Clelia Iruzun

Lecuona: Ernesto and Ernestina

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Cuban composers Ernesto Lecuona and his older sister Ernestina Lecuona are the subjects of this 2005 release from pianist Clélia Iruzun on Lontano; but the predominance of Ernesto's music -- 18 out of 20 tracks -- almost makes the inclusion of Ernestina's No lo dudes and Cierra, cierra los ojos seem arbitrary or inconsequential. Granted, Ernesto was enormously prolific and his colorful, cosmopolitan keyboard music may be expected to occupy a substantial portion of such a CD; but if Ernestina's music merits attention -- the two brief samples, culled from the archives of Florida International University Library, give only a glimmer of her style -- then a more evenly distributed program would have been more rewarding or at least balanced. If more of her work can be found, Ernestina Lecuona's songs would warrant a full CD, preferably not in arrangements; but these slight examples of her music only give her the barest recognition. That said, Iruzun plays the Ernesto's music with polished sophistication, humor, and allure, but seems to reserve for Ernestina's pieces a slightly exaggerated rubato that unfortunately seems to parody a musical hall pianist in the throes of dissipation. The CD's sound quality is fine, though a little too echoic in spots.

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