Rafael Puyana  -  Fandango  (Scarlatti & Soler)   (l'Oiseau-Lyre 417 341)
Item# P0048
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Rafael Puyana  -  Fandango  (Scarlatti & Soler)   (l'Oiseau-Lyre 417 341)
P0048. RAFAEL PUYANA (Harpischord): Fandango, incl. Scarlatti & Soler. (Germany) l'Oiseau-Lyre 417 341, recorded 1985, Paris, w.34pp. Brochure. Long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 028941734129


“Another rousing performance by the late Rafael Puyana is preserved on his 1990 disc Fandango (L’Oiseau-Lyre 417 341-2), with a reading based on an edition by musicologist Samuel Rubio, who solved the problem inherent in the ending by adding a return to the opening measures, thereby fashioning a cadence in the work’s home tonality. Since I found Puyana’s rendition eminently satisfying, I decided to write Señor Ares to learn his rationale for concluding the piece as he did. With permission I quote from his generous and eloquent responses: ‘The 18th century produced two fandangos that have become well known: the one by Soler, and another by Boccherini; unlike Soler’s, Boccherini’s ends on the tonic. Two others, less known, are by José de Nebra and Domenico Scarlatti, both of whom are prominent among Soler’s mentors. These two compositions both end on the dominant. [The work attributed to Scarlatti is included on Puyana’s disc. Why? Perhaps one reason could be the traditional choreography of the dance. The New Grove description of the dance-form fandango has it ending with an extreme accelerando. This gradual increase in tempo leads to an explosive climax on the final chord, leaving the dancers exhausted. The fandango was considered to be an extremely sensual dance. Since it might be inappropriate for a monk (Soler) to compose such a thing, it might be that the ‘L.D.’ (Laus Deo [Praise God]) immediately following the dominant cadence in Soler’s manuscript, was meant to certify his religious vocation, even though he were momentarily to be seduced by such sensual rhythms! The pioneering 20th-century harpsichordist Wanda Landowska probably would have suggested a lengthy rallentando for the ending of such a long piece, but if this is applied to a fandango it would destroy the relationship to the dancers’ movements. Ending with the dominant allows the quickening pace; ending in the tonic makes a slowing almost obligatory. But who knows? I could even imagine that she might have liked the accelerando effect for this particular type of piece! When I [Ares] spoke with Puyana he told me that on his first recording he omitted some measures since he felt the piece was too long, and he played a da capo since it was in the Rubio transcription of the manuscript. This is not wrong! I would leave it to the taste of the player: if the person repeats the opening and cadences on the tonic I would relate this piece to the one by Boccherini; if the player ends the work on the dominant, it would relate more closely to the fandangos of de Nebra and Scarlatti.”

- Larry Palmer, THE DIAPASON, Dec., 2013