This welcome Eloquence collection (484 0403, 2 CDs) compiles Enrique Jordá’s Decca recordings from 1950 and 1951. Jordá (1911-96) includes a vividly dramatic Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a dashing Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture, and a pulsating Danse slave (Chabrier). There are also idiomatic accounts of Spanish fare – Albéniz, Falla, Granados, Turina – and an elemental/exciting reading of Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini, all with the responsive/characterful Paris Conservatoire Orchestra. However, as incident-relaying as the sound is, and as swirling with activity as the music-making is, the reproduction is over-bright, even fierce.
Better reproduction on disc two, featuring the New Symphony Orchestra of London, more equable to warmth and bass, first in Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain, in which the pianist is Clifford Curzon, retrospectively not a piece one might associate with him, yet in which he is marvellous during this picturesque concertante work. Similarly compelling is Dvořák’s ‘New World’ Symphony, Jordá his own man in terms of tempo flexibility (the Scherzo da capo faster) and phrasing, with an especially eloquent Largo as part of a fresh palate-cleansing performance.