|José Luis MERLIN
Suite del recuerdo
Carnavalito Evocación Joropo
|Ian KROUSE (b. 1956)
Variations on a Moldavian Hora
Agustin BARRIOS (1885 1944)
Vals. Op. 8. No. 3
Julia Florida : Barcarola
Vals. Op. 8. No. 4
|Maximo Diego PUJOL (b.1957)
No. 2 Predulio Tristón
No. 3 Tristango en Vos
No. 5 Candombe en Mi
|Jorge MOREL (b. 1931)
Danza in E Minor
|Julián ORBÓN (de SOTO) (1925-1991)
Preludio y Danza
|Fernando BUSTAMANTE (arr. Morel)
The Super budget label Naxos has, in a relatively short history, delivered
some real treasures and this disc must rank as one of the finest for solo
I first became aware of the guitarist Jason Vieaux through his association
with the Naxos complete guitar works of Fernando Sor, which promises to be
a 16 disc set co-ordinated by Norbert Kraft comprising of contributions from
a number of different guitarists. Within that framework Jason Vieauxs
playing had to conform stylistically to give a consistency of approach to
the overall project and, rightly so, given the circumstances. However, with
this disc, recorded prior to the Fernando Sor, Jason Vieauxs playing
is free of any such restrictions, his technical facility and musicianship
are evident and his strong full tone always to the fore.
The title "Guitar Recital" seems rather odd for a complete disc of
20th century works (although the inlay notes omit dates of two
of the composers) and of these all but one are of Latin American origin.
Some of the composers are familiar, others less so.
The programme is intelligently paced. José Luis Merlin and Maximo
Diego Pujol share Argentinean nationality, their styles are so distinctively
different that any comparison is slight, if anything Pujols music is
harmonically more developed making it more satisfying. It is good to once
again see the name of the Cuban, Julián Orbón, I remember his
"Prelude y Danza" from a recording by Rey de la Torre in the 60s and
this composers work makes a welcome addition to the Naxos catalogue.
The north American composer Ian Krouses "Variations on a Moldavian
Hora" was commissioned as a competition piece by the Guitar Foundation of
America. The competition winner Jason Vieaux has elected to include this
impressive work here.
The guitar repertoire is further enriched by works of this quality but only
time will tell if it finds a place in concert programmes.
Ever since John Williams championed the music of Augustin Barrios in the
mid 70s the performance of the recordings of these pieces by
Williams has been to some extent the "bench mark" for other guitarists
willing to "take on" the Paraguayan composer. On this disc Jason Vieaux brings
a freshness to these items that rival John Williams authoritative
Apart from his own compositions, the guitarist/composer Jorge Morel, also
from Argentina, is a skilful arranger and Jason Vieaux plays three original
pieces by him (the "Chôro" employing the hypnotic lilting rhyme to
great effect), before ending with Morels arrangement of "Misionera" by
Bustamante, a real show piece.
Taken as a whole the music presented is of a high quality and easily accessible,
even to non guitar enthusiasts. The recorded sound is full and clear, as
good as any guitar recording I have heard. As a performer Jason Vieauxs
enjoyment of the music and joy of playing transcends the technicalities of
the recording process. These attributes contribute to the effect that Jason
is performing here and now, just for you, a rare quality in the recordings
of even the most revered artists.