VIVALDI: Guitar Concerto No2 in Em Op11No2- RV277; Trio Sonata in C - RV82; Trio Sonata in Gm- RV85; Guitar Concerto in D Major- RV93: BACH: (Arr Garcia): Guitar Concerto in Dm BWV 1052.
Gerald Garcia, Camerata Cassovia , Peter Breiner
British – born Garcia is one of the guitar’s most well – known personalities , and has been acclaimed so by John Williams He has made many tours of the Far East and Europe and has appeared at the major international festivals here. He has played with many leading ensembles and soloists including the London Sinfonietta, John Williams and Friends and Paco Pena, to name but a few things.
Here his programme consists of four Vivaldi works and one Bach. The opening work, RV277, was originally a Violin Concerto, arranged here for guitar by Garcia with almost no alteration from the original necessary. The three movements follow the usual Fast, slow, Fast pattern but the music itself is very expressive and the accompaniment by the Camerata is very nicely balanced and so the guitar’s every nuance is perfectly captured, and Garcia is shown to be wonderfully suited to this style of music, and sounds in his element here. The haunting slow movement is particularly beautiful and hauntingly played.
The Trio Sonatas were written for violin, lute and continuo, with the guitar perfectly suited to take over the lute original. Indeed the music sounds exactly as you might expect, but then Vivaldi wrote hundreds of concerti , and so you know you are in good hands when you are about to hear his work, even if the actual piece might be unknown to you before that.
Perhaps one of his most famous works however is the Guitar Concerto in D RV93, which was originally again a Lute work. This piece has been played and recorded many times over the years and many will definitely recognize this fine and lively work.
The final work is by Bach was also originally a violin concerto, but as with many of his works, had a musical life in a number of other places, including Cantata 146, and then Cantata 188, before eventually becoming a harpsichord concerto , and it was this version that Garcia used for his own arrangement into a guitar concerto. Whatever the piece was originally intended for, the guitar concerto it now becomes here is dramatic, and sounds natural in this vein. The opening movement, Allegro , is vibrant, full of very fast and cleanly played guitar by Garcia, and with Bach you know are about to hear something very involving. The middle movement Adagio is serious, dramatic and begins with a long introduction by the orchestra before the guitar enters, adding to the almost bleak sound created. The final Allegro has an almost dancing rhythm on the orchestra topped by the guitar’s swiftly played solo, and provides a fitting conclusion to what is natural in its new guitar clothes.
Of course Gerald Garcia’s playing is superb throughout and unlike a number of Baroque and Orchestra recordings I have come across, one can hear everything he plays in a totally natural balance, without being too up front, or without being drowned by the orchestra, and therefore I can say that if the Baroque is one of your musical styles that you love, then you will love this recording.