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Giv Cornfield
The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics, November 2008

This young Croatian guitarist is an award winning artist with a sweet tone and a great technique and expressive palette. What makes this recording even more enjoyable is the excellent and ambitious adaptation of one of Bach's more demanding solo violin works, and the introduction of virtually unknown repertoire by composers Asencio and Regondi. In this music and even more so in Rodrigo's 'In Praise of the Guitar', Ceku asserts his place among the elite guitarists of the world. The recording (in Ontario, Canada) by Norbert Kraft is a class act in itself!

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2008

This is one of those exceedingly rare occasions where I have enjoyed a transcription of music by Bach, the young Kosovo-born guitarist Petrit Ceku a very special newcomer to the international scene.

Twenty-three years old and with a long catalogue of competition successes, Ceku bridges that gap between the lute and the guitar in his account of the second sonata from the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin. Drying out the sound by removing vibrato, he arrives at that clean-cut lute quality while retaining the intrinsic guitar sound. To this he adds a nice sense of period style, and if the transcription misses the violinist’s required virtuosity, the result is entirely pleasing. We move back to original guitar compositions with two Etudes by the eminent 19th century guitarist, Giulio Regondi, and the Suite Valenciana by a composer little represented on disc, Vincente Asencio. As a sample try the Suite’s second movement, Canconeta (track 8), Ceku’s sense of repose revealing a performer of uncommon musical intellect. When technical adroitness is required in the outer movements of Rodrigo’s Elogio de la guitarra (In Praise of the Guitar), Ceku provides it in abundance. He further pleases me by his avoidance of noisy left hand shifts that I find so annoying and an affectation in too many guitarists. His choice of works is not one that will catch the impulse buyer, but it richly deserves success. The engineering comes from Naxos’s Canadian team who are unsurpassed in this genre.

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