Guitar music from Lithuania
Jeremiah Lawson | Seattle, WA United States | 01/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's a purely personal bias, I suppose, but the most interesting music for classical guitar seems to come from Eastern Europe. Jonas Tamulionis is a Lithuanian composer who has written a variety of works and this CD includes a selection of his works for 1, 2, 3, and 4 guitars. His work is broadly neo-classical but in a more Eastern rather than Western European style and his tonal pallete is closer to, say, Ligeti, than Prokofiev.
I can't think of any works on this CD that have ever been recorded before and they're all worthy pieces. The opening track Perpetuum Mobile evokes a droning and interlocking musical fabric most similar to Steve Reich's Acoustic Counterpoint except that it's shorter and more obviously Eastern European.
The Eleven Preludes stand out as being unusually concise and fun, particularly prelude 8 where the guitarist plays the entire piece using alternating hammer-ons with the left and right hands and even employs some fantastic glissandi in the process.
While Tamulionis has said he's fond of Spain and Spanish music expect this music to sound a lot more like Russian and other Eastern European composers. Amongst non-guitarists think more like earlier Ligeti, Kodaly, or Bartok (though they're obviously not Lithuanian). Amongst guitarists think of Koshkin or Nadia Borislova but Tamulionis has a more dissonant harmonic language and a tighter handling of musical form within smaller movements.
Admittedly, that description is probably only useful if you're already into classical music from Eastern Europe but those are guitarist composers you should check out, too, if you haven't already.
If you're a fan of classical guitar music and are looking for music that isn't Spanish or Spanish-flavored this CD is a must-buy."