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The Classical Explorer

Concertos: June 2008 Archives

Concertos from Spain

Decca 4762971

Isaac Albéniz
Rapsodie española, Op. 70 (arr. Halffter) 1

Joaquín Turina
Rapsodia sinfónica, Op. 66

Xavier Montsalvatge
Concerto Breve for Piano & Orchestra (1953)

Carlos Surinach
Piano Concerto (1973)

Alicia de Larrocha, piano
1 London Philharmonic Orchestra
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Decca Eloquence 4762971 75:35

The Albéniz and Turina works are short entrées to the two longer concertos. Despite its title, Montsalvatge's Concerto Breve runs about 25 minutes and is a very genial affair that wears its Spanishness lightly. The Surinach is more dramatic and fiery. The sound for all four works is as you'd expect from Decca originals.

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Dvořák Off The Beaten Path

Naxos 8.557352

Antonín Dvořák

Mazurka for Violin & Orchestra
Rondo for Cello & Orchestra
Seven Interludes for Small Orchestra
Silent Woods for Cello & Orchestra
Polonaise in E Flat Major
Nocturne in B Major
American Suite
Five Prague Waltzes
Polka in B Flat Major

Dmitry Yablonsky, cello
Alexander Trostianski, violin
Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitry Yablonsky
Naxos 8.557352 78:42

This is a generous collection of some of Dvořák's shorter pieces, some of which do not lack other recordings. The American Suite is not as well-known as the Czech Suite, but certainly deserves to be. The real rarity is the Seven Interludes, which run about 23 minutes, and give some pointers towards his early symphonies. A very useful compendium.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]

[ Sheet music by this composer: Sheet Music Plus - ]

Italian Rarities

Decca 4769766

Ildebrando Pizzetti (1880-1968)

Suite "La Pisanella" 1
Concerto dell'estate 1

Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936)

Trittico Botticelliano 2

Nino Rota (1911-1979)

Concerto per archi 3

1 L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Lamberto Gardelli
2 Argo Chamber Orchestra/Laszlo Heltay
3 I Musici
Decca Eloquence 4769766 77:58

Respighi's Botticelli Triptych shows the composer in less flamboyant mood and does not lack recordings. Rota's short Concerto for Strings is reminiscent of Kurt Weill. The CD's main interest is in the Pizzetti works, especially the Summer Concerto, whose only recording this is. Running about 30 minutes and in three movements, it sounds very like the Respighi of the Roman trilogy but with a degree more restraint. La Pisanella makes a good contrast in mood with the concerto. This release is on the budget Australian Eloquence label, as distinct from its UK counterpart.

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[ Sheet music by Pizzetti: Sheet Music Plus -
   Sheet music by Respighi: Sheet Music Plus -
   Sheet music by Rota: Sheet Music Plus - ]