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Afterimage - Slava Grigoryan plays the music of Shaun Rigney
Shaun RIGNEY (b. 1960)

1. Girasol [8:39]
2. Garden of Forking Paths - guitar quintet [14:27]
Flinders Quartet
3-12. Ten Coastal Sketches [13:53]
13-16. Lapis Lazuli - concerto for guitar and orchestra [20:40]
Maria Miller (violin), Orchestra Victoria/Brian Kelly
17-19. Sonata in E Major- homage to Rodrigo [7:46]
20. end point - duet for guitar and oboe [3:39]
Stephen Robinson, oboe
Slava Grigoryan, guitar
Recorded at the Iwaki Auditorium, ABC Melbourne, Avalon Studios NSW.
ABC CLASSICS 476 227-1 [69:09]

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Born in 1960, Melbourne, Australia, Shaun Rigney is a composer whose output includes orchestral, chamber, instrumental and electronic music.

The music on this new release is very "guitaristic" and gives one the impression that the composer is a guitarist, a composer very familiar with the guitar repertory, or who closely collaborates with a guitarist. Information accompanying this recording, and other general media releases, confirm the validity of the latter two. Five original compositions are presented and the source from which Mr Rigney drew for inspiration is worthy of note.

Girasol (1995)

In this piece the composer imagined a musical language that would fuse the elements of baroque counterpoint with impressionist chromatic harmony. The word ‘Girasol’ in English means both sunflower and fire opal, and betrays Greek and Latin roots:guyre and sol, literally "spiralling sun" A sunflower has a spiral at its start. The capitulum, the large disc at the flower’s centre, shows florets arranged according to the mathematical sequence known as the Fibonacci series.

The Garden of Forking Paths (2001)

The inspiration for this composition was a short story by the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges of the same title. The title suggests to the composer a garden where each fork in the path leads to a different landscape. The landscapes change but the main theme representing the walker in the labyrinth remains recognisable however transformed with each recurrence.

Sonata in E Major (1981-92)

A homage to Joaquín Rodrigo who was a significant source of inspiration to a young aspiring composer.

Concerto for Guitar (1985-1990)

This concerto takes its name from the beautiful blue gemstone lapis lazuli often found flecked with "fool’s gold" - iron pyrites. The images and colours influence the concerto, e.g. the sparkling of fool’s gold is suggested by the glockenspiel.

Ten Coastal Scetches (1996)

This set of miniatures was inspired by recollections of the Southwest coast of Australia. They reflect the composer’s fascination with Australian flora and fauna.

end point – duet for guitar and oboe (1997)

This little elegy is a farewell to a home of ten years; a tiny apartment in a Melbourne suburb dominated by a bright red carpet floor covering with particular significance.

A number of outstanding Australian composers have already established their credentials internationally. Shaun Rigney represents a younger generation of Australian composers who are writing material of a high standard and who will ultimately win international recognition.

The guitarist Slava Grigoryan born 1976 in Khazakstan, migrated with his family to Australia in 1981. In addition to an extensive discography as a soloist, he also concertises and records with Saffire: The Australian Guitar Quartet. On this recording he conveys an impression of strong empathy with the music and enjoyment in its execution. His technical and musical command of the material are impressive.

The music presented on the disc has a strong contemporary tonal flavour, and will appeal to a wide range of listeners. If your ambition to visit Australia with its world-renowned beaches and coastal topography remains unfulfilled, "Ten Coastal Scetches" [3-12] will aurally transport you there.

Combining new compositions of wide appeal and excellent guitar playing, this new release on the ABC Classics label can be enthusiastically recommended.

Zane Turner

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