The music of Rodrigo is, considering when he wrote it, quite backward looking – in fact, he should have been born 30 or 40 years earlier and have been a contemporary of Albeniz (born 1860), Granados (1867), and Falla (1876), because that’s how it sounds.
That said, within those parameters, if you are a fan of Spanish music, his music is highly enjoyable. As I write in my review of Enrique Batiz’ 4-CD traversal of his orchestral works, “The music of Rodrigo breaks no ground, old or new, but it is sunny, light-hearted, easy listening and colorfully orchestrated.” And anyway, how can you not feel sympathetic to a composer whose complete name is Joaquín Rodrigo Vidre, 1st Marquis of the Gardens of Aranjuez. They even named a guitar concerto after him! And as of today I demand to be called Discophage the first, Prince of his weed-infested backyard.
I need to transfer over here the reviews I published quite a while ago of Enrique Batiz‘ 4-CD traversal of Rodrigo’s orchestral works, first on EMI, and licensed by Brilliant Classics, and of Artur Pizarro‘s recording of his piano music on Collins Classics (checking on it reminds me why I gave up reviewing on Amazon and created this website… ). I have a number of other Rodrigo recordings in my collection begging for listening time.
En los Trigales by Narciso Yepes on Accord 139225 (1986) or 222032, Jeux Interdits / Forbidden Games (with works of Anonymous/Yepes, Granados, Sor, Mateo Albéniz, Tàrrega, Isaac Albéniz, Bach, Falla), a compilation of recordings from various dates, originally from Decca.