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Zane Turner
MusicWeb International, September 2008

This new recording by Montenegran guitarist Goran Krivokapić, includes all the studies that constitute Op. 6 and the eight that Segovia elected to include in his original edition.

Goran Krivokapić studied guitar with Mico Poznanovic, Srdjan Tosic, Hubert Kappel, Roberto Aussel and Carlo Machione. A list of his wins in international guitar competitions would be almost as long as this review. The technical facility he possesses has been defined as ‘freakish.’ This is his second recording for Naxos, and the first (Naxos 8.557809) him the Golden Guitar Award for the best CD of the year. His first such award was at the Tenth International Guitar Convention in Alessandria (Italy), 2005 for the best and up-and-coming guitarist.

From 1815 to 1822–23, Sor was an exile in London. A political refugee from circumstances in his own country, it was during this period that he wrote most of what appears on the review disc. Op. 6 was probably first published in England c. 1815–1817.

Op. 6, No 12—No. 14 from the Segovia edition—is one of the most sublime and musically attractive studies that Sor ever wrote. He reflects in this music all the melancholy and saudade that the Spaniard-in-London must have felt; sentiments paralleling those of the Portuguese political exiles in Brazil who, on their return, bought back a fado strongly infused with elements of Brazilian music. The Portuguese word saudade has no exact English equivalent, but infers melancholy and longing, especially for something or someone beloved that is lost. It often carries a furtive tone and a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never return. Sor may have sensed that he would never return to Spain; he died in Paris in 1839. Great mariners and colonizers, the Portuguese had empathy for saudade and it is a key element of fado, the native folk music.

There is no doubt Krivokapić possesses a refined and extensive technical faculty, but on this recording how does it compare with interpretive skills? While a degree of uniformity exists among past interpreters of this music, on occasion Krivokapić departs quite dramatically. The most conspicuous example is Op. 6 No 12. Segovia’s chosen tempo was Andante, and in accordance with the liner-notes, that is how Sor marked it. Krivokapić plays it faster than Op. 6 No.11 marked by Sor, Allegro moderato; Segovia marked it Movido. Generally his interpretation expunges all the magnificent melancholy and saudade with which Sor imbued the original. Paradoxically, Op 6 No. 11 receives empathetic treatment that compares favourably with the best…I have praise for much of what else appears on this recording. The Six Divertimenti are well performed and both Fantaisie, Op. 7 and Variations on a Theme of Mozart, Op. 9, nicely played…

James Manheim, August 2008

This recording by Montenegro’s Goran Krivokapic, one of a group of players from the Balkans who have made convincing recordings of Spanish repertoire, can compete with any Sor disc on the market, with technically unimpeachable playing and a program that perhaps resembles one Sor himself might have chosen. The engineering from Naxos…is fine here, with a simple clarity that complements Krivokapic’s straightforward style and none of the fetishization of performer noise so common in guitar recordings. Recommended for guitar enthusiasts or just as an introduction to Sor, for most of the pieces here are staples of guitar recitals.

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