Finally, A Worthy New Turina “Canto a Sevilla”

Review by: David Hurwitz


Artistic Quality: 9

Sound Quality: 9

Canto a Sevilla is one of the great unknown masterpieces of 20th century music. It has been recorded a handful of times, but this is the first version that challenges the supremacy of the classic, mono Victoria de los Angeles performance on EMI/Warner. One of the reasons it’s so infrequently performed is that the score exists in two chunks–one contains the four vocal numbers, while the three orchestral movements have to be rented separately before the entire work can be reassembled. It’s stupid and annoying, but there it is.

Soprano María Espada sings this music beautifully. Her voice is fresh and pure, and she colors the text expressively. Listen, for example, to her singing of the spooky El fantasma, the fifth movement. She’s a real artist, and Juanjo Mena accompanies with both sensitivity to his soloist and gutsy enthusiasm in the orchestral movements. Noche de feria is particularly colorful and aptly festive, while the grand conclusion packs a real wallop.

The remaining pieces round out the collection in satisfying fashion, with Martin Roscoe a fine soloist in the Rapsodia sinfónica, and the Danzas Gitanas a welcome rarity. The engineering is beyond reproach, too. This is one of the finest discs coming from the BBC Philharmonic in quite a while. Do try to hear it.

Buy Now from Arkiv Music

Recording Details:

Reference Recording: Canto: de los Angeles (EMI)

    La Procesión del Rocío; Rapsodia sinfónica; Danzas gitanas; Canto a Sevilla

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