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Sonatas 1 Op.51 & 2 Op.82; Sonata espagnola; Homenaje a Navarra; Variaciones clasicas; Euterpe
Roland Roberts (violin) Miyako Hashimoto (piano)
Meridian CDE 84430 70 mins

After Albeniz told him to stop writing Franckian music (he had been studying with D'Indy), Joaquin Turina (1882-1949) underwent 'the most complete metamorphosis' of his life and became a Spanish composer!

His Sonata espagnola (1908) is interesting for being transitional, according to the composer 'neither one thing nor the other', and was shelved for over seventy years. The other sonatas are typically 'Spanish' of the period and the CD finishes with several miscellaneous pieces, creditably performed, though the piano part of the Homenaje (based on compositions by Sarasate) tested the pianist's technique somewhat.

This is a useful collection of now little known works in a Spanish popular traditional vein, sounding rather dated nowadays. Roland Roberts is a reasonably accomplished violinist, though perhaps with limited imagination, and his intonation is slightly suspect at times. More seriously (perhaps related to the recording) his tone sounds wiry and harsh - the CD benefits from playing with some top cut. The notes by the violinist need proof-reading. For listeners unfamiliar with Turina, I would recommend first the two CDs devoted to him by Martin Jones [Spanish Piano Music, Vol. 2 (Nimbus) reviewed December 1999].


Peter Grahame Woolf


Peter Grahame Woolf

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