Antonio José Martinez Palacios - known simply as Antonio José - was executed during the Spanish Civil war in 1936. And as in several cases where the composer lead a tragic but colorful life, this disc of his orchestral music has received some rave reviews in certain quarters. I suppose I should add a sober streak here. Now, there is no doubt that Antonio José was a hugely talented composer who could very well have attained genuine importance had he been allowed to live. And this release contains several colorful, even exciting, works. But there are no masterpieces here - in fact, none of the works are even that close.
That is not to say that they aren't enjoyable, and indeed sometimes immensely so. Sinfonia Castellana is a colorful, impressionistic folk music-inspired score that will appeal to anyone who enjoys Falla. It is a very worthwhile piece and surely the best work on the disc. The rest is written in a similar language; the Suite Ingenua adds a touch of neo-classicism and is rather anodyne, but the Evocaciones are, well, evocative and certainly attractive, and the shorter pieces (piano music orchestrated by the composer himself or others) are worthwhile but in the end forgettable.
Nothing to complain about with regards to performances or sound quality. At Naxos price, you needn't hesitate about adding this one to your collection, especially for the Sinfonia Castellana. But don't expect any timeless masterpieces.