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Hyperion Records

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The Parasol (1777) by Francisco de Goya (1746-1828)
Prado, Madrid / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67846
Recording details: June 2011
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: February 2012
Total duration: 4 minutes 24 seconds

'Not to be missed … a superb evocation of Spain, especially The Maiden and the Nightingale, which is among the most treasurable piano pieces ever written. Ohlsson … sounds totally convincing' (The Mail on Sunday)

'You can't go far wrong with Ohlsson, who could hardly be more affecting in Quejas, o La maja y el ruiseñor or more able to express the dark and glittering hearts of both El amor y la muerte and Epílogo, serenata del espectro' (Gramophone)

'Ohlsson is very much the performer for the heart of the work … his feeling for the constant fluctuations of pace and mood infuses The Maiden with the Nightingale, right through to its wonderfully delicate birdsong fantasy … rounded off by the brighter energies of El pelele and the spectacular Allegro de concierto, this makes a fine, warmly recorded all-Granados disc' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The style of the piano writing can be traced back to Chopin and Liszt. It's that side of Granados' music that is brought out in Garrick Ohlsson's technically immaculate performances' (The Guardian)

'Recording engineer David Hinitt achieves truly sumptuous results. The piano sound has tremendous amplitude and richness … Ohlsson excels when Granados asks for wit or overt technical display' (International Record Review)

'The music is a series of romantic evocations, taking inspiration from folk melody and dance as much as the characters and scenes depicted by the great painter. Ohlsson captures their flavour with virtuosic flair' (Financial Times)

El pelele 'Escena goyesca'
circa 1913; first performed in Terrassa on 29 March 1914 by the composer

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
El pelele (‘The straw man’), subtitled ‘Escena goyesca’, is usually programmed along with the suite. The influence of Scarlatti is especially marked here, in the sheer delight Granados takes in sensual virtuosity and irrepressible bonhomie. The pelele was a life-size straw man that young women enjoyed tossing up in the air, using a blanket that they held at the corners as a kind of trampoline. Goya portrayed the scene unforgettably in one of his tapestry cartoons, and the giddy exuberance of this music makes El pelele one of Granados’s most memorable compositions. Granados premiered it at a concert in Terrassa on 29 March 1914. In fact, the term ‘Goyescas’ encompasses all of Granados’s piano works inspired by the artist, not only the suite. In addition to El pelele, other ‘Goyescas’ include Jácara (Danza para cantar y bailar), Serenata goyesca, Crepúsculo and Reverie-Improvisation (a recording he made for Duo-Art in New York shortly before his death).

from notes by Walter Aaron Clark © 2012
author of Enrique Granados: Poet of the Piano (Oxford, 2006/2011)

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