Basque Music Collection, Vol. 14PEDRO SANJUÁN (1886-1976): Castilla, Liturgia Negra.
Catalogue Number: 08O003
Reference: CD 50-1109
Description: The latest volume of this long-running series is one of its best. Apparently not much is known about Sanjuán's earler life but he studied privately with Turina and moved back and forth between Spain and Cuba before ending up living in the U.S. from the late 1930s until his death. As usual the notes in this series provide next to nothing on the actual music; there is no date for Castilla but it was performed in 1927. This could be a three-movement symphony: it's three movements are each around 11-12 minutes in length and are fast-slow-fast with sonata form in the first movement. Richly orchestrated, full of Spanish national feeling, you could think of it as something by a Spanish Rachmaninov. Of course Castilla is the historical Basque enemy, Sanjuán is not a Basque name (although he was born in San Sebastian) and Liturgia negra is not Basque-oriented either but who's counting? Apparently dating from his mid-1930s period in Cuba, this is the main reason to buy this disc. In five movements based on Afro-Cuban rhythms and melodies (two of them refer to West African deities and a third to a "Santeria Procession"), this is the equivalent of the nationalistic orchestral works of the same period by Ginastera, Revueltas, Villa-Lobos and Chávez. If you like anything by these four composers, you're going to want to have this! Basque National Orchestra; Andrés Orozco-Estrada.