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Lorenzo Micheli : Miguel Llobet Guitar Music : CD

LLOBET: Scherzo – Vals; Estudio Capricho; Mazurka ; 13 Catalan Folksongs; Respuesta; 5 Preludes; Mazurka por Federico Bufaletti; 4 Folksongs Estilo Popular Argentino; Leonesa; Estudio en Mi Mayor; Romanza; Variaciones Sobre Un Tema De Sor.

Lorenzo Micheli

Naxos: 8 557351

A CD with just one composer is always quite an undertaking, but when that composer is Miguel Llobet, then the player really HAS to be good to make it work. Of course in the space of just one CD you cannot get absolutely everything that Llobet wrote for the guitar, but one thing is certain, the player has to be a really excellent player to make these almost entirely virtuosic pieces sound natural and Micheli manages that task wonderfully, and having spent years with the complete Llobet works in my library, I know just how difficult they really are.

Most guitarists know at least the Catalan Folksongs arrangements via many previous recordings of at least a few of them , and wonderful pieces they all are, but his other original works are not as well – known , and they definitely deserve to be. Anyone familiar with the fabulous set of books from Chanterelle of the complete works, whether it be original, or arranged will of course realize just how miraculous a player Miguel Llobet was, and the fact that it was only in 2009 that the complete works came out in print (because new pieces kept being found here and there and now the fully complete set is 6 CDs) that you then recognize a master player/writer when you come across him.

Lorenzo Micheli really does make a fine job of this wonderful set of pieces, none of which are at all second –rate. The works that do not stem from the Catalan Folksongs set such as the Scherzo – Vals is fast, exciting, and a real technical problem for anyone who does not have an absolutely wonderful technique, but that doesn’t even enter our minds when listening to this recording. For you can immediately take it as read that the playing is exemplary and you can simply listen to the recordings and take them for the first rate pieces they are, which is how it should be! Llobet’s imaginative harmonisations are like nothing else on the classical guitar and although he wrote many works, you yearn for just a few more of the same quality from him, so good are they.

Micheli plays wonderfully on this CD and all I can say is that if you know these pieces, or at least some of them, these are some of the best versions you will ever find anywhere, and if you really don’t know anything about this mast player/composer, then you really are in for a treat!

Chris Dumigan

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