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Gámiz brings much interest to Albéniz’s Seven Studies – the G major is particularly flowing in an almost Chopinesque way, and there is a lovely throwaway aspect to the A major. Les Saisons really are the four seasons (unlike Tchaikovsky’s offering). Spring offers clean, proto-Impressionistic textures, while summer has a charming Scarlatti influence. A rather lonely autumn is more harmonically exploratory (unlike the salon waltz L’Automne-Valse), while winter is surprisingly playful. The perhaps more familiar side of Albéniz is encountered in the more flamboyant Rapsodia Cubana; and the charming Suite Antigua refers back longingly to an earlier era, offering sterling contrast. The stomping Scherzo (with cantabile, flowing Trio) is the only surviving movement of a Sonata in A flat, while the Dos Mazurcas are pure salon music. This is not Albéniz’s finest work; nevertheless, Gámiz is a committed interpreter, supported by an adequate recording.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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