“Classica Española” [TrackList follows] – septet – MDG Scene multichannel SACD (2+2+2) MDG 910 1727-6, 75:25 [Distr. by E1] ****:
Anette Maiburg, flute
Andreas von Wangenheim, guitar
Wlodzimierz Gula, doublebass
Alberto Alarcón, castanets
Juan Lama, flamenco guitar
Luis Llorente, cajón/tinaja/palmas
Jesús González Brito, cuatro/bandola llanera
This is the latest in a series on the German hi-res label.  Mainly the same performers have previously done similar discs devoted to Cuban, Venezuelan and Argentine music.  All of this music involves the excitement and color of Spanish folk music, but on this disc the accent is on purely Spanish music itself. Many varying musical traditions are covered in the 16 tracks of this album, including works by such mainstream Spanish composers as Albeniz, Granados, and Falla, but also flamenco guitar pieces, and even the wonderful Chick Corea standard “Spain”—with all the musicians except the castenet-player joining in.
The particular instrumentation from track to track also varies greatly, with some being solo guitar, some flute and guitar, and others involving most of the seven musicians. On some of the numbers dancers are involved, skillfully playing castenets and doing palmas. In addition to the Spanish guitar, the four-string cuatro is heard on some of the tracks, as well as the four-string bandola llanera, which is a pear-shaped instrument related to the mandolin.
The hi-res surround sonics are superb, as usual with MD&G—the players arrayed in a horseshoe at the frontal soundstage. I do find I need to bring up the level of the surrounds somewhat on this and many SACDs for a fuller surround experience, and wish that could be easily done from the remote as with my previous Sunfire preamp, but the Integra does not allow it.
Enrique Granados (1867-1916), Andaluza
Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), Malagueña
Omar Acosta (* 1964), Jazmín (Tango)
Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), Sevilla. Allegro moderato
Manuel de Falla (1876-1946), Danza española no. 1
Omar Acosta (* 1964), Sevillanas criollas
François Rabbath (* 1931), Ode d’Espagne
Juan Lama (* 1974), La risa
Enrique Granados (1867-1916), Oriental
Manuel de Falla (1876-1946), Danza ritual del fuego
Omar Acosta (* 1964), Por Alegrías
Enrique Granados (1867-1916), Villanesca
Omar Acosta (* 1964), Bulerías de Anette
Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), Rumores de La Caleta
Chick Corea (* 1941), Spain
Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), Tango
—John Sunier