Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Founder Len Mullenger:

Jean Baptiste LOEILLET (1608-1730)
Suite No. 1 in G minor
Allamande, Corente, Sarabanda, Aria, Minuet, Giga
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Sonata in B flat Major, R.46
Largo, Allegro, Largo II, Allegro II
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Sonata in A minor, Op.1, No.4 (HWV 362)
Larghetto, Allegro, Adagio, Allegro
Dominico SCARLATTI (1685-1757)
Sonata in D Major, K 490
Sonata in D Major, K 491
Sonata in C Major, K 501
Sonata in C Major, K 308
Sonata in C Major, K 309
Sonata in G Major, K 390
Sonata in G Major, K 391
Sonata in F minor, K 238

Sonata in F minor, K 239
David Russell (guitar)
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I have always admired the artistry of David Russell and on this recording he has excelled even his own already high standards. The phrasing and voicing flow so naturally from him that it seems so obviously correct and tasteful, yet to achieve it is a gift imparted to so few. Ornamentation is so well articulated as to appear effortless; in fact any difficulties are swept aside so that all that remains is the purity of the music.

His choice of programme is also inspired, no well worn out or too familiar pieces here; all are interesting and musically entertaining.

All the music on this disc are transcriptions (I presume by Russell himself). The Loeillet and Scarlatti from the harpsichord, and the Vivaldi and Handel from the cello and flute respectively. While the guitar and harpsichord share the plucked nature of sound production, David Russell gives a more than adequate alternative to the bowed timbres of the Vivaldi and the woodwind nuances of the flute pieces of Handel.

Of the four composers included here only Jean Baptiste Loeillet was unfamiliar to me but Russell's playing of the Suite No.1 in G minor reveals music of real stature (listen to the ornaments on the Minuet).

Many of the Sonatas of Dominico Scarlatti are well known in guitar transcription but on the whole David Russell's selection is new to me. Of the nine played here only K391 (Longo 79) is familiar as a guitar solo from the recording of Andrés Segovia (MCA MUCS 105) and here again Russell's readings of these fine works are exemplary.

In the final analysis everything about this disc radiates quality, the player, the music and the recording are all of the highest calibre and I would go as far as to say that this is the finest guitar recordings of baroque music ever.

Andy Daly

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