Granados: Goyescas (opera version) (CD)

Harmonia Mundi
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Nancy Fabiola Herrera, Gustavo Pena, Lidia Vinyes Curtis, Jose Antonio Lopez, Josep Pons, BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers

Granados’s famous opera Goyescas, first performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1916, derives from the piano suite premiered in Paris two years previously. At the head of a BBC SO in top form and a handpicked cast, Josep Pons clearly much enjoyed conducting this sparkling new production in London: many scenes in the opera draw their inspiration directly from paintings by Goya, which listeners will also have the pleasure of finding in the booklet of this rare and precious album.

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Granados: Goyescas (opera)

BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Josep Pons

José Antonio López (soloist), Lidia Vinyes Curtis (soloist), Nancy Fabiola Herrera (soloist), Gustavo Pena (soloist)

  1. Cuadro 1, Escena 1: El pelele "Aquí como allá" (Majas)
  2. Cuadro 1, Escena 2: La calesa "¡Esa chiquilla parece en sí llevar más sal" (Majos)
  3. Cuadro 1, Escena 3: Los requiebros "El sitio y la hora son" (Rosario)
  4. Cuadro 1, Escena 4: "Juntos iremos al baile" (Fernando)
  5. Cuadro 1: Intermezzo
  6. Cuadro 2, Escena 5: El baile del candil "Siempre fue lindo el pie" (Majos y Majas)
  7. Cuadro 2, Escena 6: "Si lo que os trajo no fue la danza" (Paquiro)
  8. Cuadro 2: "¡Qué cosas dice a veces un pie!" (Majos)
  9. Cuadro 3: Interludio
  10. Cuadro 3, Escena 7: La maja y el ruiseñor "¿Por qué entre sombras el ruiseñor" (Rosario)
  11. Cuadro 3, Escena 8: Dúo de amor en la reja "¿Me esperas?" (Rosario, Fernando)
  12. Cuadro 3, Escena 9: El amor y la muerte "¡Es un sueño!" (Rosario)

The Classical Music Collector

"Goyescas is an unusual opera. Granados first created his unforgettable cycle of piano pieces of the same name, in which form they have been recorded many times, notably by Garrick Ohlsson on Hyperion. In order to create an operatic version Granados had to elaborate the music and get a libretto written that would work around the existing score. Despite the utilitarian sound of all this, the resulting work is utterly charming, and has always been well-received; however, it remains rarely performed, and this lovely new recording on Harmonia Mundi is to be greatly welcomed. As the title suggests, the opera relates to paintings by Goya, but the dark and sinister qualities of some of his painterly work are not in evidence here; the predominant tone is exuberant and melodious, Spanish-flavoured and richly orchestrated, with occasional castanets. And, to everyone’s pleasure, the incomparable and melancholy la maja y el ruiseñormelody is present, as a soprano aria in Scene 3. If you already know the piano Suite you will find this operatic rewrite fascinating, not to mention delightful; if you are a newcomer to Granados’ romantic tunefulness this is a rare and exceptional introduction to his warmhearted soundworld. I’m going to call this an indispensable release." - Chris Dench