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  • chrisdumigan

Sara Celardo : Sara Celardo : Digital

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

CASTELNUOVO – TEDESCO: 24 Caprichos de Goya Op195 No18 – El Sueno de la Razon Produce Monstruos; Sonata Op 77 ‘ Omaggio a Boccherini’ ; Capriccio Diabolico Op85a ‘ Omaggio a Paganini’ : REGONDI: Introduction and Caprice Op23 : BACH: Violin Partita No2 BWV 1004 V. Chaconne.

Sara Celardo G – 1806

Having won 1st prize in the Fiuggi Guitar Festival Competition in 2017, this latest recording was inevitable and one can instantly glance at the repertoire and realise that she has chosen some hefty pieces indeed, and with half the recital being that of pieces by Maria Castelnuovo Tedesco, the first piece of which comes from a huge collection of 24 pieces each named after a painting of Goya which is a serious collection full of some of the most demanding pieces from this superb composer. The title translates as The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, and indeed the actual painting shows a lady asleep with her head in her hands, and surrounded by a large mixture of frightening monsters, so one might think that the music would be full of heavy dissonances, but that is not the case , and the actual piece is very thoughtful, and reflective and just shows any of you what a great set this 24 pieces is, should you want to expand your guitar repertoire either with the sheet music, or the complete recordings which has been done elsewhere. Then Celardo continues with one of the composer’s most famous pieces, the four - movement Sonata ‘Omaggio a Boccherini written for Segovia, and published in his Schott editions decades ago. The poetic nature of the four contrasting movements are nicely performed, for nothing by this composer is easy, as not being a guitarist, he would write a lot of very musical ideas that would usually not be guitaristic, simply because he had a minimal idea of what guitaristic music was. That doesn’t however take away the fact that I have seen nearly his entire guitar repertoire, and there is nothing that is dull or boring at all. This beautiful Sonata is an early example of him at his best, and Sara Celardo does is full justice. The final work by Castelnuovo – Tedesco is another work that really takes some playing, and many have tried over the years, and not all been very successful in capturing its unique style. There is no problem here however, and our player makes it sound easy!

Giulio Regondi has left us surprisingly little guitar music, but what we do have is superb in every respect, for as an early Romantic guitarist he also manages to make his music very individual and say something that few others could get close to. This Introduction and Caprice Op23 is a fine example of his beautiful writing, and shows what a wonderful guitarist he must have been, especially when the great guitar composer Fernando Sor , dedicated a piece to him , when he was only 9 years old, but already a fabulous player.

The final piece is one of the Everests of the guitar, the final movement, all 14 + minutes of it, of the Violin Partita No2 by J.S. Bach, a piece again treated with reverence by anyone who sees it, and tries to do it justice. Again this is a popular piece on recordings, having been performed dozens of times on CDs and vinyl before that. Our player manages to capture its essence really well, as a series of variations on a ground bass that never ceases to amaze listeners as such a wonderful piece of writing, and surely one of Bach’s most loved instrumental pieces. It proves a fitting conclusion to what is a very worthwhile recital full of great pieces of music superbly played by this accomplished guitarist.

Chris Dumigan

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