Nicolas Guay:Paradise Borders
Updated: Apr 17
Contrastes Records: CR 201795
Reviewed 6th September 2018
French guitarist – composer Guay has produced a disc of his own works, the first of which is Pop Fantasy , dedicated to Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, and has a multitude of hammer – ons ,pull- offs, bent notes, and other pop influenced techniques , in what is a restless and definitely tricky , but enjoyable opening.
Prelude En Fa Diseur Mineur, is a slow sorrowful item, with harmonies that are modern but always tonal. Everything builds up and then recedes a number of times as the emotive qualities of the piece rise and fall. The following Prelude en Sol Mineur is dedicated to the memory of Roland Dyens and although it begins quietly and sadly, it soon develops into a frantic fast paced piece, reminiscent of Dyens legendary technique.
Sonata Campanas De La Esperanza is in three movements. The Theme immediately catches the attention with its Hispanic opening. This then evolves into an arpeggiated theme that goes through a number of uneasy and often nervously emotive ideas before linking into a tremolo – laden Plainte. The Final is jerky and restless and centered often around one repeated note, before reaching a frantic strumming laden close.
After four more varied Preludes comes the frantic and exciting Tarantella and the final three –movement Sonata No2 Hommage a Paco de Lucia. The mournful Allegro opening links to an emotional Choral and finally a very tricky sounding Danza. This is an involving disc beautifully played, and nicely recorded too.