One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger


Gareth KOCH

Rumba Flamenca
Peter Maxwell DAVIES (b. 1934)

Farewell to Stromness (1980, arr. Eriksson)
Maximo Diego PUJOL (b. 1957)

Grises y Soles
Enrique GRANADOS (1867 – 1916)

Danzas Españolas No. 11, No.4 and No.6 (1893, arr. Eriksson)
Phillip HOUGHTON (b. 1954)

Stanley MYERS (1930 – 1993)

Cavatina from The Deer Hunter (1970, arr. Field)
Richard CHARLTON (b. 1955)

Stoneworks (2002)
Saffire (Gareth Koch, Antony Field, Karin Schaupp, Slava Grigoryan)
Recorded: Ghostgum Audio, brisbane, January-February 2003
ABC CLASSICS 476 701-2 [64:06]

The repertoire for multiple guitars (trios and quartets) mainly consists of often successful transcriptions of pieces from quite different sources. Fortunately, some performing groups regularly commission new works for this grouping. Most pieces here fall into this category, and the majority were composed for the Saffire guitar quartet. Pujol’s Grises y Soles ("Light and Shade"), Houghton’s Opals and Charlton’s Stoneworks, all originally written for guitar quartet, are most welcome additions to the medium. All are idiomatically written and perfectly balanced, never outstaying their welcome, as well as being pleasantly varied. Pujol’s piece depicts urban life in Buenos Aires, with its contrasting calm and bustle and with a pinch of tango. Houghton’s Opals is an appropriately colourful kaleidoscope of light and shade. Charlton’s Stoneworks, too, deals with various aspects of stone, i.e. precious stones (sapphire and diamond in the first movement, and emerald and ruby in the second). The third movement, Standing Stones evokes large megalithic sites such as Stonehenge and the Orcadian Standing Stones of Stenness. The final movement Stones of Power deals with the power that stone has given man as represented in monuments and cathedrals.

This programme also includes some transcriptions, such as Maxwell Davies’s short piano piece Farewell to Stromness (this and Yesnaby Ground are piano interludes from his Yellow Cake Revue) which work remarkably well, and three dances from Albéniz’s Danzas Españolas.

Two shorter, somewhat lighter but nevertheless attractive pieces are also included for good measure: the delightfully extrovert Rumba Flamenca by Gareth Koch (one of Saffire’s guitarists) and Stanley Myers’ attractive Cavatina from his film score The Deer Hunter heard in an idiomatic and very effective transcription by Antony Field (another of Saffire’s members).

This delightful and attractive programme, superlatively played, is a feast from first to last, that I thoroughly enjoyed. Do give it a try, you will not be disappointed.

Hubert Culot

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.