Artur Pizarro - Albeniz & Granados - The Sunday Herald

For some reason, the huge piano works by Enrique Granados and Isaac Albeniz have never seriously made it into the repertoire. Yet the particular works on this new double CD, played with enormous flair, colour and sensitivity by Artur Pizarro, have been acclaimed by other composers and are highly regarded by sympathetic pianists. My own theory, in the case of Goyescas, is that as incredibly beautiful as the music is - and there is nothing more idiomatically Spanish in the repertoire - it actually lacks a core. The music is extremely decorative and highly decorated, garlanded with all manner of trills and frills; but you ache for one solid theme, one assertive statement. Similarly with Isaac Albeniz's Iberia, a glorious, four-book series of evocative and impressionistic sketches of Spain. You will hear nothing in music more ravishing and exquisite than Almeira in Book Two.

20 June 2010