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A new collection of Decca's legendary 'ffrr' recordings from the early 1950s, made by an underrated Spanish master of orchestral colour in London and Paris. Includes several items new to CD.
Enrique Jordá described conducting as a 'hair-raising' business, and his career never recovered from a very public dressing-down by George Szell while music director of the San Francisco Symphony in the early 1960s. However, he was a true podium artist, lithe and mobile in action, who could draw upon a remarkably broad palette of orchestral colours. Decca's 'full frequency range recording' technology was the perfect vehicle for conveying them to the ears of listeners at home. Though he made his best recordings for Decca, there were only two complete LPs, both of them reissued here, of Dvorák's 'New World' Symphony (July 1951) and bonnes bouches by Jordá's compatriots Albéniz, Falla, Granados and Turina (February 1950).
The Dvorák was made in London with the New Symphony Orchestra at the same time as Jordá's second recording of Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain with Clifford Curzon the soloist: an account which has often been praised for its subtle shifts of mood. The Spanish pieces were recorded in Paris with the Conservatoire orchestra, alongside pieces that showed how unfairly limiting was Jordá's reputation as a Spanish specialist. There are virtuoso but accurate and unflashy accounts of The Sorcerer's Apprentice alongside showpieces by Glinka and Chabrier, initially issued together on a 10-inch LP, never previously released complete on CD. Also from the Paris sessions, Jordá secures edge-of-seat playing and potent atmosphere in Tchaikovsky's dark fantasia after Dante, Francesca da Rimini.
"Mastery of the involutions of Spanish rhythms makes mastery of the healthier Czech meters easy, and the very talented Spaniard Jorda gives us here the most rousing performance on records, variation without diffusion, nuance without affectation." High Fidelity, Spring 1952 (Dvorák)
"The new Nights in the Garden of Spain will be the touchstone by which future performances must be judged." High Fidelity, Spring 1952
"A stunning Sorcier … The Glinka is just as alert and satisfying … The whole thing ripples along perfectly. A very old gentleman to whom I played it said it reminded him of the Empire in palmy days; this made me wish that I, too, were an octogenarian." Gramophone, November 1950 (Dukas, Glinka, Chabrier)
"Splendid recording … I strongly recommend it for our English climate … This rich record holds many delights.' Gramophone, November 1950 ('Music from Spain')
Title: Decca Recordings 1950-51
Release Date: 09 Apr 2021
Artist: Enrique Jorda
Catalogue No: 4840403
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