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David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2012

Astor Piazzolla’s snapshots of The Four Seasons introduces Vladimir Gorbach, the young Russian winner of the 2011 Guitar Foundation of America Competition. Originally for a small chamber group that would have far more access to sound colours than the lone guitar, they are effective pieces beginning in spring and ending in winter. Played in effective transcriptions by Sergio Assad, they are at times of finger-twisting complexity that is easily negotiated by Gorbech’s in his open textured clarity. Unlike Vivaldi’s famous work of the same name, Piazzolla’s winter ends in peace and quiet, an exquisite moment from Gorbach. Far better to experience his technical brilliance in original music, the Rondoletto by Mauro Giuliani so full of happiness as it sends left hand fingers chasing around, though the jewel in the collection comes with Vicente Asencio’s Collectici intim (Intimate Collection). The twentieth century Spanish composer wrote in many genres, but was particularly attracted to the guitar. Its five sections carry titles that are translated to Serenity, Joy, Calm, Delight and Haste, and draw from the instrument some beautiful sounds in music of pure tonality that sit side by side with infectious exhilaration. Not the work’s first outing on Naxos, but always welcome…this is another example of superb guitar recording from Naxos’s Canadian team. © 2012 David’s Review Corner

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