Most of these works by French composers were written especially for Andrés Segovia, and those that were not nonetheless have an association with him. If an all-French guitar recital sounds intriguing, rest assured that it is a wonderful and diverse program. Much of the music is heavily influenced by Spain and by Segovia himself, so the novelty of a non-Spanish program is reduced somewhat.
Still, these pieces will undoubtedly enhance the solo guitar repertoire, a facet of music that has gotten enormous attention and contributions over the last few decades. The works within the Segovia Archive are predictably well-crafted and worth hearing. Many of these pieces do in fact have French flavor, or older French musical forms as inspiration. Even works that sound more "Spanish" in nature hold surprises, both in terms of inventive harmonics and unique timbre. Segovia was unquestionably the finest guitarist of his age, and as early as the mid-1920's, Parisian musical circles were very familiar with his gifts. As a result, these works confidently explore the full coloristic range of the instrument, even if few break truly new ground.
I raved about Roberto Moronn Pérez before, and I'll do it again. This is truly an ambitious and difficult project, but the guitarist makes it sound like a genuine labor of love. He navigates the varied colors and styles of each work with taste and refinement, not to mention conviction and great artistry. He's again captured in typically excellent Reference Recordings sound, and the whole concept of Pérez's albums is so sincere and convincing that you can't wait to hear what he'll do next. Different, yet not radically so, this disc is another winner.
Copyright © 2014, Brian Wigman