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  • chrisdumigan

Marko Topchii : Guitar recital : CD

JOSE: Sonata for Guitar: CASTELNUOVO – TEDESCO: Capriccio Diabolico Op85 (Homage to Paganini) : MARTIN: Quatre Pieces Breves: KOSHKIN: Introduction and Vivace: DYENS: Libra Sonatine.

Marko Topchii

Naxos : 8. 573963

As part of their Laureate series, here is Marko Topchii performing 5 pieces from very well respected guitar composers, firstly beginning with Antonio Jose Martinez Palacios (who only used his first two Christian names when composing), and his Sonata which he finished writing in August 1933.It was not discovered again until over 50 years later, and moreover is the only piece he wrote for our instrument, not being a guitarist himself. The four movements are a complex Allegro Moderato, a gentle Minueto, a very slow and emotive Pavana Triste, and last of all a vivacious Final, beautifully captured by Topchii. Incidentally as with all non – player composers of the guitar the original manuscript has numerous places where the actual notes had to be re- arranged someone to make it work.

Then we move to Mario Castelnuovo – Tedesco one of the 20th Century’s greatest guitar composers who wrote a huge amount for our instrument, initially at the request of Andres Segovia, one of which was this famous work Capriccio Diabolico, a homage to Paganini, as shown in the numerous very fast runs that really do require a great technique to play, and again a fact which does not bother our player here at all, as the performance is really brisk, and absolutely wonderfully done.

The Swiss composer Frank Martin’s Quatre Pieces Breves are the only solo pieces he wrote for guitar, (he did write two more ensemble works involving guitars) and at the time they were written had a very unusual sound world that made them totally different from most other pieces being written for guitar at the time. The four movements are Prelude, Air, Plainte, and Comme Une Gigue. Again these are fine performances although I wonder why , in the Air, our player sometimes double – dots the notes making them a little more abrupt than the score, but this is a small point in what is otherwise fine, with a final movement that really is Con Moto, and at a speed I have rarely heard!

Nikita Koshkin was a much admired composer, performer, and musicologist, whose works are still not as well-known as they ought to be. This Introduction and Vivace is quite a handful right from the opening Introduction, which really moves, and is almost as much a Vivace as the 2nd movement, which is technically very unforgiving but is no problem for our performer who really brings out the piece’s excitement.

The final work by much – missed Roland Dyens, a stunningly good player, and composer, who wrote very many works for the guitar, and who I was lucky enough to see perform at Dillington one year. The three movements of the Sonatine, India , Largo and Fuoco are, as you might expect virtuosic in every way, full of amazingly complex runs, some harmonies that are mysterious, and completely his own , but never too difficult for a listener to enjoy (Playing them is another matter entirely, you understand! )

This recital is very good indeed, the pieces very well picked, and the performances sounding effortless, which they certainly are not. This is a recording that should appeal to many lovers of the guitar.

Chris Dumigan

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