> Reflections of Spain Guitar Russell 080576 [AD]: Classical Reviews- April2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Spanish Favourites for Guitar
Joaquin MALATS
Serenata Espanola
Francisco TÁRREGA
Capricho Arabe, Recuerdos de la Alhambra
Andaluza (Spanish Dance No.5), Danza melancolica (Spanish Dance No.10), La Maja de Goya (from Tonadillas al estilo antiguo), Valse poeticos
Sevilla (from Op.47),Mallorca (Op.202),Asturias (from Op.47)
Cancion y Danza No.1
David Russell – Guitar
TELARC CD-80576 [68:15]


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This CD delivers exactly what it says on the box, and is played by one of the greatest guitarists of his generation.

I expect few enthusiasts of guitar music would not have these pieces in their collections. All of them have been frequently recorded over the years by some of the most respected guitarists, notably Andrés Segovia, Julian Bream and John Williams, all of whom set the standards of interpretation when playing these pieces.

The works by Malats, Tárrega and Ruiz-Pipo were all written directly with the guitar in mind. Tárrega’s "Capricho Arabe" which seems to evoke so perfectly in music the Moorish influences on the Iberian peninsular and "Recuerdos de la Alhambra" the great "tremolo study" remain two of the jewels of the guitars repertoire. The music of Albéniz and Granados were originally piano pieces but has probably reached a wider audience when played on the guitar. Here David Russell has not relied on existing transcriptions, but has done his own, and they differ from what we have become used to. Most notable is the well known "Asturias", where Russell has elected to drop the high octave semi-quaver notes that commence at bar 17. These we have come to regard as the norm in most guitar versions. I can only presume that this is purely for his own ideas of musicality.

Generally, the playing throughout is up to what we expect from David Russell whose interpretations are most tasteful and considered (although familiarity will always invite comparisons) and executed with absolute ease and with a beautifully strong tone. The recorded sound is also of the highest quality with an ambience that suits the music well.

If you already have these pieces on CD, no matter, this recording is well worth having simply for David Russell’s playing.

Andy Daly


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