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The Spanish Masters shines a spotlight on famed Iberian composers Manuel de Falla, Isaac Albeniz and Enrique Granados. Although these gentlemen died more than sixty years ago, they were recorded anew in 2011 performing their own works at the piano, alongside cellist Zuill Bailey and soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian.
The original recordings of Albéniz were recorded in 1903 by Edison gramophone on wax cylinders; the original Granados cylinders originate from 1912. The new versions were created using technology developed by a North Carolina company called Zenph. It's engineers call the results "re-performances."
Cellist Zuill Bailey told NPR's Scott Simon that although there was an occasional bad note in de Falla's original recordings, that's OK. Bailey says, "Some of the greatest performances are not the ones that are note perfect. His playing is very human, very mortal, it is very imperfect. But to hear a composer play something that was inside of him is a huge asset, knowing that the composers brought out things that were not all about perfection, they were brought out by why they wrote the music.
To hear the full NPR interview with Bailey and Bayrakdarian, listen here.
See previous CDs of the Week here.