Jason Vieaux : Play : CD
BELLINATI : Jongo : SAGRERAS : Colibri : JOBIM (Arr Dyens ) : Felicidade: MYERS : Cavatina (From the Deer Hunter) TARREGA : Capricho Arabe; Recuerdos de la Alhambra: YORK : Sunburst : BROUWER : Danza Caracteristica: DYENS : Tango en Skai BARRIOS : Las Abejas ; Vals, Op. 8/4 : SEGOVIA : Estudio Sin Luz : LAURO :Vals Venezolano No. 3 BUSTAMENTE Arr Morel : Misionera : PONCE : Por Ti Mi Corazon : R.SAINZ DE LA MAZA : Zapateado : ELLINGTON Arr. Vieaux : In a Sentimental Mood.
Here is a selection of Spanish, Mexican, South American, Cuban, French, and American solo classical guitar classics by one of America’s finest players. His recorded achievements are many and varied but this recital is full of pieces that most players will have heard of and even tried , I know I have the great majority of them but unlike Vieaux, I really can’t do them the justice that he does. Take the opening Bellinati Jongo, a wonderful piece, as is the next piece a really fast Colibri by Julio Sagreras that makes your fingers ache trying to play it! Vieaux has absolutely no problem whatsoever. Of course any arrangements by Roland Dyens are going to be wonderful, and extremely tricky, as is the Jobim Felicidade. After that things calm down with the famous Cavatina by Stanley Myers, and , let’s face it, a piece that dozens of people have recorded , and yet , the emotions Vieaux gets from his performance makes this one of my favourite renditions. After a lovely Capricho Arabe from Tarrega, comes Andrew York’s Sunburst, made famous in John William’s recording from many moons ago, and another clear, vibrant and technically perfect recording it proves to be. The Danza Caracteristica from Leo Brouwer has just the right amount of sharp dissonances without losing its musicality, as it is very easy to play these unusual sections too harshly and they become merely a noise. That doesn’t happen here. Roland Dyens’ justly famous Tango en Skai has all the clarity it needs whilst maintaining its lightning fast runs and its tongue – in cheek writing. Vieaux’s tremolo is even, and with no noticeable gaps between the tremolo parts, as can often happen, so the Recuerdos de la Alhambra of Tarrega, as a result, gets a beautiful performance. Barrios’ Las Abejas has to be constantly fast and yet even and clear, and that’s what the piece gets here. Andres Segovia’s soft and delicate Estudio Sin Luz is soft delicate and emotive, whilst Antonio Lauro’s Vals Criollo jumps around in a very musical way that sounds a lot easier than it actually is! Jorge Morel’s arrangements of Bustamente’s MIsionera is another Latin masterpiece that Vieaux makes sound positively simple, whilst Manuel Ponce’s Por Ti Mi Corazon is emotive and beautifully played and sounds every bit the song it originally was before it was arranged for guitar solo. Regino Sainz de la Maza’s Zapateado is one of the few pieces that guitarists still play, as he fared considerably worse than his talented brother Eduardo, whose pieces are in a way even more original than Regino’s very Spanish/Latin inspired pieces. Nevertheless the Zapateado is a lovely version, as is the famous Vals Op8 No4 from Agustin Barrios. Having studied Barrios in minute detail as I did forty years ago I always feel that any performance should be as close to Barrios’s own recordings, when they exist. Here it is immediately obvious that Vieaux has studied Agustin’s 78rpm recording of this piece carefully, for it comes out exactly as I imagined it always should do! The final piece is Vieaux’s own arrangement of Duke Ellington’s In a Sentimental Mood, and with its bluesy complex set of chords and achingly gorgeous melody he makes it sound like it was written for the guitar originally, so good is his version. I wish he would publish this, and any others of this style that he might have done, as I would buy it for one!
It is obvious that Jason Vieaux has here produced a Cd of some of his very favourite pieces, and it sounds exactly like that, because every track is great, beautifully played, very clearly recorded , and a joy from start to finish. Get it if you like this repertoire!