Lyrical and pure classical guitar
D. Riccomini | Saratoga, CA USA | 07/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The classical guitar can struggle against the volume of an orchestra and that fact is evident in this CD. Isbin's masterful skill is often overwhelmed by the orchestra, something that perhaps could have been lessened with better remastering. Nonetheless, if you appreciate classical guitar played by a real talent, this CD is for you. The unaccompanied Latin Romances illustrate Isbin's work at its best, clean and precise with pure tonal production. Her technical mastery as well as her lyricism are often on display. I found the Schwantner composition, written at Isbin's request, somewhat heavy-handed and hard to listen to. The Rodrigo recordings, even allowing for the occasionally overwhelming orchestra, are bright and crisp. Isbin's feeling for Rodrigo's music comes through clearly in these recordings. Despite the somewhat onerous orchestations, I would recommend this CD to anyone who appreciates clear, precise, lyrical classical guitar. There's definitely enough in here to make this a worthwhile purchase. Two CD set. PS: to get the second CD out, open the inner door from the center out! I'm an engineer, and it took me several tries to figure it out (may because I'm an engineer!)."
Redgecko | USA | 01/24/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you want to hear some diverse recordings of Sharon Isbin gathered in one place for a fair price, then you have arrived. She does a good job on some of my favorites, e.g., Mallorca and Capricho Arabe, though not the best that you'll find. You'll have to listen to Norbert, Bream and Williams for the best Mallorca and other Albeniz transcriptions and to Parkening and Boyd for the best Capricho Arabe.
But what disturbs me the most about this recording is the omission of the lovely first movement (my favorite), called "Preludio", from La Catedral. What conceivable reason could there possibly be to omit this 2 minute movement? That alone cost this recording one star.