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  • chrisdumigan

Irene Gomez  : En Los Bosques : CD

COULANGES : Nan Fon Bwa ; Adieu Foulard: PONCE: Three Popular Mexican Songs ( La Pajarera ; Por Ti Mi Corazon ; La Valentina ) : YOCOH : Sakura : BARRIOS: Vals Op8 No4: ISAZA: Danza Para Olvidar El Tiempo: BROUWER: El Decameron Negro (Arpa Del Guerrero ; Huida de Los Amantes Por El Valle de Los Ecos; Balada de la Doncella Enamorada)

Irene Gomez



Born in Bogota, Colombia, Irene Gomez is well – known in the classical guitar world through her many performances in a considerable number of countries, her teaching, her master classes, and also her recordings.

She begins this CD with Nan Fon Bwa (Deep in the Woods) by Haitian Composer, Amos Coulanges, whose works I must confess I have not come across before. It is very rhythmic with plenty of musical interest and with a slightly Latin feel but having nevertheless its own musical identity, and a great start to this collection as the harmonies are constantly on the move, and Irene makes it sound very easy, which it no doubt isn’t! The three Popular Mexican Songs from Manuel Ponce follow next, and a lovely set of pieces they are, having been playing them for many decades now! Our player puts a lot of emotion into them , particularly noticeable in the middle piece Por Ti Mi Corazon which she takes at a considerably slower speed than other versions I’ve hard, but it does work at that speed. BY contrast she takes the third piece, La Valentina at a really fast speed, which again works really well. All lovely performances! By contrast the beautiful Sakura of Yocoh, is so different in style and every bit as wonderful as the foregoing. Again Irene’s playing is wonderfully done and she captures the Japanese sound world beautifully. Barrios’ Vals Op8 No4 is a work I know exceptionally well, having transcribed onto notation his entire recorded performances over 40 years ago. Again this is a lovely version, of a very popular piece of guitar writing.

Ramiro Isaza Mejia was a 20th Century Columbian composer who again was completely new to me. This piece is very serious, a touch more modern than most of the other pieces on this recording , but still involving for its rather gloomy sound world. The three following pieces by Leo Brouwer are very well known and this composer is regarded as one of the world’s very greatest guitar composers. His Decameron Negro has its own very individual harmonies and melodies but is a gripping work that Irene captures really well. The album closes the way it began with another work by Amos Coulanges, the beautiful Adieu Foulard a reworking of an old Haitien song, and a wonderful end to a superbly played and recorded album of a wide variety of lovely pieces. This album is definitely one to go on your ‘want‘list!


Chris Dumigan

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