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  • chrisdumigan

Johannes Tonio Kreusch : Inspiracion - Guitar Music from Paraguay, Spain and Cuba: CD

Updated: Aug 10, 2021

KREUSCH: Inspiracion (Preludio) : BARRIOS – MANGORE : Una Limosna por El Amore de Dios (La Ultima Cancion); Vals No3; Las Abejas (Estudio); La Catedral: TARREGA: Capricho Arabe ( Serenade); Maria (Gavota): ALBENIZ: Asturias ( Leyenda from Op47/ 232) : RODRIGO: Invocacion Y Danza (Homenaje a Manuel De Falla) : BROUWER: Danza Caracteristica (Para el ‘Quitate de la Acera’) ; Elogio de la Danza; Paisaje Cubano Con Campagnas; Danza Del Alitiplano (Sobre un Tema Folklorico) .

Johannes Tonio Kreusch

CD: FM233-2 GLM Music GmbH (Available from

This CD from prolific player Kreusch beings and ends with Inspiracion in two different version , which are basically improvisations that bear more than a passing resemblance to his work on Siddhartha (See other review in this site) , as it is full of imaginative arpeggiation, that ring over each other and create this strange , but alluring sound world. In his own words from the booklet, they’ make up the framework within which the pictures imagined by the composers gathered together here can come to life’.

He then begins with Paraguay, Agustin Barrios – Mangore, and indeed three of his most famous works. His tremolo on Una Limosna, is fine, slightly slower than some players, which gives it an almost added emotive quality. When he begins Vals No3, having studied Barrios for many years, I can say that Kreusch does not use the editions that are based on Barrios’ recordings, as there were many details different from one version of any of his pieces to any others, and this version is definitely one of the manuscripts rather than the recorded version , as the opening harmonics on the introduction are quite different on the recording, and also he opts not to use the glissando as Barrios so often does on his recordings. So as a result his playing is more measured and sounds less improvisatory, as on Barrios’ recording where one almost feels that the composer was making some details up on the spur of the moment! Las Abejas is suitably fast and the running semi – quavers are effortless and yet remain musical. For Barrios’ perhaps most revered work, the three – movement La Catedral, he retains a constant reverence through the first two movements , that are very severe, and seriously played, whilst the final Allegro Solemne is the perfect contrast , fast and constantly on the move but restrained throughout, as befits the title.

Moving to Spain, we get three of its most famous composers, and four of its most respected pieces. The two Tarrega works are justifiably well – known and surely the guitarist doesn’t exist who hasn’t seen them, heard them, and tried them for himself. They remain lovely pieces that Kreusch gives a fine performance of, including, in this case, the glissandi that are all over the manuscripts. The Albeniz Asturias is based on Kreusch’s own re-working, although in essence there are little differences in the version here than in other versions of this piano work. Rodrigo’s homage to De Falla has had many recordings over the years .It remains very tricky to play, often as a result of Rodrigo not being a guitarist, and so some of his writing is extremely unusual and difficult to get right. Kreusch has no problems in that respect.

Now in Cuba with Leo Brouwer, we come across a number of his most revered works, which do range immensely in musical style from very modern, to one that is almost romantic and full of folk resonances. Every different style of his writing is here in these four works, and Kreusch manages to bring out their many complexities without them sounding challenging, which they most certainly are, as Brouwer is a brilliant guitarist, as anyone who has heard his performances will realize.

This CD is very varied in music and Kreusch does a great job throughout. Yes, most of the pieces are well – known but that shouldn’t stop any lovers of this repertoire from trying out this CD. It is well recorded, beautifully played and the packaging and booklet is informative and well worth a good read.

Chris Dumigan

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