A towering landmark of Spanish music piano music finely recorded and played by Martin Jones with enviable dexterity and imaginative sympathy. For Ernest Newman the Goyescas gave 'the voluptuous sense of passing the fingers through masses of richly coloured jewels', a multi-faceted intricacy resolved by Jones in performances of a special character, lucidity and refinement. Such conversational elegance and brio require not only an exceptional fleetness but mastery of an elusive idiom, alternating an innate delicacy with searing passion. Jones's way with the triple-forte blaze before the close of of 'Coloquio en la reja' is as red-blooded and resonant as the most ardent Spaniard could wish. On the other hand, the tolling of funeral bells at the close of 'El amor y la muerte' and 'Seranata del espectro', where the composer's fervour is transmuted into numbing austerity, are evoked with memorable poise. Many of the same qualities apply to Iberia, and it says much for Jones that he goes entirely his own way, undaunted by Alicia de Larrocha's formidable recordings. His slowly spiralling Allegretto expressivo in 'EvocaciOn' allows him to savour every sultry harmonic change. Here, then, is a distinguished alternative to more overtly vibrant recordings.
Bryce Morrison, Gramophone