Music Web International: outstanding.
There is more to Spanish music than de Falla, and there is more to the piano music of Albéniz than Iberia! This is what Miguel Baselga shows us here on the fifth volume of his highly acclaimed survey of Albéniz. The previous volumes have been dominated by the four books of the composer’s most famous work – this one opens with Suite Espagnole, the young Albéniz’s first major effort in a new Spanish style. It was in the late 1880’s that Albéniz emerged as a composer of originality and significance, creating a genre of musical travelogues for solo piano. Combining Romantic harmony with Spanish rhythm and melody, he captured the exotic allure of places such as Sevilla and Málaga. But not all of the works Albéniz composed during the 1880s and early 1890s were in a Spanish style. Himself a concert pianist, he had a wide repertoire and was thoroughly familiar with the Romantic tradition of Mendelssohn, Chopin and Liszt. Many works of this period reflect their influence, for instance his Sonata No. 4. Another influence was the music of the18th century, including that of Domenico Scarlatti, which to some extent is audible in the Suite Ancienne No. 2. So all in all, there is a lot more to Albéniz than Iberia!
Some words about previous volumes of this series:
"Berauschend agil und rhytmisch spannungsgeladen agiert Baselga, der immer die richtigen Akzente und mit der entsprechenden ungezügelten Wucht zu spielen versteht." Piano News (BIS-CD-943)
"Baselga’s smouldering, assured artistry (captured in bright, immediate sound) merits serious attention." International Record Review (BIS-CD-1043)
"With an unfailing lyricism, this young pianist grabs the ear and leads it to hear his music in new ways." American Record Guide (BIS-CD-1143)
"El Albéniz de Baselga no es sólo fenomenal: tiene personalidad." Ritmo (BIS-CD-1243)