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Marc-André Quinto
Journal de la société de guitare de Montréal, November 2001

"La pierre angulaire de cet enregistrement est certainement le 10 études retrouvées recemment (1990) par M.Mantanya Orphee et dont M. Holmquist a préparé la première édition. Les études sont intéressantes tant au niveau du challenge technique que de leur lyrisme; certaines études lentes rivalisent par leur charme avec les meilleurs efforts de ses collègues. Hormis ces études, ce DC propose Introduction et Caprice Op. 23 et Fête Villageoise Op. 20, deux pièces bourrées de tous les éléments clichées du style: arpèges et gammes rapides et brillantes, glissandi, passages en octaves, etc.

Ces deux pieces ne se demarquent pas du repertoire. Mis a part quelques malheureux " squeaks ", ce DC en est un de grande qualite, comme a peu pres tous ceux que nous propose Naxos depuis quelques annees."



Steven Rings
American Record Guide, December 2000

"Naxos's complete guitar works projects keep coming; this is Volume 1 of the guitar works of Regondi, played marvelously by John Holmquist...

The enthusiasm that surrounded the rediscovery of these etudes was fully warranted; they are harmonically as rich as any guitar music of the century, but at the same time they don't drag or wander as works by Coste and Mertz often do (the lengthy 2 may be an exception to this). Regondi also displays a gift for melody and phrase extension in these works that is sorely lacking in many of the works of his contemporaries. The stunning 4 and 8 are perhaps the most memorable in this respect.

The only aspect of the pieces that becomes somewhat tiring when they're taken as a whole is Regondi's failure to vary the figuration, or worse, his wholesale confusion of figuration with melody itself. This is one of the things that really hurts 2 and becomes a problem in nearly all of the works when heard in one sitting. But taken in small groups of two or three etudes, such problems retreat into the background and one is left to admire Regondi's wonderfully fertile musical imagination.

The other two works here are bravura concert pieces in the best 19th Century tradition. The Introduction and Caprice is perhaps Regondi's best work apart from the etudes, with harmonic breadth and tunes that shine through all of the virtuoso passagework. The Fete Villageoise participates in a rich romantic tradition of musical idealizations of rural village life that goes back to Beethoven's 6th and is most notable in the guitar literature in the works of Coste. This work is less substantial than the Introduction and Caprice, but it maintains interest through some fine harmonic shifts and dramatic transitions.

Holmquist's playing is magnificent in everything. His sound is robust, and his superlative technique allows the numerous decorative lines to sparkle without becoming heavy. Holmquist infuses each line with extraordinary energy, propelling each phrase forward. The production is outstanding; the sheer purity of the recorded tone of the instrument makes this disc hard to put back in its case."





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