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Xianji Liu and Andrea González Caballero, respectively winners of last year's Francisco Tárrega International Guitar Competition and the Alhambra International Guitar Competition, add to the splendour of the Naxos Guitar Laureate Series with their new recital recordings released this month. Their authoritative playing is matched by imaginative programming, which ranges from arrangements of Scarlatti keyboard sonatas to Britten's Nocturnal after John Dowland. Taken together, these performances showcase some of the most beguiling and evocative pieces ever written for the instrument.



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Guitar Recital: Liu, Xianji - SCARLATTI, D. / TÁRREGA, F. / SOR, F. / ALBÉNIZ, I. / MALATS, J. / PIAZZOLLA, A. / COSTE, N. / BERKELEY, L.
8.573813
Buy/Stream
Xianji Liu Guitar Laureate Recital
First Prize, 2016 Tárrega International Guitar Competition (Benicàssim)

SCARLATTI • TÁRREGA • SOR • ALBÉNIZ
MALATS • PIAZZOLLA • COSTE • BERKELEY

Xianji Liu, Guitar

When Xianji Liu became the first Chinese-born winner of the prestigious Francisco Tárrega International Guitar Competition in 2016, a new star emerged in the world of the classical guitar. Spanning the centuries and crossing the globe from Argentina to Britain, his recital includes some of the most beguiling and evocative pieces ever written for the instrument as well as four transcriptions so idiomatic to the guitar that they sound utterly natural on the six plucked strings.

Listen to an extract from
Scarlatti's Keyboard Sonata in G major



Guitar Recital: Caballero, Andrea González - CLERCH, J. / TÁRREGA, F. / ARCAS, J. / ASSAD, S. / BRITTEN, B. / CALANDÍN, E. / MANJÓN, A.J.
8.573767
Buy/Stream
Andrea González Caballero Guitar Laureate Recital
Winner, 2016 ‘Alhambra’ International Guitar Competition

CLERCH • TÁRREGA • ARCAS • ASSAD
BRITTEN • ALBÉNIZ • CALANDÍN • MANJÓN

Andrea González Caballero, Guitar

This programme by Andrea González Caballero, winner of the 2016 Alhambra International Guitar Competition in Spain, has been carefully chosen for comparison and contrast. Containing a wide range of compositional styles from the romantic 19th century to the present, it includes characteristic Spanish music by Tárrega and Albéniz, freshly minted works by some of today’s most important composers from Cuba, Spain and Brazil, as well as one of the most significant mid-20th-century works for guitar, the Nocturnal by Benjamin Britten.

Listen to an extract from
Britten's Nocturnal after John Dowland



Guitar Recital: Jara, Xavier - CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO, M. / COUPERIN, F. / DOWLAND, J. / RAWSTHORNE, A. / BOGDANOVIĆ, D. / ASSAD, S. / COLLINS, J.D.
8.573797
Buy/Stream
JUNE RELEASE
Xavier Jara Guitar Laureate Recital
Winner, 2016 Guitar Foundation of America Competition

CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO • COUPERIN
DOWLAND • RAWSTHORNE
BOGDANOVIĆ • ASSAD • COLLINS

Xavier Jara, Guitar

American classical guitarist Xavier Jara has taken first prize at numerous international competitions, including the prestigious 2016 GFA International Concert Artist Competition. This release stands out not only for the sheer musicality and technical brilliance of the performer, but for his imaginatively structured and adventurous programme. It balances the poetic beauty of John Dowland and Alan Rawthorne with the broad appeal of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Variations across the Centuries, technically challenging works by Dušan Bogdanović, as well as intriguing discoveries such as young composer Jeremy Collins’s Elegy.

Listen to an extract from
Jeremy D. Collins' Elegy


Listen to Raymond Bisha's podcast
about this release


About the Artists
Xianji Liu
Xianji Liu, the first ever Chinese-born winner of the Franciso Tárrega International Guitar Competition in Benicàssim, is an emerging star in the world of the classical guitar. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recital throughout Europe, China and the US, and has been invited to perform at a number of festivals. Xianji is also a member of the Beijing Guitar Quartet.
Andrea González Caballero
Andrea González Caballero is one of the most acclaimed young guitarists of her generation. She made her solo debut at the age of eight and has since performed in international guitar festivals and halls such as the Spanish National Auditorium, King’s Cross in London, the Monterey Guitar Festival and the San Diego Guitar Festival. She has performed extensively across the United States, Europe and Asia to outstanding reviews.
Xavier Jara
American classical guitarist Xavier Jara moved to Paris in 2011 to study with Judicael Perroy for six years. He has been awarded first place in a number of international competitions including the Boston Guitarfest, the Gargnano, Italy Competition and the Tokyo International Competition. In 2016 Xavier Jara returned home to win the Rose Augustine Grand Prize in the Guitar Foundation of America’s International Concert Artist Competition.


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