Capricho Latino – Rachel Barton Pine, solo violin – [TrackList follows] Cedille 90000 124, 79:38 [Distr. by Naxos] *****:
There are few more interesting violinists on the worldwide scene than Rachel Barton Pine; she is continuously giving us interesting and well-researched and thought-out concept albums that stimulate the imagination, reinvigorate the ears, and put wrinkles in the brain with their intellectual depth. Add a wonderful sound and the great recordings that Cedille is constantly presenting her in, and you have a package that is well-nigh irresistible.
This one is no different.
Pine, as far back as 2005, became interested in putting together this album. She came across a book by Harry Edlund, music researcher and cataloger extraordinaire (as well as violin dilettante) of his Music for Solo Violin Unaccompanied and made contact with the author in Sweden. Eventually after his death she flew there to meet his widow (they initially had plans to make an online searchable website of his book) where she became the custodian of this great treasure trove, and conceived the idea for this album of Spanish and Latin American solo violin music, including Latin-flavored music by non-Latin composers. The results are, as you might imagine with Pine, resilient and ingratiating.
It might seem a tough time to sit through 80 minutes of solo Spanish music, but as usual Pine has prepared us for all that, this time through her uncanny knack for programming, where each piece is properly and perfectly placed in relation to the others, and her own increasingly-skilled adaptations, among my favorites on this disc (okay, of Albeniz and Piazzolla). And just wait until she dives into the ethereal sonorities of Recuerdos de la Alhambra—I never thought I would hear a version that would make me lose allegiance—if just for a moment—to the guitar original. But all are executed with the fiery brilliance and absolute commitment that we now associate with Pine—is there another violinist alive that so wholeheartedly believes in the music she plays?—and the time passes all too quickly. I wish I could say that about all solo instrument albums.
This is a must-have, no doubt. Get going!
Albéniz, arr. Pine: Asturias (Leyenda)
Cordero: Rapsodia Panameña
Traditional, arr. Florido: Balada Española (Romance)
Espejo: Prélude Ibérique
Quiroga: Emigrantes Celtas
Quiroga: Terra!! Á Nosa!!
Ysaÿe: Sonata No. 6
González: Epitalamio Tanguero
White: Etude No. 6
Tárrega, arr. Ricci: Recuerdos de la Alhambra
Serebrier: Aires de Tango
Piazzolla, arr. Pine: Tango Etude No. 3 con Libertango
Ridout: Ferdinand the Bull (with Héctor Elizondo)
The unifying purpose of Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn…