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Grace Like A River - Christopher Parkening
Carlo Domeniconi, Johann Sebastian Bach, Isaac Albeniz
Grace Like A River - Christopher Parkening
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

A tie-in with Parkening?s similarly titled autobiography, this disc samples some of the guitarist?s "greatest hits" and includes two tracks of special interest: a preview of a forthcoming release and a rarity from his yout...  more »

      
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A tie-in with Parkening?s similarly titled autobiography, this disc samples some of the guitarist?s "greatest hits" and includes two tracks of special interest: a preview of a forthcoming release and a rarity from his youth. Parkening?s fans will find the latter fascinating. Dating from 1963, it features the 15-year old soloist in his orchestral concert debut in a very respectable performance of a movement from Castelnuovo-Tedesco?s Guitar Concerto No. 1. The preview is a live excerpt from Carlo Domeniconi?s Koyunbaba that whets the appetite for more of this Italian composer?s Turkish-influenced music. The rest of the disc abounds in previously release, wonderfully executed virtuoso guitar pieces that are display pieces for the instrument at its most expressive. There are Bach arrangements, a generous selection of Spanish works, and the slow movement from Elmer Bernstein?s Guitar Concerto. This disc is a must for Parkening?s fans and an excellent introduction to classical guitar for the rest of us. -- Dan Davis

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CD Reviews

Old stuff under new cover....
guitarscape | New York, NY | 07/21/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Parkening was once among the top 5 guitarists in the world but that's when segovia was still alive. Parkening's last CD release was in 2000 (Christopher Parkening · Elmer Bernstein ~ Concerto for Guitar - E. Bernstein · Albeniz · Marshall). The reason why he has not produced any new album in 6 years is mysterious to me.

This so called "new" CD, contains only two new (and incomplete) piece of work "Moderato And Presto From Koyunbaba" and the first ever release of Christopher Parkening's live performance of the third movement of Tedesco's Guitar Concerto recorded when Chris was just fifteen years old. All the rest are old stuff and almost all can be found in his 25 year EMI celebration album (The Great Recordings ~ By America's Preeminent Guitar Virtuoso) which includes much more of his best (2 discs).

I usually consider it lame for publishers to make money out of old stuff (like what sony did with many of John Williams albums). The Koyunbaba is just a "preview" and the complete version is scheduled to be released on a next album (just to hook you up). In this new track of koyunbaba, Parkening put in many legatos so that the piece sounds very artificial and over-manipulated. It is intriguing at the begining, though.

On the other hand, i would recommend buying his autobiography of the same title. It is about 300 pages, hard cover and sells for about the same price as this CD. It even include a free sampler (3 tracks) of this CD.
"
Barely made 3 stars because it's cheap
Redgecko | USA | 07/12/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This is a rehash of a few of the pieces that made him famous but is an embarrassing offering from the one-time boy wonder. This is no more evident than in the truncated offering of Koyunbaba. Was Parkening just too lazy to learn the other three parts of this lovely masterpiece? So, don't spend the money on this so-called greatest hits compilation (and, only 65 minutes of music) when his music is available elsewhere coupled with the great songs that made him America's number one guitarist in the 80's. Top two choices are: "In The Spanish Style" and "The Great Recordings". Bach's Chaconne, if you must have this 14 minute masterpiece, is available on "The Artistry Of Christopher Parkening", another worthy recording.

Again, I lament that the full 4-part version of Koyunbaba hasn't been recorded by Parkening.

"
Grace Like A River - Christopher Parkening
John J. Sweeney | New York | 02/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A summary of Christopher Parkening's recording career. Good selection of material."