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  • chrisdumigan

David Russell : Music of Moreno Torroba: CD

Sonatina; Burgalesa; Suite Castellana; Madronos; Castillos de Espana; Nocturno; Aires de la Mancha

David Russell

Telarc Digital: CD 80451

The very tuneful and superbly written guitar music of Federico Moreno - Torroba, , has Andres Segovia to thank for all the many wonderful pieces he wrote, with some of the most famous and well – known pieces being found on this recording. Born in Madrid in 1891, Moreno Torroba was a major figure in Spanish music of the last century, and although not a guitarist himself, he struck up a friendship with Andres Segovia in the 1920s, which in turn inspired several of his finest works such as the Sonatina (1924) the three movements of which open this recital, which was the first piece he wrote for the guitar and which gives anyone who doesn’t know this music a very apt place to begin exploring this fine repertoire which employs elements of folk and art music of a distinctly Spanish character. His works for the guitar is not limited to just folklore, as one can sometimes find references to the music of the French School of Debussy, Ravel, and Franck also.

The Burgalesa, is an unusual work for guitar as it was written in the usually very unfriendly key of F# Major. However, via the fine editing of Segovia, this work fits extremely well onto the guitar.

The extended set of Castillos de Espana (14 movements) is very varied in its musical styles all of which David Russell proves himself to be the ideal exponent of. His tremolo for example on Zafra is perfect in every way, but then again so is everything else on this recording, as he can turn his hands to just about anything on the guitar and make it a very worthwhile experience.

The lone movement Nocturno is quite dark and mysterious in places and again one of the standout performances.

The final piece, the 5 movements of Aires de la Mancha vary in style from the outgoing and positive sound of Jeringonza via the pensive Ya Llega El Invierno to the finger and toe tapping Coplilla, and make for a beautiful and satisfying close to Russell’s beautiful recording of these great pieces.

This is a superb recital in every way and I can only heartily recommend this as an ideal way to dip your musical toes into some of the best guitar music written by a Spaniard in the 20th Century, played by one of our country’s finest exponents.

Chris Dumigan

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