6 CDs for the price of 3
Released in 1995 – the centenary of Ernesto Lecuona’s birth – the first instalment of Thomas Tirino’s pioneering survey of the composer’s piano music caused a sensation. All but forgotten (with notable exceptions such as Canto Siboney or Malagueña), these pieces exuded a charm and vitality which, combined with the highly idiomatic interpretations, enchanted audiences and critics alike and brought the disc onto Time Magazine’s list of the 10 best discs of the year. First impressions were confirmed by the following discs, which also gave further proof of the painstaking editorial care taken by Tirino himself in his efforts to discover the composer’s original thoughts beneath the encrustations of later arrangements. Fifty years after the death of Lecuona – often described as ‘the Cuban Gershwin’ – this box set provides a timely opportunity for a new generation to discover the qualities that made him a legend in his own time. For this purpose, Thomas Tirino’s five-disc series is complemented by soprano Carole Farley’s selection of some of her favourite Lecuona songs, including Always in My Heart (Siempre en mi corazón) and La comparsa – an album originally released in 2003, and described as ‘a real gem of a disc!’ in Gramophone, where it was named an ‘Editor’s Choice’.