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  • chrisdumigan

Various Artists : Classical Chill Guitar : Double CD

MYERS: Cavatina (Matt Withers) : LOVELADY: Incantation No2 ( Grigoryan Brothers): BACH: Cantata "Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe" BWV 156 (Grigoryan Brothers): CHARLTON: Dances for the Rainbow Serpent: 3. The Beauties of the World Are Revealed for the First Time (Guitar Trek): KOCH: The Unveiled Queen (Gareth Koch):ORFF: Carmina Burana: Amor volat undique (Gareth Koch): SCHUBERT (Arr Mertz) Lob der Tränen, D711(Karin Schaupp with Umberto Clerici , Cello):GREENBAUM : Sonata for Guitar: III. Elated (Ken Murray): TRAD: Wild Mountain Thyme (Scott Tennant): BACH: Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major, BWV1012: 2. Allemande (Slava Grigoryan): McLEAN (Arr Chet Atkins) : Vincent (Matt Withers): LENNON- McCARTNEY (arr Toru Takemitsu) Yesterday : (Matt Withers): RACHMANINOFF: Vocalise Op34 No14 ( Grigoryan Brothers):CHARLTON: Afterthoughts II Reverie (After Debussy) (Gareth Koch) : TRAD: Banana Boat Song ( Grigoryan Brothers); ALBENIZ ; Tango Op165 No2 (Guitar Trek):MONTES: Preludio De Adios: (Matt Withers) :RODRIGO: Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar and Orchestra: 2. Adagio (Karin Schaupp with the Tasmanian S.O. cond. Benjamin Northey): BACH: Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007: 1. Prelude (Slava Grigoryan): VIVALDI (Arr S.Behrend) Concerto in D Major, RV93: 2. Largo : (Slava Grigoryan with the Tasmanian S.O. cond Benjamin Northey) :L.GRIGORYAN: Distance ( Grigoryan Brothers): BREL/JOUOANNEST (arr Roland Dyens) : La Chanson des vieux amants : ( Matt Withers) : MOZART ( arr. Timothy Kain) : Divertimento in D Major, K. 136: 2. Andante : (Guitar Trek) : BRAHMS: Intermezzo Op118 No2 (Guitar Trek); DEBUSSY : Suite Bergamasque III Clair De Lune ( leonard & Slava Grigoryan) :PIAZZOLLA : Tango Suite for Flute and Guitar II Andante (arr for 2 guitars)LLeonard & Slava Grigoryan) : SOR: L’Encouragement I.Cantabile ( Grigoryan Brothers) : RIGNEY: Two Swings in the Heart Shaped Garden: (Grigoryan Brothers): TRAD: Slow, slow, slow your boat ( Grigoryan Brothers) : P.HOUGHTON: News From Nowhere: 2. Drift "Slow Boat To Nowhere...Stars On Night Water In The Aqua Realm" : (Guitar Trek) : TRAD: Salley Gardens (Gareth Koch) : ISAACS: Angel ( Guitar Trek): DE FALLA :Suite Populaire Espagnole, de Siete canciones populares españolas III Asturiana V. Nana: ( Grigoryan Brothers) : PONCE: Dos canciones mexicanas: 2. Estrellita (Grigoryan Brothers) : BACARISSE : Concertino for guitar and orchestra in A Minor, Op. 72: 2. Romanza (Andante): (Karin Schaupp with the Tasmanian S.O. cond. Benjamin Northey).

Various Artists (Listed in brackets after each piece above)

ABC Classics: 28948177578

This double CD of more than two and a half hours of music played by eight guitar artists, whether solo duo or quartet with 36 tracks from Bach’s day to the recent present, has to be one of the most varied double albums ever to come my way! The CD is Australian as are all the artists.

Firstly I will not be commenting on 36 tracks separately, or it will be a book sized review, so I will pick several of the most interesting ones. After an opening Cavatina which although is apparently the John Williams arrangement has a very odd ‘wrong’ note towards the end of the piece, that is definitely not on the score, and is the first of several performances by Matt Withers, we come to a track by William Lovelady, whose music is always very clever and melodic, called Incantation No2 played by the Grigoryan Brothers. Having come across several pieces by Lovelady recently on another CD, none of which I had heard before, I am pleased to say that this one is every bit as good as the others I have come across. There are plenty of almost Jazz tones here in some of the solo runs that sound improvised but are obviously not!

Guitar Trek are a quartet who I have not previously come across , and judging by their performance here of the third movement of Charlton’s Dances for the Rainbow Serpent are a fine group, with a lovely low classical bass guitar providing some really deep resonant notes to the bottom of the sound.

Garth Koch is a well-known guitarist / composer, so I was delighted to see him on this collection, but a little astounded to see an arrangement of a movement from Carl Orff’s huge Carmina Burana. Unsurprisingly it is one of the smaller, quieter movements (I was trying to imagine a solo guitar version of the opening movement which has hundreds of people performing it, on a solo guitar! Not a likely option! ) As it was it was beautiful, very cleverly done, and fitted wonderfully on the guitar, a piece I would never have thought of arranging for one guitar, but…there you go!

Scott Tennent’s performance of the wonderful traditional tune, Wild Mountain Thyme is definitely one of the high points on this collection, and a version I would love to see the sheet music for.

Ken Murray plays one of the most interesting pieces, and one I haven’t heard before, the 3rd movement of Greenbaum’s Sonata for guitar, a most involving piece and again a beautiful work, wonderfully performed.

A fascinating inclusion is Matt Withers playing Chet Atkin’s arrangement of Don McLean’s Vincent, wonderful in its emotions, and beautiful from start to finish.

The Grigoryan Brothers play a work I haven’t heard before, Rigney’s Two Swings in the Heart Shaped Garden, a beautiful piece with a repetitive motif that goes on underneath the music, which is haunting and very memorable; a lovely piece of writing (and playing)

Guitar Trek do a beautiful version of Johannes Brahm’s Intermezzo Op118 No2, one of his last piano works, and a beautiful work full of warm and haunting harmonies, and so pianistic that you would struggle to think it would work on guitars, but work it does!

The last track is Bacarisse’s lovely guitar concerto, played by Karin Schaupp a lady who I go to know a couple of decades ago when she played in Manchester, and subsequently played some of my works. This performance shows what a lovely player she is, and how beautiful the concerto itself is, helped along by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra under conductor Benjamin Northey

So I hope that this little selection has shown all you readers that this is a wonderful set, full of effortless and beautiful performances , all recorded superbly, and so if a very large double CD of extremely varied pieces is to your liking, then you should go and hunt this set out!

Chris Dumigan

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