Most weeks we take a peak at recent albums or sheet music releases. Here are three 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 the albums we talk about online 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! Obviously we cannot research and report every outlet or online business where these albums are sold, so check your favorite places that sell CDs and downloads!
To see our previous listings, scroll to the bottom of the page.
The latest outing from this excellent French quartet (Gabriel Bianco, Arkaïtz Chambonnet, Pierre Lelièvre, and Benjamin Valette) presents two pieces written for the group—by Karol Beffa and the seemingly ubiquitous Sérgio Assad, who never fails to come up with interesting material that both challenges and delights players and listeners—three from earlier piano works by Ravel, Turina, and Bartók, and one from an orchestral piece by Ginastera. There’s a tremendous range of styles and moods here. I was delightfully surprised by the melodious Bartók (it’s based on folk themes), and appreciated the modern tonalities and unpredictable structure of the Beffa and, especially, the Assad (in which, he explains in the notes, he attempts to musically describe aspects of the players’ personalities). It’s an adventurous and rewarding listen by four superb players.
Les Météores (Beffa); Danses populaires roumaines (Bartók); Danzas Fantásticas; One 4 all 4 one (Assad); Pavane pour une infant défunte (Ravel); Estancia (Ginastera)
The album is available through Ad Vitam Records, Amazon, and iTunes, and streamed on Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube.
Below is the CD version of the Sérgio Assad, piece, One 4 All 4 One, from YouTube:
Nick Peros: Nocturnes
Although I think of myself as a cheery fellow, I do love a good nocturne, or any music that truly captures the mystery and dark hues of night. This ambitious but very well-achieved collection of 24 original nocturnes for solo guitar written by Canadian composer Nick Peros, and played by beautifully by fellow Canadian Michael Kolk (of Henderson-Kolk Duo fame), really does evoke an amazing range of evening moods, musically painted in shadow and moonlight and a seemingly infinite palette of blues, grays and blacks. Just six of these 24 pieces top the three-minute mark, yet none of them sound at all fragmentary; each feels substantial and well-developed. I was immediately impressed by the subtle (and obvious) differences among the two-dozen—for 16 of the 24, Peros even includes brief suggestions for the mood a player should try for: “with fire and passion,” “with mystery and longing,” “peaceful, gentle,” “atmospheric, mysterious,” etc. (I beg to differ on No. 20, which calls for “gentle” but sounds “sinister” to me!), and the others are open-ended for us to determine. It’s a rich well of approaches and emotions, a lot of night music that I’ve been returning to again and again. Also worth noting is that a book of the sheet music for all 24 is available from Les Productions d’Oz.
Nocturne No. 1–No. 24
The pieces can be heard individually on YouTube, as an album through Apple Music and Spotify, and bought through iTunes and Amazon, among other outlets.
This Nocturne is described by Peros as “reflective”:
The San Francisco Bay Area–based Russian guitarist’s second album is devoted entirely to works by Ástor Piazzolla: The six Tango-Études were originally written for solo flute; these guitar transcriptions are by Manuel Barrueco (one of Liberzon’s teachers) and there is a pleasing variety among them, as the vague French and Spanish descriptors for each indicate: “with anxiety,” “slow and meditative,” “without indication,” etc. The four-movement Histoire du Tango (written in 1986) has become quite fashionable in guitar circles in recent years, played in many different duo combinations. Here it is presented as Piazzolla wrote it—for guitar and flute, with Puerto Rican flutist Josué Casillas joining forces admirably with Liberzon. All in all, it’s a solid and satisfying outing that reaffirms Piazzolla’s genius as a composer and also Liberzon’s skills as an interpreter of a wide range material.
Tango-Études No.1–No.6; Histoire du Tango (all four movements)
The album can be sampled and purchased through Amazon, streamed and bought through Apple Music/iTunes, and streamed through Spotify.
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
May 16: Paul Galbraith, Marc Teicholz, Koen Claeys
May 3o: Michal Svoboda, Izhar Elias
June 13: Eliot Fisk, Duo Salmona-Valette, Evgeny Beleninov
July 11: Xavier Jara, Schneiderman-Yamaya Duo, Detlev Bork
July 25: Cristiano Poli Cappelli, Dúo Villa-Lobos, Giancarlo DiPierro
August 1: Sharon Isbin & Isabel Leonard, Boyd Meets Girl, Silvana Saldaña
August 8: Brasil Guitar Duo, Maria Camitz & Leif Hesselberg, Duo Bohemico
August 22: Kenneth Meyer, Flamenco Pacifico, Jonathan Richards
September 12: Hamish Strathdee, Thanos Mitsalas Plays Assad Chamber Works, Tony Romano