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Brian Reinhart
MusicWeb International, December 2013

I can’t contain my excitement about this series. Thirty-odd newly commissioned guitar works could rejuvenate the entire Spanish guitar tradition, or it could produce a lot of crummy music. Adam Levin’s first volume contains no crummy music, a lot that delights, and outstanding playing. History in the making? © MusicWeb International



Al Kunze
Soundboard Magazine, December 2013

Recorded sound throughout is, of course perfect, and flawlessly captures the range of Levin’s playing from considerable violence to extreme delicacy. Excellent notes by the performer. It is refreshing to encounter an entire album of new works…I look forward eagerly to the next installment in this important series. © 2013 Soundboard Magazine Read complete review




Kenneth Keaton
American Record Guide, September 2013

Adam Levin’s playing is superb—no technical difficulties, lovely tone, wide range of dynamics and articulation. …I can’t imagine them played with more conviction, expression, and sheer joy. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




Brian Reinhart
MusicWeb International, August 2013

There’s a gratifying amount of diversity on display here. From Leonardo Balada, a more abstract voice of an older generation who grew up trained in avant-garde techniques, to Ricardo Llorca’s Handeliana, an overt tribute to the past, the pieces suggest that the Spanish guitar scene is as varied, exciting, and as full of activity as it ever was.

…these are all important contributions to the repertoire, for which we have Levin to thank. He’s clearly overjoyed to be playing them: you see it in his words in the booklet, and hear it on every track. These composers could not have asked for a better, more thoughtful and dedicated guitarist to premiere their works. If I’m especially excited about Vazquez’ Nostos, it’s as the crowning jewel of a superb CD produced by Norbert Kraft and Bonnie Silver to the high standards almost every Naxos guitar CD sets.

There are three more volumes to come. If they’re as good as this, they’ll form one of the most exciting guitar series of the century so far. © MusicWeb International Read complete review



Chris Morgan
Scene Magazine, July 2013

…this particular Naxos recording may eventually take its place alongside Julian Bream’s seminal 1967 recording 20th Century Guitar as one of the essential collections of solo instrumental performance released in the past 50 years. In 2008, acclaimed American musician Adam Levin began a journey to trace the cultural threads connecting 20th century Spanish composers… The result is a formidable compilation of pieces which embraces the past while boldly and unapologetically stepping into the future. By initiating this recording project and also performing all these compositions, Levin demonstrates why he is considered to be one of the world’s foremost guitar virtuosos, as well as a thoughtful scholar and creative visionary. Bring in the new. © 2013 Scene Magazine Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2013

The first of four discs to be issued by Naxos that will explore the growing repertoire of major works for guitar written by Spanish composers during the 21st century. Of the seven chosen, the only name with which you will be familiar is Leonardo Balada, but he is now eighty and hardly one of the new world. In fact for all of Adam Levin’s pleading his cause for a new era of music, conservative listeners should not panic, for there is much here to which they will readily relate. Even when we do lift anchor from the safety of tonality, the sounds produced by atonality are so colourful as to make one forget their parentage comes from the dreaded Second Viennese School. Or to put it another way, I guess you will find something of interest in each of the nineteen tracks, not least Ricardo Llorca’s Handeliana (Variations on a theme by G.F. Handel). Elsewhere there is a lot of interesting scene painting and dances, Salvador Brotons’s Dues Noves Suggestions from 2011, being a particularly enjoyable creation. Though Balada and Octavio Vazquez offer the two extended works on the disc, most tracks are short, the larger-scale works made up of cameos. The idea has come from the multi-award winning guitarist… the dexterity of both hands bringing admirable agility to the many mercurial passages. Naxos’s usual Canadian recording team is your guarantee of excellence. © David’s Review Corner



Paul Fowles
Classical Guitar Magazine

…Adam Levin has put heart and soul into assembling this programme and is passionate about his findings.

…we’re in no doubt that Adam Levin is a stylish and highly skilled player who’s equally home with the challenging, the lyrical and the playful. Having dug deep into the first category with the Morales-Castro and the Balada, he has ample opportunity to explore the other two in the delightful six-movement valedictory offering by Octavio Vazquez, a work positively brimming with seductive melodies and infections humour. Most exhilarating of all is the central Gigue, a textbook example of a rollicking fun piece that must be an absolute stinker to play with the required velocity. © Classical Guitar Magazine






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11:49:15 AM, 28 August 2014
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