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Ekachai Jearakul Guitar Recital (Laureate Series): CD

WEISS: Suite No13 in D: MERTZ: Concertino: LENNOX BERKELEY: Sonatina Op52: LEGNANI: Fantasie in A Major  Op19: BROUWER: Rito de los Orichas: KING BHUMIBOL of THAILAND:  Love Light in My Hand (Arr Frederic Hand); Oh I Say ( Arr Andrew York); Magic Beams (Arr William Kanengiser).

Ekachai Jearakul

Naxos: 8.573481

Jearakul was the first Asian guitarist to win the GFA Intl. Concert Artist competition. He begins with three movements from the Suite No13 in D by Weiss. Like most of Weiss it loses a lot of its gravitas by being transferred from the Baroque Lute to guitar. Mertz’s Concertino is a vast slice of Mertz at his most energetic and was the work he was posthumously awarded first prize for in 1856. It gets a superb performance here. Lennox Berkeley’s groundbreaking Sonatina Op52 is such a well – known work it is surprisingly rarely played, but Jearakul’s interpretation is top – notch, and surely one of the best committed to CD. Legnani’s vast oeuvre is not particularly well – known which is a great shame as this Fantasie Op19 with its musical fireworks would make a fine recital work. Leo Brouwer’s works need little introduction and here his two – movement Rito de los Orichas is both dramatic (the ritualistic first movement) and energetically atmospheric (the final dance movement). The rarest works are the three by King Bhumibol of Thailand, and are a real find. The opening Love Light in My Hand (arr. Frederic Hand) has a wonderful melody and some melting harmonies in a friendly jazz style, with the second Oh I Say (arr Andrew York) , being very bluesy in style and the final Magic Beams (arr. William Kanengiser ) both  languid and energetic at the close.

This is a great recital, excellently played and recorded and a fine contribution to the Naxos catalogue.


Chris Dumigan

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