For the next few weeks, we’re going to break our usual bi-weekly Tuesday format of alternating glimpses at new CDs with new sheet music releases, simply because we have so many new CDs coming in we need to catch up a bit! So, here are some of the CDs that have come into the Classical Guitar office recently. We’ll have three more next week.
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! 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.
Tansman: Complete Music for Solo Guitar Cristiano Poli Cappelli
Brilliant Classics, 2 CDs
This one has actually been out for a while, but somehow it eluded me until now, and it definitely deserves a mention! Polish composer Alexandre Tansman (1897–1986) is best known in the guitar world for his contributions to the repertoire of Andrés Segovia beginning in the mid-1920s, and stretching all the way into the early 1970s. In Cristiano Poli Cappelli’s notes, the Italian guitarist writes, “The music embodies a synthesis of varied or distant cultural elements that comprise the influence of Ravel and Scriabin, with echoes of French neoclassicism. Above all, however, it speaks for the composer’s deep love and respect for his native Poland.” Indeed, there are many styles spread across the nearly two-and-one-half hours of music on these two discs, including specific echoes of Chopin (Hommage à Chopin) and Bach (Inventions; Piece en forme de passacaille), various mazurkas and other explicitly Polish themes (Suite in modo polonico), Renaissance lute works (again, the Suite in modo polonico); and others either stated or implied.
More than a decade ago, Marc Reignier made a single-CD Naxos album called Tansman: Guitar Music(Complete) (which I have not heard), but Cappelli’s is apparently more complete, with seven pieces not on the Reignier disc, including such wonderful works as the aforementioned Inventions, Pièces Bréves, Quattro tempi di Mazurka, and a treat outside the “solo guitar” label—the four-part “Sonatine,” a duo featuring Cappelli with Andrea Pace; they previously recorded an album together of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s music for two guitars. The only fault I can find with this album is that the dates of the pieces were not included. But I’m here to help: You can find them here at this website devoted to Tansman. Highly recommended!
Cappelli’s Tansman guitar album is available through Amazon, streamed on Apple Music, downloaded through Spotify or iTunes, or heard in full (one piece at a time) on YouTube.
Ballade; Cavatina; Danza Pomposa; Homage à Chopin; Suite in modo polonico; Inventions (Homage à Bach); Pièce en forme de Pasacaille; Sonatina; Variations sur un thème de Scriabin; Prelude et interlude; Suite; Homage à Lech Walesa; Pièces Brèves, Mazurka; Quattro tempi di Mazurka
Here’s audio of a movement from Tansman’s Suite (1956):
Music for Cello and Guitar Dúo Villa Lobos
I can only judge by what comes by my desk, but it certainly appears that the guitar-cello duo is becoming increasingly popular. And why not? It offers a wonderful combination of complementary and contrasting tones and timbres. This disc brings together a selection of contemporary pieces from South America and Europe by a duo that has played together for going on 15 years: Colombian guitarist Edwin Guevara and Venezuelan cellist Cecilia Palma. The pair devotes this album to just five contemporary pieces, but all are substantial works and though the language is frequently modern, these are all appealing and digestible, replete with beautiful melodies and nods to earlier music styles within the contempo settings. These will stretch your ears a bit, but it’s all quite compelling and mostly sonorous. For me the standouts are the pieces by Zenamon and Ourkouzounov (“Bulgarian Rock” is a particularly lively affair), but there is much to like throughout. Give it a try.
Quatre pièces intimes (Bogdanovic); Reflexões No. 6 (Zenamon); Jobiniana (S. Assad); Tanzologia (Ourkouzonov); Fantasy for Cello and Guitar (Guevara)
La Rose: 19th Century Guitar Music Giancarlo DiPierro
There’s something to be said for a really well-executed album of 19th century guitar pieces performed on a period instrument (in this case a modern Jan Tulacek reproduction of ca.1800 Stauffer guitar). This fine effort culls a nice variety of pieces by the usual sources—Mauro Giuliani, Fernando Sor, Napoléon Coste, Giulio Regondi, and J.K. Mertz (plus Franz Schubert via a Mertz transcription)—and delivers them with both verve and nuance. With the exception of the Coste piece, Caprice sur l’air Espagnole “La Cachucha” Op. 13, all of these are widely played works, but hearing them all in one place, intelligently sequenced by mood and tempo, from a single guitarist who is so clearly devoted to and in command of this material, is delightfully transportative and at often thrilling.
La Rose Op. 46 No. 9 (Giuliani); Grand Solo Op. 14 (Sor); An Malvina (Mertz); Élégie (Mertz); Caprice sur l’air Espagnole “La Cachucha” Op. 13 (Coste); Rossiniana Op. 119 (Giuliani); Variations sur l’air “Malbrough s’en va-t-en guerre Op. 28 (Sor); Rèverie Nocturne Op. 19 (Regondi); Introduction et caprice Op. 23 (Regondi); Lob der Tränen (Schubert, trans. by Mertz)
The album is available for preview and purchase through CDBaby, can be streamed for free on Spotify and Apple Music, and can be heard piecemeal in its entirety on YouTube.
Listen to DiPerro’s confident reading of Sor’s Grand Solo:
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