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.
Suites & Sonatas Marcelo Kayath (GuitarCoop)
Brazilian guitarist Kayath retired from the stage in the early 1990s, this is also his first recording in 25 years—and it’s a solid one, with assured versions of pieces by Bach, Weiss, Sor, and Castelnuovo-Tedesco. The last is particularly strong; it’s the composer’s homage to Boccherini, so it fits well with the works by the earlier composers. As with everything I’ve heard from this record label, the recording quality is outstanding. Kayath plays a pair of Hauser I guitars on the disc and they are warm and resonant.
Lute Suite BWV 997 in A Minor (Bach); Suite in F Major (Weiss); Sonata Op. 15B in C Major (Sor); Sonata Op. 77 (Castelnuovo–Tedesco)
Below, Kayath plays the “Gigue” and “Double” from the album’s Bach Lute Suite:
Notes from Existence Jeff Gosselin
Ten years ago, this Regina, Saskatchewan (Canada)–native put out a CD some of his favorite Spanish pieces. A decade later he’s released an entire CD of his own compositions, a concept album with the rather lofty goal of tracing “a musical journey across the lifespan of a human being, from conception to death. The peaks and valleys present in the notes are reflective of significant stages, or milestones along the way.” Be that as it may, there’s lots of range evident in the short pieces, with styles moving from what I would call American pastoral, folk-inspired outings, to more classically oriented numbers. The sweet Butterfly & the Boogeyman and Five Preludes are ones that jumped out on first listen.
Night of the Tarantula; Notes from Existence: Spark of Life, The Chamber, Butterfly & the Boogeyman, Burning Bright, The Divide, Crystal & Sage, The Watchmaker; Sentinels; Lost in Delirium, Nucleus; BWV J.S.Baroque; Five Preludes; Awakening (Lucidity)
Avenues David Norton & Cindy Spell
Here’s a truly lovely album by an American duo who have freely mixed charming “old” pieces from Elizabethan England, Carulli, and Sor, with a scattering of works by contemporary composers such as Benoît Albert, Laurent Méneret, Andrew York, Andrew Shiels, and Miroslav Lončar. The remarkable accomplishment of this CD is that the modern pieces Norton and Spell have chosen—all but the Lončar listed as premiere recordings—fit in so beautifully with the historical works in both approach and feeling. The centuries melt away with ease. Really, it isn’t until the final piece by Lončar that any of the tension so common in “modern” pieces intrudes, but even that work has clear nods to the past. The Albert features Spell solo; the Shiels has Norton solo.
Four Duos, from ‘Méthode Compléte’ (Carulli); Poloniase Concertante, Op. 137 No. 2 (Giuliani); Les 4 Saisons (Albert); Lesson for Two Lutes, La Rossignol, Drewries Accordes (all three anonymous English Renaissance pieces); The Flatt Pavin (Johnson); Gaillard to the Flatt Pavin (Johnson); Sur les traces de Don Quichotte (Méneret); Little Suite for Guitar (Shiels); Who Is Eve? (Lončar)
You can sample and purchase the album through CDBaby.
The Romantic Guitar Fabio Zanon
One of the best performances I heard at last year’s GFA in Denver was Fabio Zanon’s electrifying rendition of the Grande Polonaise by the semi-obscure Polish composer Jan Nepomucen Bobrowicz. It was stunning! Now, that piece (a world premiere recording) and seven other pieces from the Romantic era are presented in this superbly played and recorded collection from the spellbinding Brazilian guitarist (who, like Kayath above, is on the Brazil-based GuitarCoop label). Add in pieces by great guitar composers Napoléon Coste and J.K. Mertz, and mainstream Romantic giants Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Liszt, and you’ve got a sensational lineup of works of varying moods which Zanon delivers about as perfectly as anyone could hope for.
La Source du Lyson, Op.47 (Coste); Adieu!/Nach Osten (von Weyrauch); Introduction et Caprice, Op. 23 (Regondi), 2 Lieder ohne Wörte (Mendelssohn); Bardenklänge, Op. 13, Lied ohne Wörte (Mertz); Kindersonate, Op. 118A (Schumann); Grande Polonaise, Op. 24 (Bobrowicz); Andantino, S. 192, Nuage Gris (Liszt)