Joaquin Turina took on the advice as well as the example of his older compatriots Albeníz and Falla, and wrote works influenced by the fiery gypsy music of Andalusia. His output consists mainly of piano music, songs, chamber music and a handful of dazzling orchestral works which show him to be second only to Ravel in orchestral wizardry. In all the music on this well-filled disc you will hear a style of Impressionism that is not cool and misty but ablaze with heat and light. The BBC Philharmonic relish Turina’s textures under Mena’s idiomatic direction, and typically rich Chandos sound is everything one could wish. This is well worth collecting alongside Mena’s previous discs of music by Falla and Montsalvatge.
If I have a quibble, perhaps a degree of earthiness is missing in these lush performances. In the Danzas Fantásticas some of Mena’s predecessors point more clearly to the gypsy origins. Try the old Ansermet/Suisse Romande recording on Eloquence to hear what I mean.
Clara Mouritz’s vibrant mezzo- soprano voice is perfect for the heartfelt Saeta, but I feel the five Poema en forma de canciones lie too high for her. A true soprano is needed, the likes of Los Angeles, Caballé, or more recently, Lucia Duchoñová on the highly recommendable Hänssler disc of Turina’s orchestral song cycles.