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  • chrisdumigan

Giacomo Susani : Gebeth –Romantic Music for Guitar : CD

MERTZ: Bardenklange :Book 1 No1 An Malvina; Book 3 No2 Etude; Book 2 No2 Unruhe; Book 3 No1 An Die Entfernte; Book 3 No3 Capriccio; Book 5 No2 Gebeth; Book 11 No1 Lied Ohne Worte; Elegie: REGONDI: 10 Etudes Nos 1, 4, and 6; Nocturne Op19 Reverie.

Giacomo Susani

Stradivarius STR37112

Presented here are two of the Romantic period’s most wonderful composers of guitar music, beginning with Johann Kasper M ertz whose 15 books of Bardenklange are some of his most treasured pieces. The opening piece, and indeed the first of the entire set of Bardenklange An Malvina is very Schubertian in sound and feel, and makes a good entry into this CD. The Etude from Book 3 is another fine performance of a very melodic but more technical piece, hence the Etude title! Unruhe from Book2 is every bit as jumpy as you might expect from the title, and every nuance e of the piece is successfully captured by Susani. An Die Entfernte is sad, and moving with lovely harmonies and another touching performance. Susani’s fine technique really comes to the fore in the Capriccio,, a Presto of mostly semi – quavers that really takes some playing, and Susani does not disappoint. Then comes the CD’s title track Gebeth that begins with an extended section of long held chords before starting on its more animated journey. The final Bardenklange work is the Lied Ohne Worte , and very lovely this Song without Words is, as indeed all of this group have been. A complete album of all 15 books by this player would be well worth hearing! The final Mertz piece is the Elegie, and at more than 9 minutes in length the most substantial of the Mertz pieces by far. Its Largo introduction is beautiful and perfectly caught by Susani, who then has to really speed up for the demi – semi quaver section before the main Andante Con espressione section where the piece really starts .This is a substantial work that I suspect is not as well-known as it deserves to be. Altogether this is a beautiful and moving piece that closes the Mertz on this CD admirably.

Giulio Regondi’s works are if anything, even more technically demanding but remain some of the most wonderful music ever written for the guitar in any century, and the 10 Etudes have a fascinating history that anyone with the renowned edition by the late Matanya Ophee will have read about. Moreover there is the fascinating fact that this exceptional writer has very few known works, although one gets the idea that there must be a lot more that somehow have gone missing. Regondi’s main surviving work however is the collection of 10 Etudes that are some of the most demanding pieces ever to be placed on the fingerboard of the guitar. Here our player gives us No1 in C, a constant run of semiquavers in a most demanding and yet musical piece, No 4 in E , and Adagio 9/8 that is chord driven, followed by a middle section in C again full of semi – quavers hurtling around the fingerboard and a DS al fine of the opening Adagio, and finally No6 a Dm 9/8 with a middle section in Bb, the opening idea again full of chords with a melody that roams around the fingerboard above, and the Bb section another semi – quaver idea with a melody above. All are dispatched with no audible difficulties and again a full set would be a delight to hear. He closes his recital with one of the few remaining works still available by Regondi , the Nocturne Reverie Op19 which is a substantial 8 page piece full of the most startling runs that really do take some figuring out , finger – wise, and then playing successfully, as there are literally pages of this in this piece. Needless to say Susani is exceptionally good in every respect, and this piece is a superb finish to what is a really pleasant wonderfully played and recorded recital. Therefore if the late Romantic period on guitar is one of your love s, this CD will be one you will really take to.

Chris Dumigan

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