> Slava Grigoryan guitar [AD]: Classical CD Reviews- July2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Nicolo PAGANINI (1782- 1840)

(arr. Slava Grigoryan)
Caprice in A minor, Op1 No.24; Theme (Quasi presto) – Var. I-XI – Finale
Mauro GIULIANI (1781-1829)

Grand Overture, Op.61
Variations on a Theme of Handel "Harmonious Blacksmith" Op.107
Fernando SOR (1778-1839)

Variations on a Theme by Mozart "Das klinget so herrlich" (from the Magic Flute), Op.9
Grand Solo (Sonata Prima), Op14
L’Encouragement, Op.34 with Leonard Grigoryan, guitar
Slava Grigoryan - Guitar
Rec 2001?
ABC 427 224-2 [57:27]

The Australian guitarist Slava Grigoryan has produced sparkling accounts of some of the best known works of two of the most popular guitarist/composers of the classical era, Fernando Sor and Mauro Giuliani. These are joined by a work from the same period, in transcription from the violin, Paganini’s "24th Caprice". All of these works have been recorded numerous times before, so it is to Slava Grigoryan’s credit that he has brought a freshness to pieces in the guitar’s repertoire that are so familiar.

Sor’s "Variations on a theme of Mozart" is dispatched with a sense of wit and playfulness often lacking in many performances. The opening of the "Grand Solo" has a dark brooding quality that contrasts well with the energetic section that follows. Slava is joined in what must be Sor’s most popular duet work, the "L’Encouragement", by his brother Leonard, and the collaboration proves to be most satisfying with a good deal of sympathetic interplay to their ensemble. As with the Sor, the two works by Mauro Giuliani are played with authority and a good sense of style. The virtuoso aspects are executed with precise articulation.

It should not be forgotten that Nicolo Paganini was an accomplished guitarist, but his skill on the guitar was overshadowed by his legendry prowess on the violin. Slava Grigoryan here plays the Caprice No.24, originally for the violin, with no hint of the formidable difficulties that the piece holds.

It sounds as if Slava is using low-tension strings, which produces a sweet tone and openness to the sound, which is attractive to the ear and although the microphone placement feels close there is no harshness to the recorded sound and very little unwanted string noise. Overall, the presentation of the disc is excellent with informative inlay notes and photographs of the artist.

Andy Daly



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