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John DUARTE (b. 1919)
Guitar Music
Suite piemontese, Op.46
1. Pastoral
2. Canzone
3. La Danza
Toute en Rondo
4. Ritual Dance
5. Waltz
6. Spring Dance
Musikones, Op.10
7. Terpsichore I
8. Erato
9. Terpsichore II
10. Euterpe
11. Terpsichore III
English Suite, Op. 31
12. Prelude
13. Folk-song
14. Round Dance
15. Variations on a Catalan Folk Song, Op.25
Birds, Op.66
16. Swallows
17. The Swan
18. Sparrows
Homage to Antonio Lauro, Three Waltzes
19. I. Moderato, con grazia
20. II. Andante espressivo
21. III. Rondo
Sonatinette, Op.35
22. Con Anima
23. Con Delicatezza
24. Vivo
Antigoni Goni - Guitar
NAXOS 8.554554 [72:26]
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In recent years there have been a number of discs made up entirely of music for guitar by British composers, but rarely one that utilises the work of just one. (Hear also "Neil Smith plays John W Duarte" Guitar Masters GMR 1006 LP)

John Duarte came to my attention when I bought what was then my first classical guitar record (Andres Segovia's "Il Supremo" MCA MUCS 107) that was some time in 1968. The programme for the most part was made up of mainly Baroque music Bach, Scarlatti, Handel and Purcell. So as you can imagine a work like Duarte's "English Suite" stood out simply because it was so different. Since then John Duarte's reputation as one of the foremost scholars of the guitar whose knowledge of the instrument, its music and players is assured. Added to this he is one of the finest composers for the guitar to emerge in the 20th century and most likely to continue into the next, anywhere in the world.

This release by Naxos shows the breadth of John Duarte's musical insights and influences. It is very much a disc of shifting moods and atmospheres. He takes us on an excursion into landscapes as diverse as Italy "Suite piemontese" Op.46 (is that a hint of Debussy's "Arabesque No.1 in there?); the myths of Greece tinged with tones of the Moorish Ud and Venezuela with "Homage to Antonio Lauro", Lauro being known for his guitar miniatures in waltz time. The composer gives us a view of the natural world with his observations of the characteristics and behaviour of swallows, the swan and sparrows in "Birds" Op.66, all of which are totally convincing.

The fact that John Duarte has written the inlay notes suggests that he must approve of this recording, and who else better qualified to provide a vista into these works than the composer himself.

To date this is Antigoni Goni's third recording for the Naxos label, the first being a recital by various composers, the second an all Agustin Barrios programme. Now with this disc she shows herself to be a player comfortable with the wide range of nuances that this music provides and although slight finger noises are present no way does this diminish the enjoyment.

The music on this disc should be enjoyed by most people, not only guitar aficionados.

Andy Daly

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