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Kenneth Keaton
American Record Guide, July 2015

…I found Fantoni’s playing admirable. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2015

The Spanish-born composer, Manuel Castillo, was one of the few working in the field of guitar music who belonged to the progressive element of the 20th century. At the same time he was also among those who integrated atonalism with the basic concept of melodic invention. The two elements when brought together opening up so many possibilities, as you will find in the four short movements of his Sonata from 1986. I do not find in his biography that this onetime pupil of Nadia Boulanger ever studied the guitar, but that score shows how greatly he understood the technical potential of the instrument, and the range of colours possible. It also shows how adept he was at creating so many contrasting moods in a short time-frame. Much more extensive are the seductive sounds for the pictures contained in Kasidas del Alcazar, a score drawing its inspiration from Arabia. Where the Sonata demands considerable dexterity, this tone-poem looks towards the integration of two guitars, the interplay that is possible, and the subtle shades at their disposal. This work shares the majority of the disc with a Guitar Quintet scored for string quartet with the guitar in a quasi-solo role. Frequently atonal in mode but linking ideas as if in a melodic concept, its two proactive outer movements encasing an adagio of unusual sonorities. The Cancion de cuna (Cradle Song) for soprano and guitar, is one of three attractive shorter works that complete the disc, all but Kasidas del Alcazar receiving their world premiere recording. The performances from the young Italian, Marcello Fantoni, are highly persuasive; the Castillo Quartet—specially created for this recording—obviously a fine group, with Eleonora Mosca as a relaxing voice for the Cradle Song. Very good sound quality. © 2015 David’s Review Corner

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