Recent Releases Tuesday: Albums from Pepe Romero, Vicente Coves & Extremadura Orchestra; Carlos Walter; and David Härenstam (et al.)

Pepe Romero

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:

Classical Guitar
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.

                                                                                 —Blair Jackson

Torroba: Guitar Concertos 2
Pepe Romero, Vicente Coves (guitars); Extremadura Symphony Orchestra

Spanish composer Federico Moreno Torroba (1891–1982) is probably best known in the guitar world for the solo pieces he penned for Andrés Segovia beginning in the 1920s, but later in life Torroba wrote several major works for guitar and orchestra, three of which are presented here on the second volume of a Naxos’ series: two are played by Pepe Romero fronting the Extramadura Symphony Orchestra, led by Manuel Coves, and one by Romero protege Vicente Coves (the conductor’s brother) with that same orchestra.  Two date from the early ′60s, one from the early ′70s, but all three are lushly Romantic in character, redolent with Spanish personality throughout, and each contains multiple cadenzas that afford the guitarist many opportunities to flex his creative muscles, whether it’s through rasgueado strumming, tremolo passages, flashy runs, or beautiful, heart-piercing melodic flights. Movement to movement there’s tremendous variety, but the essential lyricism never really leaves for a second, whether it’s a sweeping orchestral statement or a quiet moment of introspection.

Homenaje a la seguidilla; Tonada Concertante; Concierto de Castilla

Purchase through Naxos, Amazon, or other retailers. The entire album can also be heard (in individual movements) on YouTube.

Check out the varied textures of first movement of the Homenaje a la seguidilla, featuring Pepe Romero at his best:

Calendário do (a)feto
Carlos Walter

The Portuguese title of Brazilian guitarist Carlos Walter’s appealing debut album is a play on words: “afeto” translates as “affection,” but feto alone (or set off subtly as it is on the cover) means “fetus,” and this CD is an evocation and celebration (and a “calendar”) of the nine-month gestation of his first child. It is unmistakably Latin/Brazilian in flavor, and each “month” has its own rhythmic character. It’s an interesting and original concept that is nicely achieved by the skilled guitarist.


mês: Terna eriade (valsa), 2° mês: Uh!…beraba (salsamba); 3° mês: Sui generis (fantasia: choro atipico); 4° mês: Unlão XV (marcha-tango); 5° mês: Acrobata (balão ligereiro: semifrevo);  6° mês: São Miguel (bossa nova); mês: Mariana, sinos e afins (fusion); mês: Palão (baião); 9° mês: Champagnat (choro)

The CD can be heard in its entirety on Spotify, sampled and purchased digitally on iTunes; and heard performed on YouTube (type: carlos walter affection), complete with spoken introduction (in Portuguese; click the “cc” box for English captioning). Below is a video of of the 6th month, billed as a bossa nova.

Paganini: The Complete Works for Violin/Viola, Cello, and Guitar
David Härenstam (guitar), Nils-Erik Sparf (violin/viola), Andreas Brantelid (cello)

This wonderful disc features three top players from Sweden performing trios written by the great Niccolò Paganini (1782–1840). String players Nils-Erik Sparf and Andreas Brantfield perform on period instruments (Stradivarius violin and cello respectively; viola by 18th-century Swedish luthier Johann Öhlberg), while guitarist David Härenstam (whose last solo CD, Recital, was reviewed in the fall 2016 issue of CG) manages just fine with a 2014 double-top made by Australian luthier Jim Redgate. The first piece, from 1808 (composed for Paganini’s sister’s wedding) is textbook Classical-era writing; the other two, from 25 years later, sound as though are edging into the Romantic era somewhat. In general, I’d say the violin and cello dominate, but there are still many passages where the guitar takes over, and even in its more supportive role, it is always well-represented by Paganini’s writing (and Härenstam’s playing).  Indeed, in the liner notes, Walter Aaron Clark and William Craig Krause note of the Terzetto in D major: “It is apparent at all times how well [Paganini, a genius violinist] knew how to compose for the guitar, as well as the cello, giving all three instruments challenging and beautiful solo parts. In 1834, Paganini, along with his duo partner guitarist Luigi Legnani and a cellist whose name is not known today, took this work on tour to much success in Italy.”

Serenata in C major; Terzetto in D major; Terzetto Concertante

The album can be sampled and purchased on Amazon, bought through Presto Classical, and also heard in its entirety on YouTube, as with this first movement of the Serenata in C Major:

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