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  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


Brilliant Classics

The Romantic Guitar: Liebestraum, Granada, Ave Maria, Sevilla, Habanera,
Alirio Diaz (guitar)
No recording dates or locations given.
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 6478 [2CDs: 62:09+70:04]



CD1
Franz SCHUBERT

Ständchen
Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY

Auf Flügeln des Gesanges
Robert SCHUMANN

Träumerei (From: Kindersszenen)
Frederick CHOPIN

Waltz Op. 69 No. 1
J.S. BACH/Charles GOUNOD

Ave Maria
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY

Pimpinella Op. 38 No. 6
Johannes BRAHMS

Waltz in A flat major Op. 39 No. 15
Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY

Frühlingslied
Franz SCHUBERT

An die Musik
Robert SCHUMANN

Bittendes Kind (From: Kindersszenen)
Fürchtenmachen (From: Kindersszenen)
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN

Adagio WoO 43/2
Franz LISZT

Liebestraum
Manuel ROCAMORA

Mazurka
P. ROCH

Waltz
Scottish
Polka
J. KOSSOVITS

Lassu Magyar (Slow dance)
J. PFEIFFER

Adagio after Bihari
Allegro after Bihari
Francesco TARREGA

Caprice Arabe
Danza Odalisca
Dániel Benkö (guitar)
No recording dates or locations given.
CD2
Enrique GRANADOS

Danza española No. 5
Miguel LLOBET

Cancion popular Catalan
Fernando SOR

Estudio V
Estudio XII
Francisco TARREGA

Danza mora
Federico Moreno TORROBA

Notturno
Eduardo Sainz de la MAZA

Zapateado
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS

Etude No. 11
Eduardo Sainz de la MAZA

Bolero
Estrella DEL MAR

(Trad)
CANTICO

(Trad)
Quirpa GUATIRENA

(Trad)
Joachin RODRIGO

En los trigales
Isaac ALBENIZ

Asturias (Leyenda)
Torre bermeja
Granada
Sevilla
Zambra granadina
Enrique GRANADOS

La maja de Goya
Eduardo Sainz de la MAZA

Campanas del Alba
El Vita
Habanera
Boeeto Andaluz

 

The marketing information from Brilliant Classics states that, "the guitar is particularly an instrument for romantic music: it appeals both to classical music fans and popular music lovers." Consequently Brilliant Classics see this release as having very wide cross-over audience potential and I agree. On this double CD set well-known melodies arranged for the guitar from the great composers such as Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms et al are effectively blended together with a selection of beautiful original guitar works by Spanish composers.

On the first CD the guitar soloist is Hungarian Daniel Benko of whom it has been said, "is perhaps mid-Europe's best kept musical secret, a virtuoso equally at home playing bossa novas on a classical guitar, or gracefully rendering the masterpieces of the Renaissance and the Baroque era on period instruments." Benko is a successful recording artist playing an amazing seven different stringed instruments on one release and is equally at home in the concert hall. In this super recital Benko is on top form and I particularly enjoyed the delightful and expressive performances of the Beethoven Adagio WoO 43/3 and Schubert’s An die Musik.

On the second CD prize winning Venezuelan soloist Alirio Diaz plays a exciting recital of Spanish guitar music. An ex-pupil of the great Segovia, the soloist has been a frequent visitor to the recording studio and is a well regarded performer in international concert halls. In a fine performance, which is extremely natural with the feel of a ‘live’ recital, I particularly enjoyed Diaz’s warm and intimate interpretation in the five Albeniz works.

The engineers have done a fine job with the sound quality although the booklet notes are none existent. At super-budget price this release from Brilliant Classics is a steal and there are manifold rewards in store.

Michael Cookson

 



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