de Larrocha's Earliest Records on CD

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de Larrocha's Earliest Records on CD

Post by Lance » Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:59 pm ... SX425_.jpg ... SX425_.jpg
DGG Eloquence 482 1546, 3 CDs (mono), TT: 227:17.

Anybody who knows anything about Spanish piano music will almost always agree that Alicia de Larrocha was among the best ever in this repertoire. In fact, I learned of her through the original American Decca LPs (all mono), which were her first recordings in the USA (she recorded for Hispavox earlier). The recordings were made on a Steinway between 1954 and 1955. Inasmuch as Universal Music Group acquired American Decca, they have been reissuing these recordings on the Australian DGG or Decca Eloquence label at a budget price.

It was wonderful to hear de Larrocha's fleet fingers and brilliant technique in this music, which was very dear to her heart. What interested me most was, particularly, all themusic on these discs composed by Enrique Granados (1867-1916). There is also music by Turina, Oscar Espla, Rodrigo, and Mompou.

Whoever does the remastering for Eloquence sometimes gets carried way with the high end of the sound spectrum. I find that, in leaving my tone controls largely the same unless they need to be changed, these recordings are exceedingly bright on the high end enough to make me cut the treble range so as to not hurt the human ears! There is also some distortion here and there that may be the fault of the original tapes from the mid-1950s. They certainly sound better than the Decca original LPs, which almost always had poor surface quality.

Alicia Torra, de Larrocha's daughter, writes an interesting article about these recordings and her mother and notes that her mother re-recorded much of this repertoire for other labels (in stereo), though de Larrocha was only thirty years young when she made these recordings, and as Torra says, "What makes this anthology special is not only the chance to hear her remastered first recordings, but also to get an inside perspective on how she experience these pieces at the age of thirty."
Lance G. Hill

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]


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