Li Jie : Classical Guitar CD
TARREGA / MALATS : Serenata Espanola; AGUADO : The Ronda Brillanti : BARRIOS: Estudio de Concierto No.1; Vals No4 : BACH : Prelude BWV 1007: YORK :Sunburst: TARREGA: Sobre una fuga de Bach; Gran Jota :PAGANINI : Caprice No.24: AYALA: Choro : LAURO : Vals Venezolano No.1: DOMENICONI : Koyunbaba op.19.
Shine Horn: SC 1048
This Chinese CD might be a little tricky to find, but it could be well worth it, even though the material is popular and could be partially in your collections already, as Li Jie is indeed quite a player. The way she attacks the opening Serenata Espanola of Malats is a real ear – opener, especially as she puts quite a lot of her own stamp on it right from the outset.
The Aguado is not quite as well-known as it should be, but is a lovely work of some distinction, and a great deal of technical ability is needed to give it its full worth. Of course it is very much in the early to mid-19th century in style and so one can hear Sor and other guitarists from that period in its musical development. Nevertheless it is a lovely work that deserves more outings than it gets.
The Barrios Estudio de Concierto No1 is an almost constant stream of short notes and fast runs, and really comes to life here on this recording.
The Bach Prelude is the one from the Cello Suite No1 has several different voices running in and out of it, in a version I have not heard before, but it is an interesting listen, as it has a fair number of extra parts here.
Andrew York’s famous Sunburst is vibrant and lively and absolutely no difficulty for our player, who makes it seem a great deal of fun, and indeed a whole lot easier to play than it really is! This is one of the best versions of this I have heard, and wait till you hear the really tricky part about half way in, where the notes simply fly of her fingers! Wonderful!
The other Tarrega piece is not as well-known as perhaps some of his others, but is still a lovely piece, serious but moving throughout.
The Caprice No24 of Paganini was originally for violin and remains to this day one of the most difficult pieces on any instrument. Having heard a few people play it on guitar including Galina Vale some years ago, I was expecting that no one could top that, but this performance is quite something. The fast – moving runs of notes are never less than brilliantly negotiated.
Ayala’s Choro is one of the least known pieces here, and as you might expect, the Latin rhythms dominate this warm friendly piece, which is a lot of fun.
Tarrega’s Gran Jota is quite a work for any player, but Li Jie doesn’t have any trouble , as with all the other fast moving pieces, she makes it sound easy, which it definitely is not, even though its eleven minutes would make many guitarists pale at the thought of playing it.
The famous Venezuelan Waltzes of Antonio Lauro are very popular work for players and listeners alike, and our player puts a slightly different feel on it at times, by giving it a little bit of freedom in the odd place, thus making it have a bit more emotion than you might expect.
Barrios’ Vals No4 is very much the speed that Barrios played it, as witnessed on his recording of it, and I would imagine that Li Jie has definitely heard his original version as she takes a great deal from it in the way of speed, style, and emotion.
The final track is Domeniconi’s famous Koyunbaba which was one of those pieces some years ago that seemed to crop up on many recitals as it was so different and also very cleverly written. Li Jie gives it her all, and concludes the CD admirably well with a wonderful performance of it.
This really was a lovely CD full of mostly well – known pieces, but even so, given a new aura in the way she plays them, and finds something a little different to say. As a result this really is a CD that you would get a lot from if the material therein appeals!