Video Pick of the Week: Smaro Gregoriadou Plays Štěpán Rak’s ‘Temptation of the Renaissance’

If you are not familiar with Greek guitarist and composer Smaro Gregoriadou you are in for a treat. She is a wonderful player who is equally comfortable playing music from 500 years ago and music from today. This Video Pick straddles those two epochs: Czech composer Štěpán Rak’s piece is modern, yet, as the title indicates, it is steeped in the music of another time.  I’ve been watching Gregoriadou’s videos semi-obsessively for a couple of weeks now (there are lots on YouTube), and between her confident musicianship and her large collection of beautiful and unusual instruments crafted by Kersopoulos Aesthetics, I’ve been transfixed.  Gregoriadou has put out three CDs on the Delos label, the most recent of which is called El Aleph: 20th and 21st Century Guitar Music and includes the Rak piece.    —Blair Jackson