Enrique Granados is today best remembered for his Goyescas suite for solo piano, inspired by the art and times of Francisco de Goya. Granados first came under the spell of Goya in 1896 while viewing an exhibition of his works. In particular, the bohemian characters of the majo and maja that had captivated Goya came to dominate the highly romanticized image of old Madrid embraced by Granados. Although the inspiration from Goya is readily acknowledged it is only two of the six pieces that make up Goyescas that can be related to specific works by the painter: No.1 Los requiebros (The Flirtations) and No.5 El amor y la muerte (Love and Death) were both inspired by etchings from the celebrated series of Caprichos. Another image by Goya, of four young girls playing with a life-sized puppet made of straw, formed the inspiration for El pelele (The straw man), which Granados composed after the suite and gave the subtitle ‘escena goyesca’. Performing these wonderfully sensuous works is the Dutch pianist Joop Celis, who here makes his first appearance on BIS, but who has earned plaudits for previous recordings, for instance in International Record Reviewer: ‘He dispatches the heroic and virtuosic with ease, yet his playing displays a great sensitivity to the more romantic side…’ On his ample recording, Celis also includes Granados’s collection of seven ‘Poetic scenes’ as well as the brief Intermezzo which Granados composed for his opera Goyescas, a work in one act otherwise based on the music from the suite for piano. The opera was premièred in New York in 1916, and it was on his journey home to Spain that Granados died, when the ship he was travelling on was torpedoed in the English Channel.
Extra material for download