Alicia de Larrocha has been playing these works, the greatest in the repertoire of Spanish piano music, all her life – one of her very first recordings, 40 years ago, was of some of the Goyescas, and I had the pleasure of welcoming her first Iberia ten years after that (10/65); and immersed as she was from her earliest childhood in the authentic tradition (her mother, her aunt and she herself were all trained at Granados’s own school, of which she later became director), she has several times been asked to re-record them. She once said, rather wistfully, that she didn’t consider herself a specialist but that Spanish music was what the public constantly demanded of her. One can sympathize with her if she feels inescapably cast in this mould – but then she shouldn’t be so wonderfully persuasive in it! She employs plenty of subtle rubato but possesses the ability to make it sound as natural as breathing; yet she can also preserve a stimulating tautness of rhythm.
Glyndebourne has brought to light a long-overlooked winner in Donizetti’s Poliuto, delivering ‘a superb musical performance’ (The Telegraph) offering ‘lucent accounts of the principal roles and an incandescent London Philharmonic Orchestra, under Enrique Mazzola’ (New York Times). This first ever professional UK staging of the story of third-century Armenian martyr St Polyeuctus features a ‘trio of world-class young singers’ with Fabiano, winner of the Beverly Sills and Richard Tucker awards, displaying a ‘thrilling, vibrant tone’ in the title role, Martínez providing Paolina with ‘pinging coloratura’ and Golovatenko giving a ‘radiant-toned’ voice to Severo. (The Guardian)
Though Enrique Iglesias spent four years between albums, one would hardly know it by Sex and Love. No less than four of these 11 tracks were issued as pre-release singles in 2013. Musically, Iglesias walks the line between the dancefloor jams of 2007's Insomniac and the romantic flavor of 2010's Euphoria….
It should come as no surprise that Enrique Iglesias' 2008 Greatest Hits begins in 1999, when he made the leap from the Latin market into the mainstream. All his very successful '90s albums on Fonovisa are bypassed, written off as prehistory, so the spotlight shines only on his English-language singles of the new millennium: the club tracks and syrupy slow songs that gave him a significant number of crossover hits. With the exception of a couple of minor blips on the charts like 2000's "Sad Eyes," all these are here, starting with 1999's "Bailamos" and "The Rhythm Divine," running through 2000's "Be with You" and 2001's "Hero," stopping for 2004's "Not in Love," winding up with 2007's "Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song)" and wrapping up with two new duets, "Away" with Sean Garrett and "Takin' Back My Love" with Ciara. While this approach may lop off half of his career, it also does exactly what hits collections should do: it gives the casual listener the hits they want to hear and nothing else.