GRANADOS Goyescas (Jean-Philippe Collard)

Record and Artist Details

Genre:

Instrumental

Label: La Dolce Volta

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: LDV73

LDV73. GRANADOS Goyescas (Jean-Philippe Collard)

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Goyescas Jean-Philippe Collard

Given that Jean-Philippe Collard revels in music containing great harmonic subtlety (Fauré) and textual intricacy (Rachmaninov), it’s not surprising how eloquently he fares with Granados’s Goyescas. Besides being a great colourist and technician, Collard is an honest performer, who usually takes Granados’s mercurial tempo and expressive directives to heart. By carefully observing the differences between forte and fortissimo in the opening ‘Los requiebros’, the internal climaxes emerge in proper perspective, as do the difficult-to-voice simultaneous cantabile and marcato lines. You don’t get the fire and internalised poetry that Alicia de Larrocha’s four recordings or José Menor’s uniquely clairvoyant version serve up; Collard comes off like a classicist by comparison, and that’s perfectly valid.

Collard quietly unleashes his inner Fauré in ‘Coloquio en la reja’: rather than letting the top melodic line dominate throughout, the pianist brings the subsidiary voices and bass lines to the fore, on an equal footing. His rhythmic timing in ‘El fandango de candil’ maintains understated yet palpable swagger throughout the movement, as if he’s more of a conductor than a pianist. Collard shapes the arching lyrical lines of ‘La maja y el ruiseñor’ too inwardly and broadly for my taste; I prefer de Larrocha’s relative litheness and animation, especially in her 1962 EMI version. Collard ignores quite a few of the numerous ritards (but not the accelerandos!) in ‘El amor y la muerte’, yet by doing so he moves this long movement ahead, and, as a result, he organically absorbs the quotations from other movements into the narrative flow. Compared to de Larrocha’s marcato deliberation at the outset of the ‘Epilogo’, Collard may seem too brisk at first. He’s actually creating a frame of reference that will ultimately anchor and unify the movement’s tempo relationships, as well as its thematic connections with the opening movement.

Other Goyescas recordings include the Goya-inspired ‘El pelele’ as a bonus. Collard’s does not; but it doesn’t really matter when you consider this pianist’s seasoned mastery, not to mention La Dolce Volta’s customarily lavish booklet and excellent engineering.

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