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Kenneth Keaton
American Record Guide, September 2010

Larousse won the 2009 Guitar Foundation of America’s International Competition. A Naxos recording is part of the prize, and this is fully up to the standards of past winners.

The program is well chosen: Dowland, a couple of later romantic composers, Antonio Jose’s now ubiquitous sonata, and a more abstract work by Nuccio D’Angelo...The Jose is a great piece, and is showing up more often on recitals...The Coste performance is excellent...his pacing and phrasing are still in tune with the composer’s world. Regondi’s Introduction and Caprice is beautifully played...The Dowland set brings great pleasure, especially his performance of a rarely heard Fantasie, one of three based on chromatic lines, that can sometimes sound almost like Gesualdo. It builds to a startling climax after extended, dark musings.

Larousse has a thorough technique, elegant phrasing, and an exquisite sound.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2010

Winner of the 2009 Guitar Foundation of America Competition, the French-born Florian Larousse, showcases a wide ranging programme. That he is most at home in music of the 20th century is manifestly evident in the outstanding account of Antonio Jose’s Sonata, a remarkable work from a young composer murdered by the Falangists in the Spanish Civil War. It demands a player of considerable brilliance, the music taking its inspiration from French Impressionists mixed with a fiery Spanish input, Rather ahead of its time among guitar compositions, the sheer impact makes for a vivid and hectic finale. I also much enjoyed his playing of the Two Lydian Songs from the Italian composer, Nuccio D’Angelo, in 1984. The first, sparse in texture, has a haunting feel as the music slowly unfolds, while the second is explosive. I do find the three lute pieces by John Dowland having little period feel, but that is inevitable when they are transferred to guitar. Elsewhere Larousse is well equipped to handle the challenges of Giulio Regondi’s Introduction and Caprice, and the pictures of the departure and return of the army in Napoleon Coste’s response to the French participation in Sebastopol. The soloist has been totally educated in his native France, latterly in the class of the famous Roland Dyens, and was just twenty-one when he celebrated success in the States. His finger-work in both hands is clear and mobile, and does not overstate dynamics, as is becoming too prevalent in the guitar world. He has the benefit of Naxos’s Canadian studio who provide a nicely reverberant sound, and in a world somewhat overcrowded with guitar competition winners, we wish him success.

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