Here’s our bi-weekly listing of some of the CDs that have come into the Classical Guitar office recently.
If you have a CD you’d like to submit to us, here’s our address:
501 Canal Blvd. suite J
Richmond, CA 94804-3505
Some of these will be reviewed in the magazine, some not. But we want to at least mention them here. You can listen to some of these on various of streaming services, but we always encourage you to support the artists by actually buying anything you like!
To see our previous listings, scroll to the bottom of the page.
Once you get past the visual of Scottish guitarist Paul Galbraith‘s unusual style of playing—like a cello, his David Rubio-designed eight-string “Brahms Guitar” (as he calls it; you can read why on his website) has an endpin, and the instrument sits between his legs, nearly upright—you’re left with a world-class musician who is an extraordinarily mellifluous interpreter of classical music from many eras, though I think it’s fair to say that Bach and Mozart are two of his specialties. Indeed, he’s put out three previous CDs of Bach alone, and another with both Bach and Mozart pieces on them. With its “extra” strings, his instrument is able to bring out sonorities unavailable to conventional guitarists and it gives his arrangements an extraordinary richness and sonic depth: The famous “Prelude” from the Bach Cello Suite in G is just one example that benefits from these deep resonances. But the whole CD is a delight; how could it not be? The Brazilian Guitar Coop label (Galbraith lived in Brazil for many years, but now resides in Switzerland) is proving to be an extremely reliable source of wonderful guitar music!
Allemande from Lute Suite in Em, BMV996 (Bach); Allemande in Cm (trans. Em) from Baroque Suite in C, K399 (Mozart); Keyboard Sonata in Bb (trans. E), K570 (Mozart); Lute Suite in Gm (trans. Am), BWV995 (Bach); Cello Suite in G (trans. D), BWV1007 (Bach)
To purchase of download of the album click here. And watch Galbraith play some Mozart from the disc:
Celestial: the Music of Ernesto Nazareth
The popular and influential Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth (1863–1934) wrote on piano, but many of his pieces have been successfully adapted to guitar in modern times—here, we’re treated to 16 pieces lovingly arranged by contemporary Brazilian guitarist/composer Sérgio Assad (who graces the cover of the Summer 2017 issue of Classical Guitar) and gracefully played by Marc Teicholz, who currently teaches at both the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Cal State East Bay. In his notes for the album, Assad notes that Nazareth was influenced both by rhythmic street choro bands and other native Brazilian performers, as well as classical musicians such as Chopin. You can hear strains of many different styles in this lively selection of tunes, from choros to tangos to waltzes, bits of ragtime, ballads; many pieces feature of mix of tempos (such as the exquisite title track). Teicholz’s sure and tremendously appealing interpretations of Assad’s arrangements truly show off Nazareth’s gifts as a composer to the fullest. Highly recommended! Besides this exceptional recording, Les Productions d’Oz/Doberman-Yppan is also offering a 68-page book containing Assad’s arrangements for all 16 pieces, aimed at advanced players.
Brejeiro; Eponina; Serambeque; Turbilhao de Beijos; Ensimesmado; Tango Habanera; Mandinga; Celestial; Fetiço; Confidencias; Batuque; Expansiva; Pinguim; Tenebroso; Escorregando; Elegantissima
You can sample and order the album here; it’s also available through iTunes.
Paint Me Blue
Belgian guitarist Claeys travels confidently down a jazzy road on this self-produced disc, deftly covering a nice variety of unfailingly melodic 20th century tunes, including one each from fellow Belgians Toots Thielemans (the great chromatic harmonica player; the arrangement is Roland Dyens’) and singer-songwriter Jacques Brel, and a third piece by Leo Brouwer based on Belgium-born French guitarist Django Reinhardt’s Nuages. American pianist Keith Jarrett is represented by two lovely pieces, one being a haunting extraction from his still-astonishing all-improvised Köln Concert album from 1975; a great choice! There are also a pair of American “standards”: Cole Porter’s Night and Day (in jazz guitarist Joe Pass’ arrangement) and the lengthy (18:47!), multi-textured Gershwin masterpiece Rhapsody in Blue. It’s an ambitious selection, but Claeys handles it with smooth assurance. All in all this is a very impressive outing from a guitarist to watch for. I’ve been listening to this disc a lot.
Bluesette (Thielmans); Paint My Heart Red (Jarrett); Rhapsody in Blue (Gershwin); My Song (Jarrett); Ne Me Quitte Pas (Brel); Variations on a Theme by Django Reinhardt: Nuages (Brouwer); Night and Day (Porter); The Köln Concert Part IIC (Jarrett)
You can buy the disc directly from Koen Claeys. So far it does not appear to be on streaming outlets. Below, Claeys plays the Toots Thielemans piece from the album.
Previous New CD Listings:
October 4: Jacob Cordover, Oleg Timofeyev and John Schneiderman, Arkaïtz Chambonnet, Matthew Fish, Gidi Ifergan
October 18: Norbert Kraft and Jeffrey McFadden, Steve Cowan, Katrin Endrikat, Jason Vieaux and Julien Labro, Yenne Lee, Emanuele Segre
November 1: Virginia Luque and Bojidara Kouzmanova, Jon Gjylaci, Fabiano Borges, Alfonso Baschiera, Miscelanea Guitar Quartet, J.P. McShane
November 15: Antigoni Goni, Adam Levin, Radoŝ Malidžan, Black Cedar, Lou Marinoff, Antonio Malinconico
November 22: Marcelo de la Puebla, ChromaDuo, Carsten Pedersen, Thibaut Garcia, Yiannis Giagourtas
December 13: Zsófia Boros, Andrea Bissoli, Philippe Sly & John Charles Britton, Carlos Dorado, Steven Joseph
December 27: João Carlos Victor, Frank Wallace, Simon Thacker & Justyna Jablonska
January 10: Alberto La Rocca, Jeffrey McFadden & Michael Kolk, Stefan Koim
January 24: Fabio Zanon, Marcelo Kayath, David Norton & Cindy Spell, Jeff Gosselin
February 7: Canadian Guitar Quartet, Mats Bergström, John Sargent, Dimitris Kotronakis
February 21: James Akers & Gary Branch, Karol Samuelčík, Josef Mazan, John Lehman-Haupt
March 7: Meng Su, Raphaella Smits, Michaela Hrabankova & Gabriel Bianco, Mark Westling
March 21: Sabrina Vlaskalic, Ozan Saritepe, Simon Cheong
April 4: James Akers, Duo Amaral, Chris Fossek
April 18: Pepe Romero, Vicente Coves & Extremadura Orchestra; Carlos Walter; David Härenstam (et al.)
May 2: Kaiser Schmidt Guitar Duo, Montréal Guitare Trio, Nazrin Rashidova & Slanislav Hvartchilkov