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Wednesday, 02 October 2013 23:48

Album review: Rosa Antonelli delivers a beautifully crafted disc of Latin and Spanish classics on 'Remembranza'

Album review: Rosa Antonelli delivers a beautifully crafted disc of Latin and Spanish classics on 'Remembranza'
Written by Chuck Lavazzi

Rosa Antonelli
"Remembranza: Remembrance of Latin Sounds"

Albany

Have you ever been touched by a piece of music or a performance in a way that you can’t quite adequately express in words?  It has happened to me more than once.

Most recently it happened while listening to Rosa Antonelli’s wonderfully atmospheric world premiere performance of the piano version of Astor Piazzolla’s “El Mundo De Los Dos” (“Our World”) on her new CD. There’s a sense of nostalgia, melancholy, longing, and a few other difficult to define things both here and elsewhere in this very engaging disc.

“Some critic,” wrote Winthrop Parker in The Musical Quarterly in 1930, “once observed that talking about music is like singing about economics; and it must be admitted that most conversation about music supports the apothegm, for it is commonly as strange a perversion of the subject as would be the transformation of Das Kapital into a lullaby.”  Still, we critics do our best, even when we’re dealing with something as difficult to pin down as Ms. Antonelli’s remarkable readings of Latin piano music both familiar and obscure.

The well-known works here include the ‘Quejas ó La Maja y El Ruiseñor” (from “Goyescas”) and "Allegro de Concierto" (Op. 46) of Granados and Nazareth’s “Odeon-Tango Brasilero” (a favorite of mine, as it happens).  They (and other pieces on the album) given loving interpretations which, considered individually, might come across as overly sentimental and filled with rubato.  As part of the (to my ears) meticulously programmed recital on this disc, though, they make perfect sense.  There are times—in the opening bars of Albéniz’s “Granada,” for example—when you can almost feel the warm, perfumed languor of a Spanish night.

This is, in short, heady stuff.

Ms. Antonelli has been much praised for her performances of Spanish and Latin American music.  After listening to “Remembranza” (which I have done several times) I can see why.  It’s a lovely piece of work and highly recommended.  For more information: www.albanyrecords.com

Track list:
Piazzola: La Ultima Grela
Piazzola: l Mundo De Los Dos
Piazzola: Adios Nonino
Piazzola: Imperial
Villa-Lobos: Poema Singelo
Villa-Lobos: Valsa Da Dor (Valse De La Douleur)
Nazareth: Odeon-Tango Brasilero
Granados: Quejas, A La Maja Y El Ruiseñor (From Goyescas)
Granados: Allegro De Concerto In C, Op. 46
Albéniz: From Suite Española: Granada (Serenata)
Albéniz: From Suite Española: Cádiz
Albéniz: From Suite Española: L'Automne Waltz

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