Henriques was born in 1972 and graduated from the Royal University
College of Music in Stockholm in 1997. He has been a soloist
with several Swedish orchestras and played at concerts and festivals
in Sweden, Italy and the US. He has
also won prizes in several international competitions.
this recital, and there is at least one predecessor (NOSAG
CD 089), he shows why he has been so successful. He has a fluent
technique that allows him to execute even the most difficult
passages effortlessly. He has a natural feeling for rhythm and
his phrasing is exquisite. He uses rubato but never overdoes
then add to this a beautiful sound from his instrument, very
well recorded in this little Swedish church and with some air
around it but not so much as to create a cathedral acoustic.
Most Swedish churches in the countryside are very small. Gåsinge
church, partly built in the 12th century, is situated
in the province of Södermanland, just south of Lake Mälaren,
in a beautiful “Lake District”. Visitors to Stockholm can easily
get there by car.
choice of music is agreeable and rather undemanding – for the
listener, that is; the guitarist has a many Everests to scale,
which he does with flying colours.
the five composers represented here some are fairly well-known.
Fernando Sor’s vast output figures quite often in recitals and
recordings, but since he wrote so much “new” things always pop
up. His Mozart-variations, the Mozart theme from The
Magic Flute being the little chorus which Monostatos and
the slaves sing when Papageno plays his glockenspiel and forces
them to dance, “Das klinget so herrlich, das klinget so schön!”,
belongs to a popular tradition in the 19th century,
where famous opera arias were used as the basis for fanciful
and elaborate show-pieces. Liszt and Thalberg wrote loads of
such pieces for the piano and Johann Kaspar Mertz, who is here
represented with two other pieces, was one of the most successful
guitarists in this genre. The long piece by Giuliani, that ends
this disc, is another good example.
two least known of the present composers are probably Manjón
and Aguado. They were both professional guitarists; as a matter
of fact most guitar music was and is written by guitarists.
Manjón, who was blind, established himself as a brilliant soloist
in the 1880s and toured Europe, until he moved to Buenos Aires
in 1893 and founded a guitar academy. Aguado composed very little
but became famous when he published his guitar school in the
1820s. Some of his pieces can be found on a disc with Norbert
Kraft, coupled with music by Tarrega and Sor (Naxos 8.553007).
This is a marvellous disc which I play quite often for pleasure.
to the disc under review, I was very impressed by the playing
and the music which, undemanding though it is, is still very
attractive. Don’t expect great revelations, hidden masterpieces,
bold innovations. But you do get a lot of melodious music, some
of it a little sugar-sweet, some of it noble in character –
Mertz’ Elegie a very good specimen with sprinklings of darker
colours. The Hungarian Rhapsody, also by Mertz, doesn’t sound
very Hungarian, but he offers good opportunities to a player
like Henriques, who is very apt at playing effortless tremolos.
The Manjón is based on a Basque dance, but the greater part
of it sounds more like something folksy from the Swedish province
of Dalecarlia. Very attractive it is, like the rest of the music.
couldn’t help playing the whole disc straight through twice
after I had had my first traversal. The best way of appreciating
this recital is to just sit back, shut your eyes, bask in the
southern sunlight that permeates all these compositions, and
enjoy the wonderful playing of this superb musician. Strongly