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Pablo Heras-Casado|Stravinsky: Pulcinella Suite - Falla: El Retablo de Maese Pedro & Harpsichord Concerto

Stravinsky: Pulcinella Suite - Falla: El Retablo de Maese Pedro & Harpsichord Concerto

Pablo Heras-Casado, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Alard, Airam Hernández, José Antonio López, Héctor López de Ayala Uribe

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Stravinsky's Pulcinella, first performed in 1920, was something of a founding document for the neoclassic movement, which ruled the roost for two decades and has had repercussions lasting down to the present day. There are lots of recordings of the sprightly suite Stravinsky extracted from the ballet, but the other two works on the album, by Manuel de Falla, are less familiar and offer wonderful insights into how neoclassicism developed. Falla's little puppet opera El Retablo de Maese Pedro ("Mr. Peter's Puppet Show"), based on an episode in Cervantes' Don Quixote, doesn't really work as an opera, with most of its vocal writing for a boy soprano, and that boy soprano faces real challenges (cleanly surmounted here by Héctor López de Ayala Uribe). However, it is a delightful, colorful work with tremendous energy. Falla's Harpsichord Concerto, composed for Wanda Landowska, is played from time to time, but the early music movement hasn't particularly boosted its fortunes. Both works are given crackling performances here by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and conductor Pablo Heras-Casado; the harpsichordist in the two works is Benjamin Alard. They make a fascinating contrast with the Stravinsky. Both composers drew on the past; Falla did not abandon the Spanish sources of his music but incorporated them into Classical structures, while Pulcinella is a kind of pastiche on themes by a composer then thought to be Pergolesi. Yet the flavors are completely different. Any listener, including those who are just getting into the neoclassic era, will enjoy this album, which was superbly recorded by Harmonia Mundi at the Auditorium of Girona in Catalonia.

© James Manheim /TiVo

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Stravinsky: Pulcinella Suite - Falla: El Retablo de Maese Pedro & Harpsichord Concerto

Pablo Heras-Casado

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El Retablo de Maese Pedro (Manuel de Falla)

1
I. El Pregón
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:00:55

Manuel De Falla, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist - Airam Hernández, MainArtist, TenorSolo

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

2
II. La Sinfonía de Maese Pedro
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:03:05

Manuel De Falla, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Benjamin Alard, Harpsichord, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist - Airam Hernández, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Héctor López de Ayala Uribe, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

3
III. La Corte de Carlomagno
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:02:03

Manuel De Falla, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist - Héctor López de Ayala Uribe, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

4
IV. La Entrada de Carlomagno
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:03:29

Manuel De Falla, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Benjamin Alard, Harpsichord, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist - Héctor López de Ayala Uribe, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

5
V. Melisendra
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:03:43

Manuel De Falla, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Benjamin Alard, Harpsichord, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist - José Antonio López, MainArtist, BaritoneVocals - Airam Hernández, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Héctor López de Ayala Uribe, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

6
VI. El Suplicio del Moro
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:01:19

Manuel De Falla, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Benjamin Alard, Harpsichord, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist - Héctor López de Ayala Uribe, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

7
VII. Los Pirineos
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:02:01

Manuel De Falla, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Benjamin Alard, Harpsichord, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist - Héctor López de Ayala Uribe, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

8
VIII. La Fuga
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:03:01

Manuel De Falla, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Benjamin Alard, Harpsichord, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist - Airam Hernández, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Héctor López de Ayala Uribe, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

9
IX. La Persecución
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:01:37

Manuel De Falla, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Benjamin Alard, Harpsichord, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist - José Antonio López, MainArtist, BaritoneVocals - Airam Hernández, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Héctor López de Ayala Uribe, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

10
X. Final
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:04:51

Manuel De Falla, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Benjamin Alard, Harpsichord, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist - José Antonio López, MainArtist, BaritoneVocals - Airam Hernández, MainArtist, TenorSolo

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

Harpsichord Concerto (Manuel de Falla)

11
I. Allegro
Benjamin Alard
00:03:10

Manuel De Falla, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Benjamin Alard, Harpsichord, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

12
II. Lento (giubiloso e energico)
Benjamin Alard
00:05:46

Manuel De Falla, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Benjamin Alard, Harpsichord, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

13
III. Vivace (flessibile, scherzando)
Benjamin Alard
00:04:16

Manuel De Falla, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Benjamin Alard, Harpsichord, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

Pulcinella Suite (Igor Stravinsky)

14
I. Sinfonia. Allegro moderato
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:01:53

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

15
II. Serenata. Larghetto
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:03:11

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

16
III. Scherzino - Allegro - Andantino
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:04:22

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

17
IV. Tarantella
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:01:55

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

18
V. Toccata. Allegro
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:00:58

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

19
VI. Gavotta (con due variazioni). Allegro moderato - Allegretto - Allegro più tosto moderato
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:04:11

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

20
VII. Vivo
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:01:35

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

21
VIII. Minuetto. Molto moderato
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:02:35

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

22
IX. Finale. Allegro assai
Pablo Heras-Casado
00:01:57

Igor Stravinsky, Composer - Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor, MainArtist

2024 harmonia mundi 2024 harmonia mundi

Album review

Stravinsky's Pulcinella, first performed in 1920, was something of a founding document for the neoclassic movement, which ruled the roost for two decades and has had repercussions lasting down to the present day. There are lots of recordings of the sprightly suite Stravinsky extracted from the ballet, but the other two works on the album, by Manuel de Falla, are less familiar and offer wonderful insights into how neoclassicism developed. Falla's little puppet opera El Retablo de Maese Pedro ("Mr. Peter's Puppet Show"), based on an episode in Cervantes' Don Quixote, doesn't really work as an opera, with most of its vocal writing for a boy soprano, and that boy soprano faces real challenges (cleanly surmounted here by Héctor López de Ayala Uribe). However, it is a delightful, colorful work with tremendous energy. Falla's Harpsichord Concerto, composed for Wanda Landowska, is played from time to time, but the early music movement hasn't particularly boosted its fortunes. Both works are given crackling performances here by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and conductor Pablo Heras-Casado; the harpsichordist in the two works is Benjamin Alard. They make a fascinating contrast with the Stravinsky. Both composers drew on the past; Falla did not abandon the Spanish sources of his music but incorporated them into Classical structures, while Pulcinella is a kind of pastiche on themes by a composer then thought to be Pergolesi. Yet the flavors are completely different. Any listener, including those who are just getting into the neoclassic era, will enjoy this album, which was superbly recorded by Harmonia Mundi at the Auditorium of Girona in Catalonia.

© James Manheim /TiVo

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