Bach, Dowland, Mudarra, Rodrigo, Falla, Barrios, Albéniz & Tárrega

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Albéniz & Tárrega,Bach,Barrios,Dowland,Falla,Mudarra,Rodrigo
LABELS: Transart
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Filomena Moretti
WORKS: Fantasia; Three Spanish Pieces; Homenaje a Debussy
PERFORMER: Filomena Moretti (guitar)


Filomena Moretti’s live recital disc includes a certain amount of audience participation: clinking of glasses, coughing, dropping of heavy objects and well-deserved thunderous applause for an impressive performance. Bach transcriptions by Moretti’s teacher, Ruggero Chiesa, make for an attractive, easy-paced opening, in which Moretti – relaxed-sounding but never lazy – judges tempi expertly and works up to an articulate, evenly sustained perpetuo mobile in the final Allegro. The guitar was already in need of retuning before Dowland’s gentle and touching Fantasia, but didn’t receive attention until Rodrigo’s Three Spanish Pieces. One wouldn’t go as far as saying the effort was wasted, but these tiresome, Jesuitical discourses are not the most appealing face of Spanish guitar music. The three Falla works that follow – Homenaje a Debussy and dances from The Three-Cornered Hat and El amor brujo – are several steps in the right direction, and draw from Moretti a sensitive response that combines strength with poetry. Barrios’s Sueño en la floresta leans heavily on its wearisome tremolo effects, but the summit of guitar esoterica is reached only in Tárrega’s Jota, a silly showpiece crammed with gimmickry that will probably be familiar only to guitarists. Ignorance was bliss. The recital ends, however, on a positive note, with a notorious Albéniz piece – Asturias – that shows off Moretti’s considerable dexterity.


Christopher Wood