Ernesto Halffter: Piano Music

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
This double CD serves as a full survey of the piano music of Spanish composer Ernesto Halffter, a student of Manuel de Falla and an important figure of the interwar generation. Halffter lived until 1989, and the program includes works written in the 1940s and beyond; disc one is rounded off with a few nifty homenajes homages to other composers that Halffter wrote at the very end of his life. It is not only those works that reflect the styles of other composers; Halffter's music is colorful, but some of it lacks a distinctive personality. In the 1920s, however, he was onto something distinctive: he combined Spanish idioms with the astringent sounds of Stravinsky and the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
This double CD serves as a full survey of the piano music of Spanish composer Ernesto Halffter, a student of Manuel de Falla and an important figure of the interwar generation. Halffter lived until 1989, and the program includes works written in the 1940s and beyond; disc one is rounded off with a few nifty homenajes homages to other composers that Halffter wrote at the very end of his life. It is not only those works that reflect the styles of other composers; Halffter's music is colorful, but some of it lacks a distinctive personality. In the 1920s, however, he was onto something distinctive: he combined Spanish idioms with the astringent sounds of Stravinsky and the French neo-classicists, pushing his sound back toward the French mainstream without losing the rhythmic vigor of the music he grew up on. He took older Spanish music, specifically that of Domenico Scarlatti, as an inspiration, and in his piano music he cultivated sharp, percussive textures. One of the two sonatas on the disc is explicitly designated as an homage to Scarlatti, but his influence can be heard in the dry, brilliant gestures of the shorter pieces as well. Pianist Guillermo González emphasizes the edginess, perhaps too much so, by striking the keys as sharply as a New Orleans bluesman trying to cut through the noise of a crowded room. He is obviously enamored of Halffter's music, however, and you can sample the entrancing "Marche joyeuse" Joyous March for an example of the unusual ecstatic quality that Halffter's music has at its best. Probably a lot of Halffter for the casual buyer, but plenty of small gems for lovers of Spanish music of the last century.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/28/2007
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313000678
  • Catalog Number: 8570006
  • Sales rank: 274,185

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–3 Crepúsculos, for piano - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (10:32)
  2. 2 Marche joyeuse, for piano - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (3:05)
  3. 3 Piano Sonata - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (6:57)
  4. 4 Espagnolade for piano - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (5:59)
  5. 5 Grüss, for piano - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (2:27)
  6. 6 Serenata a Dulcinea, incidental music for piano - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (6:21)
  7. 7 Habanera for piano - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (3:50)
  8. 8 Pregón, for piano - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (3:22)
  9. 9 Preludio y danza, for piano - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (6:43)
  10. 10 Llanto por Ricardo Viñes, for piano - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (4:59)
  11. 11 Piano Sonata ("Homenaje a Domenico Scarlatti") - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (8:13)
  12. 12 Nocturno otoñal, for piano ("Recordando a Chopin") - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (4:04)
  13. 13 Homenaje a Joaquín Turina, for piano - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (2:14)
  14. 14 Homenaje a Federico Mompou, for piano - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (3:07)
  15. 15 Homenaje a Rodolfo Halffter, for piano - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (3:30)
Disc 2
  1. 1–7 Suite de las Doncellas, for piano (original piano version) - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (35:11)
  2. 2 Valencia No. 2, pasodoble for piano - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (3:36)
  3. 3 Panaderos, for piano (from incomplete suite Doredianas) - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (4:31)
  4. 4 Boleras de la Cachucha, for piano (from incomplete suite Doredianas) - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (7:32)
  5. 11–13 Piezas infantiles (3), for piano, 4 hands - Ernesto Halffter & Guillermo González (2:25)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Guillermo González Primary Artist
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