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Latin American Guitar Music
Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992)

La muerte del angel - Tango (arr. R. Cobo)
Primavera portena (arr. R. Cobo)
Dilermando REIS (1916-1977)

Se ela preguntar - waltz (Paschoito)
Horacio SALGAN (b. 1916)

Don Agustin Bardi (arr. Morel)
Angel VILLODO (1861-1919)

El chocio (arr. Cobo)
Máximo Diego PUJOL (b.1957)

Stella australis
Elegia por la muerte de un tanguero
Jorge MOREL (b.1931)

Little Rhapsody
Danza in E minor
Abel CARLEVARO (1952-2001)

Milonga oriental
Leo BROUWER (b.1939)

Un dia de Noviembre
Marco PEREIRA (b.1956)

Ricardo Cobo (guitar)
Rec. St. John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, 3-7 April, 2003
NAXOS 8.557329 [60:29]


Naxos, as part of their continuing Guitar Collection Series, have released a welcome selection of guitar works from nine Latin-American composers. The composers Astor Piazzolla and Leo Brouwer will be known to many listeners and maybe Maximo Pujol too. However the majority of these composers, I feel sure, are little known outside their home countries.

Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla controversially transformed the tango to a high musical art-form and is currently extremely popular. Piazzolla’s two compositions which open and conclude this release are classy works with immediate appeal and have been transcribed for guitar by Ricardo Cobo. La muerte del angel is rhythmic and sultry, jazzy and urban in feel while the contrasting Primavera portena displays invention and agitation.

Leo Brouwer, the accomplished Cuban composer is represented on this release by the marvellous Un dia de Noviembre. The simple Lennon and McCartney-like melody is beautiful and very memorable. Nocturnal-sounding the work could be used in a soundtrack to a film and the listener will be whistling the tune for hours. Also of note is the haunting piece Stella australis from Argentinean composer Maximo Diego Pujol which is particularly dreamy and reflective in nature.

The guitar soloist Colombia-born Ricardo Cobo we are told has won an unprecedented number of first prizes in international competitions and is recognised as being one of the world’s leading players of the new classical guitar generation. Cobo who is now based in Las Vegas has performed at some of the world’s leading music venues and is busy carving out a career for himself on the world stage.

In the booklet notes Cobo explains how the guitar is inextricably woven into the soul of Latin-American music and has a long tradition since its arrival from Iberia in Europe. Ricardo Cobo’s wonderful guitar playing is absolutely breathtaking at times and on the showing of this recital he is destined for significant international acclaim.

The sound quality of this Naxos recording is simply excellent, exceptionally clear and beautifully detailed. Ricardo Cobo combines an infectious freshness, a depth of emotional involvement and an empathic understanding of the composer’s intention behind the notes.

Michael Cookson

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