MAY 2010, 'Ginastera: Complete Piano and Organ Music', Naxos 8.557911-12 (B)MAY 2010, 'Ginastera: Complete Piano and Organ Music', Naxos 8.557911-12 (B)
Fernando Viani, piano
Reviewed by Ray Picot
Capitalising on their enterprising issues of the two numbered Piano Concertos (8.555283) and the ballets Panambí and Estancia (8.557582), Naxos venture into the heart of Ginastera's output, with his piano music. Fernando Viani has for many years been associated with the Fundación Ostinato, and in this capacity very capably contributed to excellent surveys of music by Gianneo, J. J. Castro and Ginastera. He has to compete with two several well-established sets, notably from Alberto Portugheis (ASV) and Barbara Nissman (Newport Classics), who both knew the composer. However, this is great music that deserves to be heard by the widest audience, and this is where Naxos score. Viani tends to err towards the faster tempi of Nissman and technically is excellent. He feels that like the composer, he is Argentinian with Italian origins, and this strengthens the empathy he feels with the music. This may be true, and there is no doubt that he offers a broad emotional range that is needed to cover the earlier transcriptions and the deeper canvasses of the Sonatas. He supplements this with the premiere recording of the incomplete Argentinian Dances for Children, written for his son Alex and daughter Georgina. To trump the set he adds the two works for solo organ, Toccata, Villancico y Fuga, Op.18 and the Variazioni e Toccata sopra Aurora lucis rutilat, Op.52. Offering 35 minutes of music, these two works alone are worth the price of the 2 CD set. In the catalogue there is a single recording on Priory of the former, but the latter is another first. They are both complex pieces, idiomatically written for the organ and given authoritative performances by the versatile Fernando Viani, completing a valuable contribution to the recordings of this eminent composer.
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