P0134. THOMAS RAJNA: Complete Piano Works of Granados. 6-Brilliant 92283, recorded 1976, w.Lovely 15pp Brochure. Long Out-of-print, Final Copy! - 5028421922836
''Thomas Rajna completed his cycle of Granados’ solo piano music within a year in 1976. As if to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of their original appearance on CRD LPs Brilliant Classics has returned the cycle to the market-place. It’is in one slim box containing six nicely filled CDs and with extensive notes from Bryce Morrison. Nothing could be finer. Rajna was an expert advocate for Granados’ music.
The first disc furnishes Goyescas and his performance of the great cycle is full of poetry and a certain aristocratic finesse. Rajna is a colourist of great deftness, preferring pastel to primary maybe, but pursuing his conception with absolute fidelity and no inner contradictions. It renders his traversal rather slower than is perhaps the norm; two examples will have to suffice. ‘Coloquio en la reja’ is in his hands an intense, almost sepulchral affair - very slow and measured. And ‘Los requiebros’ may well come as a surprise to those weaned on de Larrocha’s various traversals, not least the one she left the year after Rajna’s own for Decca in 1977. It’s certainly not simply a question of tempo, of course. He tends to be less rhythmically incisive and vital than de Larrocha here, his rubati are considerably less teasing, those detonating left hand accents less pronounced. In short his is a more agreeably equable view, a more sedate one. To those who find de Larrocha occasionally overstated in this repertoire, Rajna may offer a point of comparison, though I certainly wouldn’t forego her magnetic rhythmic incision and stylish personality. In the Twelve Spanish Dances…Rajna really comes into his own. His command is sure, his dynamics powerfully expansive, his touch splendid, and his tonal variety evocative. His surety in the second, ‘Orienta’, lies in his control of the swaying rhythm of the outer sections in the same way that he is so successful in ‘Villanesca’ where he evokes the bell motifs, commands the wide octave leaps, and is sweetly pious in the lied that lies at its heart. His impetuous accelerando in the ‘Rondella Aragonesa’ is judged splendidly - the correspondingly slow section equally so. The second of the Waltzes encloses a beautiful melody, the third is impish and in the final waltz we return with generous cyclical warmth to the opening number. Rajna plays them with distinction….The three little ‘Escenas Poeticas’ are warm without being pointlessly rhapsodic and Rajna brings out their evocative coloration and gentle sense of regret extremely well. This is another bargain from Brilliant Classics. Performances, documentation and recording quality are all impressive. There’s no real reason to hesitate.''
- MusicWeb International