Villa-Lobos, Sor, de Falla, Torroba, T‡rrega, etc

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COMPOSERS: de Falla,etc,Sor,Tárrega,Torroba,Villa-Lobos
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Preludes, Songs, Homages
WORKS: Works by Villa-Lobos, Sor, Falla, Torroba, Tárrega, Brouwer,
PERFORMER: Göran Söllscher (guitar)
CATALOGUE NO: 459 138-2
Why a record company wants to sell itself short is anybody’s guess. This collection is presented, patronisingly, as ‘unassuming meadow flowers’. What you get is some distinguished guitar repertoire, interspersed with ear-catching pieces by composers that will be new to most non-guitarists. Not that you learn about them from the notes, which bang on about ‘humble miniatures’ instead of giving anything so useful as information.


The pieces are short and they share a reflective rather than flamboyant style, which Söllscher’s intimate playing catches persuasively. But what a range! Villa-Lobos’s Five Preludes are the core, brooding and restless, spaced through the recorded sequence. Three rather Schubertian Etudes by Sor offset them. Falla’s Tombeau de Debussy is like a spare, lean version of what the Frenchman’s Spanish pieces aspired to. There are finely wrought character pieces by Abel Carlevaro (particularly delicate – here’s somebody it would be good to hear more of), Eduardo Falú (a touch of Schumann though he was born in 1923), and the more familiar Leo Brouwer.


The real lightweight content is about a quarter, and the effect of both context and performance is to heighten its impact – just what solo artistry is supposed to do. Robert Maycock