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Manuel de Falla: Nights in the Gardens of Spain / Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Raquel Lojendio

Audio Samples

>Falla, Manuel de : Canciones populares espanolas (7)
>Falla, Manuel de : Nights in the gardens of Spain
>Falla, Manuel de : Homenajes, suite for orchestra

Album Summary

>Falla, Manuel de : Canciones populares espanolas (7)
>Falla, Manuel de : Nights in the gardens of Spain
>Falla, Manuel de : Homenajes, suite for orchestra
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The works for stage and concert hall by Manuel de Falla starts off Chandos' new Spanish series with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Juanjo Mena. Nights in the Gardens of Spain is among Falla's most impressionistic and poetic works, full of shimmering textures that recall Debussy, but with a hard-edged precision brought to the forefront by the piano. It was performed by the BBC Philharmonic and Juanjo Mena, as part of the conductor's debut performance at the Proms in 2011. On this recording, they are joined by Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, the exclusive Chandos artist and multi-award winning pianist. Based on the novel by Alarcón, The Three-cornered Hat was commissioned in 1916 by the impresario Diaghilev for his Russian ballet company, the Ballets russes. Also on this disc is the Homenajes, in which Falla pays tribute to fellow musicians and composers.

"The acoustics sound good and accommodating, with enough space to give the music air and a luminous glow, on which Mena capitalises in The Three-Cornered Hat, drawing a range of colour and atmosphere from the orchestra and getting its members to clap and shout “Oi!” with some gusto in the introduction. Light and shade are well delineated, as are the contrasts between sultriness and vitality." -The Daily Telegraph

"One of those experiences that change one's perception of a work forever... At the most basic level they take the trouble to get the balance right. ['Nights'] is no concerto, and the pianist has to be an observer of the music's events rather than needing to boss them around... the level of engagement with the music is exceptional. Often spacious and dark, the performance reaches past its starlit, balmy surfaces to find the ache and stoicism of Spanish history" -BBC Music Magazine

Financial Times
Mena's hands the music dances the light-fantastic. The excellent Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is piano soloist in an atmospheric Nights in the Gardens of Spain, and Homenajes brings to light a little-known suite of elegiac beauty.

The Guardian
[Bavouzet's] iron-hand-in-a-velvet-glove approach is perfectly judged for a work that is about much more than decorative flourishes, but there is still something that is far too safe and neutral about the orchestral playing.

Classical Candor
Maestro Mena displays a good deal of spark in select passages, sometimes igniting a fiery response from his performers, while also taking a more relaxed, though eloquent, approach throughout much of the rest of the piece. The soloist is especially effective and her phrasing impressionistic... I have no doubt the present recording, particularly the exhilarating conclusion, will more than satisfy most listeners.

American Record Guide, July / August 2012
Homenajes (Tributes) is a set of homage pieces to Debussy, Dukas, Arbos, and Felipe Pedrell (a Falla friend) that the composer wrote late in life after settling in Argentina during the Spanish Civil War. The ones for Debussy and Dukas are orchestrations of a guitar piece and a piano work. The Arbos fanfare is a lively, complex little piece for brass. The others are more elegiac, the one for Pedrell touchingly noble. They reflect their subjects well in an abstract way and are less dependent on Spanish folk idiom than most of Falla. If anything, they sound more almost French. The performances tend toward the substantial in concept when compared to the Mata recording (Mar/Apr 2005, Dorian), which plays up their impressionist side. Both are good.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: MediaCity UK, Salford (2011-06-18_2011-06-09&2011-).



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Works Details

>Falla, Manuel de : Canciones populares españolas (7)
  • Performer: Raquel Lojendio (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Juanjo Mena
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 23 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1917-1919

>Falla, Manuel de : Nights in the gardens of Spain
  • Performer: Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (Piano)
  • Conductor: Juanjo Mena
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 22 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1909-1916

>Falla, Manuel de : Homenajes, suite for orchestra
  • Conductor: Juanjo Mena
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 15 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1938-1939