• chrisdumigan

Lazhar Cherouana : Guitar Recital : CD



RAMEAU: Le Rappel des Oiseaux (from Pieces de Clavecin- Suite in E minor); La Dauphine; REGONDI : Reverie Nocturne Op19: LEGNANI: Fantasia Op19: ASENCIO: Collectici Intim ;La Serenor(Serenity); La Joia (Joy); La Calma (Calm); La Gaubanca ( Delight); La Frisanca (Haste) : ANTONIO J. MANJON: Aire Vasco Op19 : BOGDANOVIC: Guitar Sonata No2.

Lazhar Cherouana

Naxos : 8573226


Parisian – born Cherouana has recorded a set of pieces in a wide range of styles and periods, ranging from two pieces from Rameau , arranged by the guitarist, to a couple of 19th Century virtuoso composer/performers to a contemporary four movement Sonata by Dusan Bogdanovic.

The player’s complete command of his instrument is immediately obvious when listening to the opening pair of Rameau pieces. The opening mordents in Le Rappel des Oiseaux, and the constantly flying notes throughout are witness to his wonderful technique, and both Rameau pieces sound perfectly natural in their guitaristic clothes, difficult to play, but they sound wonderful

We then jump to the 19th Century and one of the most virtuosic writers for the guitar Regondi, Swiss – born and known to Fernando Sor. He wrote a huge amount for the concertina, but only a relatively small number of pieces for guitar, all of which are very difficult to play. His Reverie Nocturne Op19 is several musical leagues away from his predecessors, Sor and Giuliani in musical invention and this recording from Cherouana at just over eight and a half minutes shows what a wonderful writer he was, and a great shame that he didn’t (to our current knowledge) write more than he did.

Legnani, another 19th Century virtuoso, of course wrote a huge amount for the guitar, and still only a relatively small amount has reached a large number of players, when compared with the complete works, again, of Sor, and Giuliani. His Fantasia Op19 has some wonderful touches and after the slowish opening, really moves, and takes a superb player to make it sound like it should, and our player here manages the job with, apparently, little effort, and its nine and a half minutes duration just shows the listener how good a lot more Legnani is than they might otherwise know.

Vicente Asencio, a Spanish composer was one of the 20th century writers, like many others, who couldn’t the guitar, but gained fame and prestige in the musical world thanks to his guitar compositions. He was first and foremost a pianist and as a composer, he chose to link himself to the musical tradition of his Valencian region. The complete guitar works by Asencio, are again only a few in number but have a quality in them that sets them apart from many other writers. His Collectici Intim, a set of 5 technically advanced pieces, all found here on this CD, are beautiful works, haunting at times, very exciting at others, and all played superbly here, with great clarity in the often fast moving notes.

Antonio J. Manjon was a late 19th century writer for the guitar whose almost two dozen pieces are surprisingly not very well known. This Aire Vasco, (another Op19? That makes 3 of them on this recording!) is melodic , very virtuosic at times and again is another real find for anyone who hasn’t come across it before.

The recital finishes with the four -movement Sonata No2 from Dusan Bogdanovich whose music I have come across many times before, particularly in sheet music form. They are always very complex rhythmically, and very modern harmonically too, and to be honest not everyone’s choice of music. However this composer’s very individual style has a huge amount of following throughout the guitar world and it is immediately noticeable how well our guitarist copes with all the huge problems that face the player when attempting this man’s work. It is certainly of a style that will divide opinion, but let me say that if you appreciate this man’s works, then you will love this latest rendition of his Sonata.

This is a fine recital, full of very varied pieces, beautifully played and recorded, and I can recommend it wholeheartedly.

Chris Dumigan

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