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GUITAR RECITAL Jason Vieaux Naxos  Laureate Series - Guitar - 8.553449



José Luis MERLIN
Suite del recuerdo

Carnavalito – Evocación – Joropo
Ian KROUSE (b. 1956)
Variations on a Moldavian Hora
Agustin BARRIOS (1885 – 1944)
Vals. Op. 8. No. 3
Julia Florida : Barcarola
Vals. Op. 8. No. 4
Maximo Diego PUJOL (b.1957)
Cinco Preludios

No. 2 Predulio Tristón
No. 3 Tristango en Vos
No. 5 Candombe en Mi
Jorge MOREL (b. 1931)
Danza Brasileira
Danza in E Minor
Julián ORBÓN (de SOTO) (1925-1991)
Preludio y Danza

Fernando BUSTAMANTE (arr. Morel)

The Super budget label Naxos has, in a relatively short history, delivered some real treasures and this disc must rank as one of the finest for solo guitar.

I first became aware of the guitarist Jason Vieaux through his association with the Naxos complete guitar works of Fernando Sor, which promises to be a 16 disc set co-ordinated by Norbert Kraft comprising of contributions from a number of different guitarists. Within that framework Jason Vieaux’s playing had to conform stylistically to give a consistency of approach to the overall project and, rightly so, given the circumstances. However, with this disc, recorded prior to the Fernando Sor, Jason Vieaux’s playing is free of any such restrictions, his technical facility and musicianship are evident and his strong full tone always to the fore.

The title "Guitar Recital" seems rather odd for a complete disc of 20th century works (although the inlay notes omit dates of two of the composers) and of these all but one are of Latin American origin. Some of the composers are familiar, others less so.
The programme is intelligently paced. José Luis Merlin and Maximo Diego Pujol share Argentinean nationality, their styles are so distinctively different that any comparison is slight, if anything Pujol’s music is harmonically more developed making it more satisfying. It is good to once again see the name of the Cuban, Julián Orbón, I remember his "Prelude y Danza" from a recording by Rey de la Torre in the 60’s and this composer’s work makes a welcome addition to the Naxos catalogue.

The north American composer Ian Krouse’s "Variations on a Moldavian Hora" was commissioned as a competition piece by the Guitar Foundation of America. The competition winner Jason Vieaux has elected to include this impressive work here.
The guitar repertoire is further enriched by works of this quality but only time will tell if it finds a place in concert programmes.

Ever since John Williams championed the music of Augustin Barrios in the mid 70’s the performance of the recordings of these pieces by Williams’ has been to some extent the "bench mark" for other guitarists willing to "take on" the Paraguayan composer. On this disc Jason Vieaux brings a freshness to these items that rival John Williams’ authoritative recordings.

Apart from his own compositions, the guitarist/composer Jorge Morel, also from Argentina, is a skilful arranger and Jason Vieaux plays three original pieces by him (the "Chôro" employing the hypnotic lilting rhyme to great effect), before ending with Morels arrangement of "Misionera" by Bustamante, a real show piece.

Taken as a whole the music presented is of a high quality and easily accessible, even to non guitar enthusiasts. The recorded sound is full and clear, as good as any guitar recording I have heard. As a performer Jason Vieaux’s enjoyment of the music and joy of playing transcends the technicalities of the recording process. These attributes contribute to the effect that Jason is performing here and now, just for you, a rare quality in the recordings of even the most revered artists.



Andy Daly


Andy Daly

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