Wonderful Concert of Guitar Music by Rodrigo!
James Yelvington | USA | 04/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
Since no one else has reviewed it, I'll offer a brief assessment of this CD: it's a very fine recording and, at the prices I see listed for it here, it's a tremendous bargain! If you like classical guitar music you're bound to be thrilled by this excellent selection played to a very high level of artistry by Carlos Bonell, either solo or with the first-rate accompaniment of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jacek Kaspszyk. And the 1994 20-bit digital sound is absolutely magnificent!
Although the performers may not be the most celebrated names in the business, they do a truly outstanding job of presenting these lovely Rodrigo works. There is not a less-than-excellent performance here, from the widely known and loved Concierto de Aranjuez through the Fantasía para un Gentilhombre, the Pequeña Sevillana, En los Trigales, to the Sonata a la Española.
Bonell is an Englishman of Spanish parentage, a guitar student of John Williams, and the youngest ever professor appointed to the Royal College of Music. He's enjoyed an active and varied career, including recording for various labels, being nominated for a Grammy, and receiving the Penguin rosette for his 1981 Decca recording of the Concierto de Aranjuez, often cited as the best available recording of the work. His playing is colorful, exciting, and virtuosic, and his interpretations are sensitive and beautifully conceived. He extracts wonderful sounds from the guitar.
Jacek Kaspszyk was born in Poland, where he graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Music in 1975. That country was not able to contain his talents and ambitions for very long, though, and he now manages a busy career from his London home, conducting operas and symphony orchestras all over Europe and Great Britain. In 1978 he won a top prize in the famous Karajan conducting competition and soon was in great demand almost everywhere. In this recording he leads the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in nearly flawless performances of the Concierto and Fantasia.
Though all the music here is by Rodrigo, its character is so varied and fascinating that one grows neither tired nor bored listening to it. It's a great window into the music-making potential of the guitar! If you enjoy Spanish-style classical guitar music you should grab this beauty while it's still available!