Goya: Music of His Time

Goya: Music of His Time

     
 
Listened to without reference to the booklet this disc would seem to be a meaningless jumble of music even knowing that it all came from the lifetime of Spanish artist Francisco Goya. It is actually, however, one of the most successful releases so far in the Naxos label's Art and Music series, culling excerpts from recordings in the Naxos catalog and pairing them with

Overview

Listened to without reference to the booklet this disc would seem to be a meaningless jumble of music even knowing that it all came from the lifetime of Spanish artist Francisco Goya. It is actually, however, one of the most successful releases so far in the Naxos label's Art and Music series, culling excerpts from recordings in the Naxos catalog and pairing them with an artist's biography and plates showing artwork. The plates here are few in number and not especially vivid, so the album may be best appreciated with a Goya coffee table book in hand instead. But the booklet notes by Hugh Griffith are ideal. He makes neither too much nor too little of the art-and-music format, where there's a tendency either to construct artificially close correspondences (too much) or to slap together a more or less random group of chronologically appropriate works (too little). Griffith attacks the problem in terms of general and specific cultural and political currents that affected Goya's Spain. There are Spanish composers, and those who worked in Spain like Domenico Scarlatti and Luigi Boccherini, whose music Goya would have heard and known. There are operatic works illuminating the narrative world within which Goya painted. There are composers whose careers were, like Goya's, touched by the political upheavals of the day (Goya lived from 1746 to 1828 and saw a lot of changes). The "Prisoners' Chorus" from Beethoven's "Fidelio" is there for that reason, although it is not known whether Goya knew Beethoven's music. Griffith nevertheless chooses the Cavatina from the "String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major, Op. 13," not because Goya would have been familiar with the work but because both Goya and Beethoven were creative figures with a clearly defined late style that transcended the traditions in which they had previously worked. In short, this is a good conversation starter for an afternoon series at an art museum and a good gift for anyone headed to Spain.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/26/2008
Label:
Naxos Educational
UPC:
0636943817827
catalogNumber:
8558178

Tracks

  1. Daphnis et Églé, pastorale héroïque: Ouverture
  2. Sonata for keyboard in F minor, K. 467 (L. 476)
  3. Grande Messe des Morts, for soloists, chorus & orchestra: Requiem aeternam
  4. Grande Messe des Morts, for soloists, chorus & orchestra: Dies irae
  5. Grande Messe des Morts, for soloists, chorus & orchestra: Pie Jesu
  6. Sonata for keyboard, No 15 in D minor
  7. Il rè pastore, opera, K. 208: Overture
  8. Quintet for guitar & strings in C major ("La Ritirada di Madrid"), G. 453 (arrangement of Piano Quintet, G. 409): 4. 12 Variations on 'La ritirata di Madrid'
  9. Il Duca di Foix, overture
  10. Fidelio, opera, Op. 72: Prisoners' Chorus: 'O welche Lust'
  11. Caprice for solo violin in A minor (Theme & Variations), Op. 1/24, MS 25/24
  12. Minuet for guitar in A major, Op. 11/6
  13. Tancredi, opera: Recitativo e cavatina: 'O patria!... Di tanti palp
  14. Lección 26 for guitar
  15. String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major ("Lieb"), Op. 130: Cavatina: Adagio molto espressivo

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