- El barrio de Santa Cruz, Op. 33
- Jardines de Andalucia, for piano, Op. 31
Joaquín Turina: Jardins d'Andalousie; Le Quartier de Santa Cruz; Las musas de Andalucia; En el cortijoby Jordi Masó
Catalonian pianist Jordi Masó has been working his way through the voluminous and largely ignored piano output of composer Joaquín Turina, grouping them in loosely related categories. This release, the eighth in the series (about the halfway point), is representative of the whole. Turina's works are often pictorial, with all four works here referring to Turina's home region of Andalusia. The references may be quite specifically evocative: the theme of "Le Quartier de Santa Cruz (Variations rhythmiques), Op. 33," suggests, as annotator Justo Romero notes, the labyrinth of streets in the old city of Santa Cruz. Turina's works are certainly full of Spanish colors, but, especially during the 1920s (the decade of origin for the "Jardins d'Andalousie, Op. 31," as well as "Le Quartier de Santa Cruz"), the pictorialism is matched by structural rigor. The biggest model in Turina's musical universe is not a Spaniard at all but Ravel, and anyone who likes that master should sample "Au jardin des Capucins" (track 2), with its formidable piano writing and exquisitely structured combinations of runs and melodies. Masó is completely confident and idiomatic throughout; he's a pianist with a real gift for Spanish music, whether it be the radical minimalism of Mompou or the elegant crowd-pleasers heard here. The two later works, in which Turina continued to mine the vein of Spanish scenes during the bloody aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, are less fresh than the earlier two, but nothing here is less than enjoyable and well recorded.
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Performance CreditsJordi Masó Primary Artist
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Though this is the 8th disc in Jordi Maso's survey of the complete piano music of Joaquin Turina, don't worry that there might not be pieces of interest left. All of the music on the CD shares a common theme: the music of Turina's homeland, Andalusia, and it's definitely worth the visit. We somehow never feel closer to our roots than when we're away. Turina wrote his piano suite Jardins d'Andalousie in Madrid, and filled the movements with the rhythms and folk melodies of his native land. In Le Quartier de Santa Cruz, written immediately afterwards, he zeroes in on the neighborhood of Seville where he grew up. Though the sound-world of this music was adapted from Debussy and Ravel, Turina is expressing his most personal thoughts and emotions. Nostalgia for home continues in the late work Las musas de Andalucia, and especially in En el cortijo (Impresiones andaluzas), which was interrupted by the Spanish civil war. Though the landscapes are varied - urban and rural, mythological and modern, dramatic and pastoral - every individual piece and variation seems intensely personal. This comes partly from the composer's inspiration but also from Jordi Maso's interpretations: full of character and technically secure. It's great that Maso & Naxos are providing this Turina series to go with those of Granados, Mompou, Monsalvatge and other Spanish composers for the piano.