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Kenneth Keaton
American Record Guide, July 2011

Guitarist Bernier is the first prize winner of Italy’s Michele Pittaluga Competition…He is a fine player, with a virtuoso technique and a wide range of timbre and dynamics, imaginative and expressive. He is an excellent advocate for Garcia Abril’s music, and I hope this recording leads to his music becoming more widely known and played in the US.

To read the complete review, please visit American Record Guide online.

WRUV Reviews, March 2011

Anton Garcia Abril (b. 1933) a Spanish composer of all kinds of music, here displays his skills for the guitar—contemporary and beautiful. Play all!

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2011

With a large collection of international competition prizes, Francisco Bernier is the soloist in music by Spain’s most prolific 20th century guitar composer, García Abril. Born in 1933 he has combined a teaching career in composition at the Conservatoire in Madrid with an output in every genre from opera to solo instrumental music. The present disc covers works from the period beginning in 1981 with the five Evocaciones in homage to the great Spanish guitarist, Andres Segovia, its five section being musical pictures suggested by a literary connection of poems and books from great Spanish writers. They move at a measured pace concentrating on beauty, and, at times, the wistfully quality of the instrument. There is a complete change of mood for a vivacious finale. The Fantasia Mediterranea, came six years later its fast changing time signatures presenting a challenge of dexterity to the performer. No less taxing is the three-movement sonata which dates from 1994, its central movement pensive in nature to set against the pungency of the finale. Already available on Naxos, the three Preludios picture Paris, Athens and Madrid as seen through the eyes of the composer, his Madrid a very lively place. Bernier is the composer’s highly persuasive promoter, technical demands brushed aside as tempos and moods flow effortlessly from his fingers. It comes from Naxos’s renowned Canadian recording team.

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