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Craig Odgen in Concert

Craig Ogden (guitar) (Chandos)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
CHAN20159_Ogden

Craig Ogden in Concert
Works by JS Bach, Albéniz, Scarlatti, Villa-Lobos, Coste, Barrios, Coeck, Lenani, Tadic and Reinhardt
Craig Ogden (guitar)
Chandos CHAN 20159   75:16 mins

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This latest album in Craig Ogden’s extensive discography is neither themed on a book or a concept, nor the time of year, as some of his previous recordings, but a well-chosen programme of his favourite regular repertoire pieces. The less widely-familiar works here counter any presumed familiarity with the Granados, Albéniz and Villa-Lobos war horses.

And yet Ogden, as ever, puts his own convincing mark on works such as the Granados Andaluza and the Villa-Lobos Chôros No. 12,
from microsecond caesura, to decisions on where to accent, where to hold back and where to let loose. Elsewhere, the style varies from Scarlatti to Tadić, the latter’s Walk Dance ending the programme with vibrant and earthy punch, in stark contrast to the more obviously refined Scarlatti sonatas which open the programme.

In between, the animated
Le Départ by the winningly-named 19th-century composer Napoléon Coste, who dedicated this piece to the head of the Belgian Customs Service. Nothing dully administrative in this depiction of Russian forces leaving for the Crimea, however, and Ogden gives it great vigour. Barrios Mangorè’s Julia Florida, named for one of his pupils, is a gentler affair, lovely and tenderly played. Of the Bach selection from his Suite in E major, BWV 996, the Sarabande stands out, sombre, introspective and beautifully done, whilst the Bourrée is thoroughly alive with the dance.

The only slightly jarring stylistic leap is from Villa-Lobos to Reinhardt’s jazzy Nuages, its upbeat exterior a foil for the oppression of war.

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Sarah Urwin Jones