Enriqué Granados remains best remembered for his piano suite Goyescas, which married extreme pianistic virtuosity to some definitive first steps in the direction of Spanish nationalism. The rest of Granados' large output only intermittently features the Spanish element. The two pleasant chamber pieces recorded here evoke folk music in the earlier Romantic fashion of picking up a single detail, such as the drone-like effect in the interior of the second movement of the Piano Trio, Op. 50, rather than tapping it whole. Annotator David Puertas Esteve, whose notes are given in English and Spanish, points out that Granados in his own time was known as the Spanish Grieg. Indeed, the defining characteristic of these pieces is not their light Spanish-ness, but their skill in integrating a really brilliant piano part into a chamber texture of equal instruments, and piano students ought to take note of this release; it brings to the fore some chamber music from a period (both works were written in 1894) when it was rather sparse. The mood of both pieces is light, warm, and gracefully melodic despite all the pianistic details. The concluding arrangement for trio of the Intermezzo from the Goyescas by Gaspar Cassadó is likewise a nice find. The LOM Piano Trio, a young Iberian group, makes the best possible case for these works, and the mastering takes decent care of a set of recordings made in two different times and places.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Piano Trio, Op. 50|
|Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 49|