Rodrigo/Arnold/Takemitsu

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Rodrigo/Arnold/Takemitsu
LABELS: EMI
WORKS: To the Edge of Dream; Concierto de Aranjuez; To the Edge of Dream; Guitar Concerto
PERFORMER: Julian Bream (guitar); CBSO/Simon Rattle
CATALOGUE NO: CDC 7 54661 2 DDD
The intriguing title, taken from the Takemitsu, disguises the fact that this is yet another recording of the popular Rodrigo concerto; divorced here from its usualpartner, the same composer’s Fantasía para un gentilhombre. This is Bream’s fourth recording of it and it is a very good one; every bit as idiomatic as you would expect, and with a particularly responsive account of the famous slow movement. The Takemitsu is little more than a filler, but the jazz-influenced Arnold concerto is an attractive alternative coupling and is again very well performed.

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If I find it hard to get too excited about this disc it is perhaps due to the recording balance, which is a shade too natural for its own good. The engineers give Bream no help at all in projecting his instrument, which, as can happen in the concert hall, tends to get swamped by the orchestra – the CBSO on excellent form. Bream’s many admirers will want this disc, but for anyone just looking for a good recording of the Rodrigo the version by Bonell on mid-price Decca is hard to beat. David Michaels