastes because the music ranges from typically Romantic music from the mid-nineteenth century to very challenging and uncompromising modernism. For the listener with… See more details below

Overview

Naxos has assembled an intriguingly diverse selection of music inspired by Don Quixote. The range of styles represented here dictate that the CD will be of most interest to listeners with broadly eclectic tastes because the music ranges from typically Romantic music from the mid-nineteenth century to very challenging and uncompromising modernism. For the listener with open ears, all of the pieces contribute something to an understanding of Don Quixote -- the novel is so universal in its humanism and so catholic in the range of experience it describes that no single aesthetic could adequately address it. Joaquín Rodrigo's 1948 "Ausencias de Dulcinea" (Dulcinea's Absence) is a quirky but hugely attractive piece. Scored for orchestra, baritone, three sopranos, and one mezzo-soprano, it is a melancholy meditation on Don Quixote's search for his ideal Dulcinea, who is given voice by the women. This is brightly colored music, fragrant with the Spanishness that's typical of much of Rodrigo's work, and it successfully evokes the poignancy of the Don's deluded quest. Despite its optimistic title, José García Román's 1994 "Le resurrección de Don Quixote" is relentlessly dark -- an agonizingly nihilistic modernist nightmare that illustrates the hellish emptiness the humiliated Don would have experienced when he realized the futility of his dream. Jorge Fernández Guerra wrote a new score for G.W. Pabst's 1933 film Don Quichotte in 2005. It is very good film music -- it retains a relatively low profile, but is colorful, inventive, and driven by a musical logic that is clearly not merely illustrative of what is going on onscreen. Gerardo Gombau acknowledges his debt to Strauss in his1945 tone poem "Don Quijote velando las armas" (Don Quixote keeps vigil over his armour), and while it is indeed Straussian in its musical language, there is no danger if it supplanting Strauss' own "Don Quixote." The performances by Orquesta del la Comunidad de Madrid, conducted by José Ramón Encinar, are consistently lively and committed, as persuasive in Francisco Asenjo Barbieri's 1861 "Don Quijote" as in Román's bleak existential soundscape. Naxos' sound is clean and full. For the listener interested in pursuing further musical connections with Cervantes' great novel, Jordi Savall's album on Alia Vox, Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha: Romances y Músicas, includes Spanish music written around the same time as the novel, superbly performed and interspersed with readings.

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Editorial Reviews

Raleigh-Durham News & Observer - David Perkins
Little on this CD is great music, but it shows the greatness of Cervantes' character, whose conscience never failed him and whose crazy imagination offers hope.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/24/2007
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313026074
Rank:
225466

Tracks

  1. Ausencias de Dulcinea, for baritone, 4 sopranos & orchestra  - Joaquín Rodrigo  -  Madrid Community Choir  - Maria José Suarez  - José Ramón Encinar  - José Antonio López  - Victoria Marchante  - Jordi Casas Bayer  - Celia Alcado  - Lilian Moriani  - Orquesta del la Comunidad de Madrid
  2. La resurrección de Don Quijote, for orchestra  - José García Román  -  Madrid Community Choir  - José Ramón Encinar  - Jordi Casas Bayer  - Víctor Arriola  - Orquesta del la Comunidad de Madrid
  3. Don Quijote, incidental music for orchestra  - Francisco Asenjo Barbieri  -  Madrid Community Choir  - José Ramón Encinar  - Jordi Casas Bayer  - Orquesta del la Comunidad de Madrid
  4. Don Quichotte, film score  - Jorge Fernández Guerra  -  Madrid Community Choir  - José Ramón Encinar  - Jordi Casas Bayer  - Orquesta del la Comunidad de Madrid
  5. Don Quijote velando las armas (Don Quixote keeping vigil over his armour), for orchestra  - Gerardo Gombau  -  Madrid Community Choir  - José Ramón Encinar  - Jordi Casas Bayer  - Orquesta del la Comunidad de Madrid

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