Barrios, Villa-Lobos, Vivaldi (Arr. Rossetti-Bonell) & Granados

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Barrios,Villa-Lobos,Vivaldi (Arr. Rossetti-Bonell) & Granados
LABELS: EMI Debut
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Music for Guitar
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Dario Rossetti-Bonell (guitar)
CATALOGUE NO: CDZ 5 73499 2
Bringing musical character to life with a developed and subtle technique proves to be Rossetti-Bonell’s strength. This is just as well because the album contains eight valses and several more triple-time pieces.

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Collectors of guitar music (as opposed to casual listeners) will probably have at least half the contents already, so the quality of musicianship is a key factor in giving the disc some interest. Four dances by Barrios draw it out immediately. They are sophisticated and poetic, a guitarist’s belated parallel to Chopin. Rossetti-Bonell uses an imaginative range of colour with fine, fluent rubato.

His arrangement of the Vivaldi Mandolin Concerto is a heroic act of condensation, substituting instrumental contrast with quiet ingenuity through his changing resources of attack and tone. The Largo is the most musically sustained movement, and comes off best as he has the breadth of conception to accommodate it.

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Granados’s suite of valses, converted from piano pieces, are straightforward and neatly handled, but the musical high point is naturally the five Villa-Lobos Preludes. Rossetti-Bonell rises to the occasion with powerful lyrical feeling, plenty of rhythmic life, and some breathtaking feats of unshowy skill in music that needs virtuosity of the spirit as much as the fingers. Robert Maycock