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Adam Cicchillitti : Canciones : CD

ALBENIZ: Suite Espanola Op47: TURINA: Sonata Op61: DE FALLA: Canciones Populares Espanolas: MORENO TORROBA: Sonatina in A Major: GARCIA LORCA: Canciones Espanolas Antiguas: RODRIGO: Tonadilla for two Guitars

Adam Cicchillitti (with Steve Gowan , guitar on Rodrigo , and Baritone Philippe Courchesne – Leboeuf, on De Falla and Garcia Lorca )

Analekta : AN 2 8781

Canadian guitarist Cicchillitti begins with perhaps one of the most famous pieces never actually written for the guitar, but nevertheless sounds like it was, Asturias, first movement from Isaac Albeniz Suite Espanola Op47, which is to my mind, a very dangerous move, because it IS so well known. NO worries though as he does a fine job of it, although he does interpret certain parts different from other recordings I have heard. Then we find Sevilla, another fine performance and yet another extremely popular arrangement for guitar of what we sometimes find hard to believe was written for piano. Then there follows Granada, which again has some small differences as does the final movement Cataluna.

Joaquin Turina wrote a small amount of pieces for guitar, on the suggestion of Segovia, the largest of which was his Sonata Op61, set in three movements .He was another composer who was not a player, but whom Segovia encouraged to compose, for the guitar, and whose music was edited by Segovia to make it completely playable. At one time this was a very commonly played piece, but of late has not been performed as much , which is a shame because , as this performance shows, it is a wonderful piece of Spanish writing, and it sounds so well on the guitar, and Cicchillitti really takes the final movement Allegro Vivo at an exciting pace.

For three of the six Canciones Populares Espanolas, Baritone Phillippe Courchesne – Leboeuf steps up to perform with Cicchillitti, and they pick , No1 El Pano Moruno, No5 Nana, and No6 Cancion, all quite short and very pleasantly done.

Next is Federico Moreno – Torroba, another non - player composer, who Segovia encouraged to write for the guitar and his very famous Sonatina in three movements, firstly Allegretto, then Andante, and finally Allegro. These are extremely well – known pieces that just about every student guitarist has attempted at one time or another, but it takes a professional player to do them full justice, and our performer really captures the emotive quality of this wonderful composer’s style.

Federico Garcia Lorca, the famous writer, also composed these three Canciones Espanolas Antiguas, and again our baritone provides a beautiful performance, ably accompanied by Cicchillitti, and again they are very short, only amounting to less than 6 minutes in total.

The final track has Steve Gowan on 2nd guitar, in Joaquin Rodrigo’s spectacular Tonadilla for two guitars, a work I first heard on a recording by the Abreu Brothers, and one which is still difficult to beat technically speaking. Full of the Rodrigo characteristic of deliberately ‘wrong’ notes its three movements build up to a real climax, and having once owned the score I can definitely state that the music is hugely difficult to play, but also that our players on this recording do a fine job of it , and certainly one of the best I have come across.

So all in all, this is a lovely recording, full of very different pieces and very enjoyable from start to finish.

Chris Dumigan

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