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Antón GARCíA ABRIL.
Madre Asturias: A Collection of Asturian Songs.

Joaquín Pixán, tenor. Rosa Torres-Pardo, piano.

Naxos 8.572073, 53:40.
naxos.com

Review by Steve Koenig

García Abril's song collection is largely taken from folksongs from the Asturian region in the northwest of Spain; some are composed to texts by the Asturian writer José Léon Delestal. The Spanish-ness of these are not worn on the sleeve; they are art songs, at least as presented here by tenor Píxan, who, generally, holds the lyrics close to the vest rather than ringing them out.

You would, however, immediately identify the songs as being of Spanish musical origin due to the phrasing, especial of vowels, but also the piano filigree. Some vocal lines end with the slight quaver of a flamenco influence.

These were originally scored for orchestra, in which guise, with a different singer, I'd be most curious to re-experience these. Although the texts are not reproduced "for reasons of copyright," there are exemplary notes by Ramón Avello, analyzing both the lyric and, most informatively, the piano parts.

These are not as easily digestible to a general audience as are Canteloube's songs of the Auvergne, but should please collectors of songs derived from the land.



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