Masters of the Guitar
Paul Magnussen | Campbell, CA USA | 12/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ida Presti and her husband Alexandre Lagoya formed what has been called the greatest duo in the history of the classical guitar. They were to the duo what Segovia was to the solo instrument: they innovated technically and musically and made something like fifteen world tours, inspiring nearly all the best modern composers to write for the medium, while at the same time generating an entire new body of transcriptions from instruments such as the harpsichord. They also inspired and taught several other duos who are now among the best in the World, including Ako Ito & Henri Dorigny and the Athenian Duo (Evangelos & Liza). Their fame and impact were still accelerating when, on a tour of the United States in 1967, Ida Presti was taken suddenly ill and died. She was forty-two.
Presti/Lagoya's early recordings were on French RCA, and these have been issued as a 2-CD boxed set, now deleted. However, the sound quality was mediocre, and many of the tracks were re-recorded for Philips. The complete Philips recordings were issued as a 3-CD boxed set, now also deleted.
I don't possess the present recording, but it consists of selections from the 3-CD set, which I do. The contents are:
01) Albinoni: Adagio
02) Scarlatti: Sonata, K. 380, L. 23
03) Scarlatti: Sonata, K. 173, L. 447
04) Soler: Sonata in D Major
05) Soler: Sonata in D Minor
06-08) Vivaldi: Concerto in C, RV 425
09-10) Sor: L'encouragement, Op. 34
11) Debussy: Clair de lune
12) Albéniz: Piezas características, Op. 92 -- Danza
13) Albéniz: España, Op. 165 -- Tango
14) Granados: Spanish Dance Op. 37 Nº 2, Orientale
15) Granados: Goyescas -- Intermezzo
16) Falla: Ritual Fire Dance
17) Falla: La vida breve -- Spanish Dance Nº 1
making by my computation a total of a trifle over 72 minutes. Inevitably in recordings this old, there is some tape hiss.
The deleted 3-CD set is completely subsumed by the six-CD set L'Art de Alexandre Lagoya (French Philips 4762356). The latter clocks in at 7 hours 55 minutes, of which 3 hours 41 minutes are the Presti/Lagoya recordings. The balance seems to be Lagoya's complete output for Philips, with the exception of Albéniz's "Mallorca" and the Diabelli "Sonata in A Major" (both from "Le gentilhomme de la guitare").
It is not cheap, but I found it worth buying even though I already have the Presti/Lagoya set.
If you can't afford the complete Lagoya set, then this is a good representative selection of the Spanish/Romantic side of the duo's repertoire."
Presti and Lagoya extraordinaire
R. Dary | Lakeview, OR USA | 09/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ah, to play like that,
to arrange like that,
to express like that!