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Dejan Ivanovic: Guitar Recital
Matilde SALVADOR (b. 1918)

Homenatge a Mistral: Preludi; Plany per Mireio; Farandola
Anton García ABRIL (b.1933)

Tres Preludios Urbanos: Preludio de Paris; Preludio de Atenas; Preludio de Madrid
Frederic MOMPOU (1893-1987)

Cancó I Dansa, no.13: Cancó; Dansa
Richard Rodney BENNETT (b.1936)

Sonata for solo guitar: Allegro; Lento; Vivo; Fantasia: Allegro
Malcolm ARNOLD (b. 1921)

Fantasy, Op.107: Prelude; Arietta; Fughetta; Arietta; March and Postlude
Gordon MCPHERSON (b.1965)

Study in moto perpetuo: Brevity can save the nation
Francisco TÁRREGA (1852-1909)

Recuerdos de la Alhambra
Rec 2001? DDD
NAXOS 8.557038 [68:43]


One might expect that a guitar recital made up of a selection so diverse in its national musical provenance would be an unusual, if not a strange combination. However it works remarkably well.

For the most part (Tárraga being the exception) all the composers included here are products of the 20th century. Nevertheless they all have very individual musical views and ideas. Probably the most prominent figure here is the British composer Malcolm Arnold whose compositions for the guitar include a frequently recorded Concerto and a Serenade for guitar and strings. Although aware of the existence of his "Fantasy", this is the first time that I have heard the work. Made up of five very contrasting movements and incorporating some unusual guitar techniques, one being a rarely used imitation of a snare drum, the work holds the attention throughout. I am surprised that it is not more popular with performing guitarists.

The Sonata by Richard Rodney Bennett is yet another rarity on disc. His guitar writing is mainly known through the recordings of his "Guitar Concerto" and the "Five Impromptus" made by their dedicatee Julian Bream. The Sonata uses the twelve-tone system but is still very approachable and rewarding for those not initiated into this form of musical language.

Of the Spanish contingents on this disc the work of Anton Garcia Abril is held in high regard. More of a traditionalist, he gleans his musical ideas from neo-classicism and romanticism, thus his compositions are never too taxing for the listener and always enjoyable.

Whilst listening to this disc I found myself so engrossed in the music that I was unaware of the guitarist Dejan Ivanovic. This is a compliment to his playing as at no time did the technical difficulties get in the way of the music. The interpretation and use of tone colour seems totally appropriate and the general oneness with the music assured.

Overall this is a fine, well-played collection of mostly rarely recorded music for guitar and while it will appeal to the guitar enthusiast it is still a worthwhile buy for those interested in the lesser known works of the British composers Malcolm Arnold and Richard Rodney Bennett.

Andy Daly


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