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Piano Music, Vol. 3 Naxos 8.572196

Composer: Isaac Albeniz

Artist: Guillermo Gonzalez

The third volume of Albéniz's piano music presents three contrasting sets
of dances, each brimming with the delicacy, joie de vivre and voluptuous beauty
that characterise so much of his music. Albéniz is touched by the spirit of
Chopin in his delightful Pequeños valses, while the Mazurkas de salón, like
those of his predecessor, and the Danzas españolas both transcend mere
folkloricism. Volumes 1 and 2, also featuring Guillermo González, one of the
leading authorities on the composer, have been critically acclaimed.

Piano Music, Vol. 3 Review

This disc, the third in Naxos's Albéniz series, is devoted to salon
music composed early in the composer's life. At the time, he was known as a
piano virtuoso who also gave lessons to young ladies to whom he dedicated many
of his salon pieces, including all six of these mazurkas.

Premonitions of the mature Albéniz may be glimpsed in the Danzas
españolas, which shares a pleasant lilt, usually in habanera rhythm, and the
composer's pre­dile­ction for a melodic line in three against a languid
accompanying figure in four. The pieces resemble Granados's later set of
Spanish Dances in their occasional underlying hint of melancholy, but those in
Albéniz's set are neither as formally diverse nor as pianistically
challenging as are those of his slightly younger contemporary. Chopin is the
predominant influence in the sets of waltzes and mazurkas…If you are curious
about the antecedents of Iberia, it is worth a listen. Phillip

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