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Fantasia Andaluza
SABICAS (1912-1990)
Fantasia Andaluza [3.46]
Manuel DE FALLA (1876-1946)
Homenaje “Le Tombeau de Debussy” [3.36]
Danza del molinero [2.47]
Danza Espanola no.1 [3.27]
Francisco TARREGA (1852-1909)
Recuerdos de la Alhambra [5.39]
Isaac ALBENIZ (1860-1898)
Sevilla [5.02]
Malaguena [8.10]
Verdiales [4.15]
Nino RICARDO (1904-1972)
Sierra Nevada [3.36]
La delicada [3.41]
Nana de Sevilla [2.22]
SABICAS (1912-1990) Sevillanas [3.24]
Patri Kumela, Joonas Widenius (guitars)
rec. Ostersundom Chapel, Sipoo, Finland, September 2015
ALBA ABCD391 SACD [49.48]

Two guitarists from Finland (perhaps oddly, given the Spanish content of the disc) – one a classical musician, the other a flamenco guitarist – join forces on this disc, which brings together works that they see as crossing the boundaries between the strictly classical and flamenco.

The disc opens with the eponymous Fantasia Andaluza by Sabicas, which is followed later on in the disc by further works by the same composer - a leading flamenco virtuoso guitarist - and more traditional flamenco works in the verdiales and malaguenas styles (with some improvisation on the latter), as well as more “classical” pieces by Manuel de Falla, Francisco Tarrega, Isaac Albeniz and Nino Ricardo. The combination of the very different instruments and techniques - the classical guitar producing a more rounded and lyrical sound, the flamenco guitar aims at creating a very percussive sound - actually works extremely well here; the two blending better than one might imagine. Together, Patri Kumela and Joonas Widenius bring a sense of excitement and passion to the works performed; whilst some of the pieces are given solo performances and these are also absolutely top quality.

This is a disc in which we can find an extremely appropriate air of edginess and exhilaration to the works by Sabicas, whilst Tarrega’s Recuerdos de la Alhambra, for instance, is given a most tender, evocative and beautiful performance. Many of the works will be familiar to listeners, but it is a pleasure hearing them brought together in so fine a recording.

The notes are generally good, although sometimes a little difficult to follow; the presentation is the only thing I found off-putting, in its attempt to create an urban, edgy, modern air that rather grates with the beauty of the music presented on the disc. There are multiple photographs of the eccentric-looking performers in various odd attitudes – that of apparent despair; sternness, zombie-like staring; irritation and suchlike. Otherwise, this is a fine disc of excellent performances of lovely music.

Em Marshall-Luck


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