Search - Antonio Lauro, Antonio Ruiz Pipo, John W. Duarte :: Dreams of a World

Dreams of a World
Antonio Lauro, Antonio Ruiz Pipo, John W. Duarte
Dreams of a World
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1

This disc is obviously aimed at the world-music audience, if one judges from its title and the subtitle, "Folk-Inspired Music for Guitar." But that shouldn't dissuade listeners interested in more serious music. Isbin has c...  more »


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This disc is obviously aimed at the world-music audience, if one judges from its title and the subtitle, "Folk-Inspired Music for Guitar." But that shouldn't dissuade listeners interested in more serious music. Isbin has collected original pieces and arrangements from Spain, Latin America, Appalachia, Ireland, Israel, and Greece--all of them quite lovely. It's really amazing to hear, for example, the "Londonderry Air," better known as "Danny Boy," in such a sympathetic arrangement by the late Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. She plays with such technical mastery that you wind up taking it for granted, while appreciating her songful delivery of this highly varied program of music, which was mostly first intended for the human voice. The uncommonly attractive booklet, including photos of Isbin as a world traveler, is another asset to this fine program, as is Teldec's realistic recorded sound. --Leslie Gerber

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CD Reviews

Still a dream ...
Daniel J. Rose | Shrewsbury, MA USA | 12/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This has long been my favorite classical guitar recording, and I just put it on again after hearing another recent favorite recording ("Reflections of Spain") played by David Russell, who is perhaps the most gifted contemporary guitarist on record. I was inspired to do so by Russell's performance of the "Cancion y Danza No. 1" by Antonio Ruiz-Pipo, which though quite excellent, I knew right away was quite different from Isbin's take on the same piece.

First, let me say, I hope that they are good friends, because they are both landmark musicians and worthy "competitors." Both clearly play with absolute love for both the music and the instrument. In short, I prefer Isbin's recording of the Pipo "Danza," even though, overall, Russell's playing is technically cleaner and more facile (but not by much). (Across his entire CD, I recall barely any string noise from Russell, where as Isbin manages a mere dozen or so clear such imperfections across her entire and ample CD; big deal).

I think the thing that draws me to Isbin in this piece (and her CD, in general) is her incredible variety of rhythm, attack, and tone color, all of which combine to give an impression of near perfect balance between spontaneity and precision. She has a way of taking time without the slightest sense of delay or heaviness. This is probably because her tempo never changes, only the rhythm around it, which is a classic hallmark of rhythmic mastery. This means that she hears and feels, both deeply and objectively, every moment of "sound and space" (notes and rest) from beginning to end, like an unbroken line painted across a master's canvas. Combined with this, she uses the space between her bridge and finger board to elicit the most amazing contrasts in tone color (one of the great contributions of Segovia to the art).

Russell plays with equal mastery of rhythm and attack, perhaps aided by the remarkable sonic depth built into his guitar. While he makes maximum use of that wonderful guitar sound, he is somewhat less dramatic in his changes of volume and tone color between phrases, aiming for a more consistent and lyrical quality, certainly another aim of mastery in itself, but there in lies the difference. Still, his sharp shaping of phrases, especially in his choice of Spanish music on his entire CD, with that impeccable technique behind it, weaves a spell all its own.

So, even though Russell's is among the finest pure Spanish musical CDs available, and one of my favorite in that genre (musical realm), I still have to give my nod to Isbin's multi-national effort for its unmatched ability to conjure, especially today, the most sublime dreams of a better world."
Astoundingly Subtle Performance
Benelita T.C .E | 07/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Sharon Isbin's fame is well-deserved, and she has spent many years learning the exacting technique of the classical guitar so that any style of performance from Bach to Brazilian makes 'sense' under her fingers. What a remarkably poetic player. For those of you who love the instrument, you will hear no one perform with as much depth, grace, expression as Isbin does. Sharon Isbin is all musicianship and brilliance, she has clearly built her reputation upon impeccable performances both live and in recording. Her craft in Dreams of A World is multifold- she initiated the commissioning of works such as the Duarte piece, developed transcriptions and arrangements, created a lush, emotional 'program' that progresses from one work to the next in a highly organic fashion.If you are looking for high-speed pyrotechnics, Isbin is absolutely capable of this, and plays the most demanding pieces of the classical guitarist's repertoire. The current album is virtuosic in her nuanced and coloristic passages, and the music calls forth the greatest delicacy from the instrument. Both of these types of performance are well within Isbin's range. Witness her Bach recordings, orchestral recordings, contemporary and 'classic' pieces of the canon of guitar works. She embraces the very highest values of the instrument and brings to stage and CD an artful awareness of prescisely what each musical work requires in order to shine. Overplaying can be as dull as underplaying - Isbin does neither. In her hands each work shines and is truly a gem of multifaceted musical pleasure.For those music lovers who know the guitar and its possibilities, you will realize that the instrument is in the hands of a prodigy-turned-international player who is one of a kind not only in her generation, but for several generations. Why is it no surprise that Segovia, the composer Rodrigo, and numerous luminaries of the classical guitar world have given her their ultimate compliment - full and unconditional support? She deserves the accolade -- it is in her hands - listen to it here on this CD, and find the heart of the music - you'll recognize the heart and spirit of each piece immediately through Isbin's performances.Listen to this work, and explore Isbin's entire opus and repertoire. She brings into the world beauty beyond what was known before - that is her gift. I hope you're decide to make this CD your gift - to yourself and to others. I am a composer -- to my ears, this music is heartwrenchingly gorgeous, and it comes to life through the performer's hands.
Isbin's performances are a life lesson- those who seek depth and profundity through music will find it here. Enjoy."
An Elegant Journey Around The World
Rivka | 07/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"From the moment I put this CD on my player to the time the CD ended, I was transfixed. This CD is such a delight to the ears, that it is difficult to put into words the emotions experienced while listening. I attended a NY Philharmonic performance several weeks ago with guest soloist Sharon Isbin. Her live performance was mesmerizing. She did an encore performance of "Recuerdos de la Alhambra" which took my breath away. The NY Times reviewer called it a "...virtuoso encore...". How wonderful that this piece appears on Dreams of a World. A CD that will transport you around the world with the flavors of outstanding compositions interpreted by a musician who is one of the greatest living classical guitarists today. Do yourself a favor and experience the magic."