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The Venezuelan pianist Vanessa Perez could hardly have given us a more vivacious view of Spain: castanets click, guitars strum and bodies whirl in the true spirit of Andalusian flamenco. Her interaction between Debussy (with his lifelong fascination with a once exotic neighbour) and Falla (his music as ‘Abrupt as when there’s slid/Its stiff gold blazing pall/From some black coffin-lid’) is subtle and telling. Whether in the swaying seduction of Pantomima or in the bitter and acerbic utterance of Fantasia betica, Perez has no need of the American pianist Anthony di Bonaventura’s advice concerning the lack of rhythmic focus in a student’s playing (‘imagine your body without a skeleton, it would just be a great lump’). She is joined by pianist Stephen Beck in two items, making this a scintillating and enterprising disc, finely recorded.

BRYCE MORRISON Read the full review on Agora Classica


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