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Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, October 2007

"Besides rhythmic [Barrios] he had rare melodic gifts and whether they are his own creations or adaptations of folk melody there is a lot here to engage the ear. There are also a number of ‘Estudios’ that have less to offer musically. They do however serve to show Jeffrey McFadden’s finger-work which of course is beyond reproach. "

Perhaps this isn’t the essential Barrios, for that one should turn to volume 1 (see review; see also Volume 2), but there is a lot here to enjoy; a lot to admire. The first three tracks are all gems: the extremely beautiful Paraguayan folk song, the rhythmical tango and the soft and beautiful Medallon Antiguo, played con amore.... País de Abanico in ¾ time has some interesting harmonic turns and Fabiniana sounds like an improvisation. It is a homage to Barrios’s concert partner, the famous violinist Eduardo Fabini. There is true Spanish flavour in Leyenda de España and Capricho Español and the concluding Tarantella is virtuosic."

"Some years ago I was deeply impressed by Jeffrey McFadden’s debut disc with music by Napoléon Coste. His playing here is just as deeply assured and well considered. Norbert Kraft and Bonnie Silver in their favourite venue in Newmarket have produced another winner."



Zane Turner
MusicWeb International, September 2007

"The playing on the review disc is probably best described as impeccable, and technically inspiring. Medallon Antiguo (3) is executed with a warmth and passion of which Barrios would have approved, given his inspiration for the composition. The studies (5, 6, 7, 9) reflect not only technical mastery, but also an insight into how the composer mastered the balance between technical development and musical content. A fine instrument by R. de Miranda, Milan, Italy augments McFadden’s warm and full tone."

"The current offering by Jeffrey McFadden is strong motivation to seek out his earlier two Barrios volumes which if anything akin to the review disc are guaranteed to please."



David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2007

Never give up on Naxos's projected cycles, and after what seems an eternity we have the third volume of Augustin Barrios's guitar works. Born in Paraguay in 1885, he advertised himself as "The Paganini of the guitar from the jungles of Paraguay". Though the first part may well have been true, he had been a well-trained musician who had studied in the country's capital, Asuncion. His early life was dedicated to playing the instrument wherever he could find an audience in his tours of South America, his reputation internationally unknown. What he knew of West European music came later in life and was mainly from composers dead before his birth, his music never taking anything from composers working in his lifetime. Much of his output was for his own use, the present disc covering his short salon pieces, most lasting just two or three minutes, and fell from popularity until recent times. There is plenty of jollity, tricky Latin American rhythms and attractive colours though in many works they have passed too quickly. Try the final track, the fast moving Tarantella for an induction into his musical world. That I have so enjoyed the disc largely resides in the quality of Jeffrey McFadden's immaculate playing, the Canadian-born musician one of the great artists to emerge towards the end of the 20th century. The razor-sharp right hand articulation creates wonderful clarity to the fast moving ornamentation, while his intonation is perfection. Maybe in the final analysis Barrios was a guitarist's guitarist, his thematic material just lacking that memorable content that drives itself into the memory. The sound quality could not have been improved upon.






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11:43:42 PM, 29 December 2014
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