The Orchestra of the Americas & Carlos Miguel Prieto - de Falla - All Music
The largest proportion of great Falla performances have come from Spanish conductors and musicians, but there are certainly exceptions; André Previn and Leonard Bernstein led memorable recordings. Now comes this recording from Mexico, which can stand with any of them. It comes from conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto's handpicked Orchestra of the Americas, consisting of top young music school graduates on their way to orchestral careers. Prieto's reading of The Three-Cornered Hat crackles with energy even as he takes many of this series of heavily flamenco-inspired dances a step or two more slowly than most. It's an exceptional performance that reflects a close relationship between conductor and musicians. Two entr'acte pieces follow from a slightly earlier phase of Spanish music, the "Interlude and Dance" from Falla's La Vida Breve and the "Intermezzo" from Granados' Goyescas. The finale is Falla's Nights of the Gardens of Spain, moodily atmospheric in the hands of pianist Jorge Federico Osorio if perhaps a trifle less riveting than The Three-Cornered Hat. Special notice goes to Linn's engineering team, recording live in the Sala Nezahualcóyotl in Mexico City and achieving a spacious, clear sound that does justice to the numerous percussive elements of these scores.