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LABELS: Bridge
ALBUM TITLE: Fantasie villageoise
WORKS: Fantaisie villageoise; Studies
PERFORMER: David Starobin (guitar)
Fernando Sor was the guitar’s definitive master of the Classical period. He found forms and textures that respected both instrument and style, and evolved a technique that made for adventure. The virtuosity goes into making the guitar serve Classical ideals of beauty and balance, and what the player often has to sweat over is making it sound lucid and poised. One of this CD’s many virtues is having booklet notes that tell you the tricks.


Starobin’s programme shows the makings of Sor’s technique and some of its finest fruits. Intimately recorded, he is consummately on top of it, letting art conceal art in the studies and taking a dramatic perspective on the Op. 20 Variations, in which the coda aspires to Mozartian flair. In the Fantaisie villageoise, like a miniature ballet with clanging bells and vocal effects, poetry and precision unite with gusto. Robert Maycock