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Pablo Sáinz Villegas - Guitar Recital
Joaquín TURINA (1882-1949)
1. Sevillana (Fantasia) [5.45]
Hommage à Tárrega [4.51]:
2. I Garrotin [2.39]
3. II Soleares [2.12]
Federico Moreno TORROBA
Sonata-Fantasía [17.07]:
4. I Lento-Allegretto [10.01]
5. II Allegretto [1.43]
6. III Allegro [5.23]
From Castillos de España [5.42]:
7. Torija [3.33]
8. Sigüenza [2.10]
Suite castellana [8.29]:
9. I Fandanguillo [1.42]
10. II Arada [4.07]
11. III Danza [2.40]
Joaquín RODRIGO (1901-1999)
12. En los trigales [3.59]
13. Invocación y danza (Homenaje a Manuel de Falla) [8.31]
Manuel DE FALLA (1876-1946)
14. Homenaje ‘Le tombeau de Claude Debussy’ [3.45]
Roberto GERHARD (1896-1970)
15. Fantasia : Interlude in Cantares [4.39]
Andrés SEGOVIA (1893-1987)
Cinque Anecdotas [10.36]:
16. I Allegretto [2.39]
17. II Allegro moderato con grazia [1.06]
18. III Lento malinconico [2.55]
19. IV Molto tranquillo [1.09]
20. V Allegretto vivo [2.46]
Francisco TÁRREGA (1852-1909)
21. Maria-Gavota [1.28]
Pablo Sáinz Villegas (guitar)
Recorded 3-5 May 2004, Holy Martyrs of Japan Church, Bradford, Ontario, Canada
NAXOS 8.557596 [75.36]



This CD is a big boost for the career of young Pablo Sáinz Villegas who has the following to his name: 2003 Winner: Certamen Internacional de Guitarra ‘Francisco Tárrega’, Benicásim. The programme, covering a range of ‘folk’ to impressionism, sounds from serene to darkly disturbed, from sensitive to energetic bursting, reveals a dimensional performing style. All the great Spanish composers of the 20th century can be heard. Amongst them there’s a small and sweet composition by Tárrega who contributed mostly to the improvement of the guitar technique and whose compositions rank among the best in the late nineteenth century.

The 20th century was a time when the guitar was eventually accepted as a musical instrument of significant artistic expression. Segovia, who maybe was the most significant Spanish composer of the 20th century, improved Tárrega’s technique. On this CD one can hear in a world première recording his Cinque Anecdotas. The claim of a world première recording of the Sonata-Fantasia by Torroba is dubious as this piece was recorded by the guitarist Schoeppe in February 2004, some months before Villegas’s recording. This piece, quite ‘infected’ by impressionism, is ‘... a full-fledged sonata ... among Torroba’s most ambitious and masterful works.’ The Cinque Anecdotas by Segovia with humoristic gestures in between, is music ‘…with enough originality to invite investigation’.

Villegas’s interpretations are quite mature and his playing is wide in its variety of dynamics and dramatic range. He delivers a very good technical control. With the help of the CD editor, one can be pleased by the clarity of Villegas playing, which makes the more virtuosic pieces even more dazzling. His playing has precision and some good musical phrasing. Occasionally though he sacrifices expression and rhetoric in favour of his tempos, which give a feeling of rushing.

The booklet is informative but covers only the basics. There is information about Spanish Romanticism and its effect on compositional style. Comparisons with composers who lived more less during the same period would have been welcomed.

It is always interesting to follow from the very beginning the career of young musicians who give signs of true promise to the music profession. Certainly Villegas is amongst them so we await his next CD.

Christina Antoniadou




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