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Classical Album of the Week: Pianist Xiayin Wang plays Granados

April 16, 2018. The repertoire of Shanghai-trained Xiayin Wang spans centuries of music, from Bach to Barber.  The pianist has several recordings to her credit, on multiple labels. Her most recent release, Granados: Piano Works, is a collection of solo piano music by Enrique Granados, including Goyescas, his crowning keyboard opus.

The score is filled with challenges for keyboard artists who interpret its pages, and Xiayin (pronounced SHA-een) Wang acquits herself very nicely.  Goyescas, (subtitled “Los Majos Enamorados” or “The Gallants in Love”) was inspired by the paintings of Francisco Goya, though no specific paintings have been linked to the work.

Last year, Ms. Wang recorded works for piano and orchestra by Alberto Ginastera, and many of her recorded performances are of late 19th and 20th century composers.

This disc of Granados features the entire Goyescas suite, plus three other keyboard works, including the Ochos Valses Poéticos (“Eight Poetic Waltzes”), Zapateado from “Six Pieces on Spanish Folksongs,” and Allegro de Concierto. 

Hailed by critics for her keen musicality, and sweeping virtuosity, Xiayin Wang’s Granados: Piano Works is a very pleasant way to spend an hour with colorful, descriptive piano music.