Ernesto Lecuona Piano Works – Cuba España CD by Clara Rodriguez, piano

 

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” I have enjoyed a number of Clara Rodríguezs more recent discs and I have enjoyed this one as much. 
It helps to like Ernesto Lecuonas good-time music but I cannot imagine anyone, other than a diehard serialist, not liking it, or at least actively objecting to it.
If you enjoy the imposing vistas projected in Ante El Escorial, a kind of Granados, you will be delighted by both the piece and the playing.
There is real rhythmic vitality generated in Granada, with its ancillary hints of Debussy, something else that aligns the Cuban Lecuona to earlier Iberian composers such as Granados and Albéniz.
Here, too, Flamenco is fused with Lisztian flourish with devilishly exciting results.
The Danzas cubanas are full of verve and colour, and played with considerable digital clarity and stylistic acumen.
Elements of the music sound like Cubano Rags, yet others like updated Gottschalk, which is not wholly unsurprisingly since they are nineteenth-century dances.
The other two cycles are the Afro-Cuban Dances and Suite Andalucia. The former glitter ebulliently and are marked by teasing rhythms and splendidly hummable tunes.
The latter cycle is no less exciting, each movement a monument to a town or landmark and full of colour, and a very personal sense of warmth and immediacy. The movement devoted to the Guadalquivir, for instance, is rich but not over-complex thematically”.–Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb-International.com, February 2013

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