David Delgado / Duo DS / Stefan Schmidt

Joaquín Turina: Das Gesamtwerk für Violine und Klavier

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This recording of the complete works of Joaquín Turina for violin and piano will have particular appeal to fans of violin music, Spanish music, and Impressionistic music, but at only 100 minutes, it will leave them wishing Turina had written more and that his music should be better known. Turina's music is similar to Albéniz's -- both had musical education in Paris -- but being slightly younger, Turina comes even closer than Albéniz did to Debussy and Ravel in the way he uses tone colors. And his use of rhythms and harmonies from Andalusia are more elegant and subtle than other Spanish composers' use of their homeland's folk music. There is fire and passion at times, such as in the opening movement of the Sonata No. 1 and the Homenaje a Navarra -- a popularistic work based on themes composed by or played by Pablo de Sarasate -- but again, it's usually something that is more understated than what one expects from Spanish music. The violin lines sound freeform and unstructured even though there is formalism in the music. Violinist David Delgado is Andalusian himself, so he's familiar with the idioms Turina used. He's very much at ease with the music, bringing a thorough musicality to it that makes it sing, shows off all the character in each piece, and invigorates it without distorting its sophistication. It's disappointing that the recording doesn't have a warmer sound and that the piano seems so distant from the violin that it is often hard to reconcile Delgado and Stefan Schmidt as true partners in the music, even though their performance proves they are.

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