The Great Female Pianists, Vol. 5

The Great Female Pianists, Vol. 5

by Paquita Madriguera


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The Great Female Pianists, Vol. 5

The first thing about Dal Segno's The Great Female Pianists, Vol. 5, that's not quite right is the name of the pianist under consideration. "Paquita Madriguera Segovia" was not, and never was, Paquita Madriguera's professional name. While she did marry Andrés Segovia and had a daughter by him, it was her second marriage and they weren't wed until the 1930s; the Segovias separated in 1951. To fill in other "facts" supplied in the booklet, Madriguera studied, from the age of eight, with Enrique Granados and continued with Granados' great student Frank Marshall, not the other way around. It is more difficult to establish whether or not, as stated, that "the 17 items on this disc appear to be the entire legacy of Mme. Segovia's piano playing" as she lived at least into the 1960s, albeit in South America where it is difficult to establish any kind of details about the legacies of artists who settled there. Paquita Madriguera was born in Barcelona in 1900 and was an extraordinary child prodigy, as was her brother, violinist Enric Madriguera, who later led a very popular American dance band and is credited for introducing Cuban popular music into the United States. In the first decades of the 1900s, the Madrigueras appeared as a duo act and were a sensation, touring throughout the world, and in 1915 Ampico brought the two of them to New York. The piano rolls Paquita Madriguera made for Ampico are the sources of the 17 selections heard on this Dal Segno release. Although the liner notes may not be very accurate, this is one of the better entries in the The Great Female Pianists series so far. There is always some question as to how accurate a medium hand-played roll reproduction can be, but judging from these rolls, Paquita Madriguera appears to have been a player on the level of the young Evgeny Kissin. Madriguera is technically polished, yet her preferences in pacing and expression seem fully developed for someone only 15 to 20 years of age. The tremendous care that she takes with Albéniz's "Aragonaise, Op. 47/6," manages to sing through the clunky old Duo Art mechanism, and her interpretation of Moskowski's "Etincelles, Op. 36/6," truly "sparkle." Concerning interesting literature, there are some considerable rarities here, but most intriguing among them is Madriguera's own works, which demonstrate a wealth of imagination and startling ideas, albeit delivered hand in hand with a small amount of silent movie mannerisms. Her disappearance from concert life in the 1920s -- she married a wealthy South American industrialist -- was truly a loss to music. Although entries in Dal Segno's piano roll series often seem unsatisfactory for one reason or another, The Great Female Pianists, Vol. 5, is well recorded if a little reverberant, and the roll speeds chosen seem neither too sluggish nor too superhuman, and the sense of expression does seem well captured by Ampico in Madriguera's case. This can easily be recommended to pianophiles with a taste for the rare and adventurous.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/26/2006
Label: Dal Segno
UPC: 5060104470104
catalogNumber: 15

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