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Kenneth Keaton
American Record Guide, November 2017

This is Volume 2 of Federico Moreno Torroba’s works for guitar and orchestra. I reviewed the first, warmly…and I have nothing but praise for this as well.

On both releases the soloist is either Pepe Romero or his student Vicente Coves. Pepe—indeed, the whole Romero family—is close to the composer, and many of his works were written for them, including the Tonada Concertante here. Pepe, now in his 70s, is as strong a player as he has ever been and shows no sign of slowing. His technique is legendary, his taste infallible, his pure joy in making music a perfect match for Torroba. Coves, soloist in the Concierto de Castilla and the brother of conductor Manuel, is a worthy protege, playing with the same mastery and taste as his mentor.

As for the music, I can only say that it is astonishing that these works—and the rest of his concertante works for guitar and orchestra—are so rarely performed. They are unfailingly lyrical, with gorgeous melodies, sparkling orchestration, and a perfect balance with guitar. I still haven’t been able to accept the many concertos coming out recently that require amplification to be heard. Rodrigo knew how to achieve that balance, as did Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Torroba. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Phillip Scott
Fanfare, September 2017

Like the first volume, this issue amounts to a beguiling (if unchallenging) program of warm-hearted music that ought to be heard more frequently. The Extramadura Symphony Orchestra makes a strong contribution, as did the Málaga Philharmonic in the first volume. The Coves brothers are exceptional musicians, Pepe Romero has long been acknowledged as a master of this repertoire, and the sound balance and quality are first-rate. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, August 2017

Romero’s pupil Vincente Coves plays as beautifully as his mentor. The Extremadura Orchestra sounds every bit as idiomatic and vibrant as one would hope for in this music.

The music is captivating, with Castilian-Spanish folk elements vying with a kind of neo-impressionist shimmer and lyricism. The solo guitar parts have bravura and introspection at the forefront alternatingly. © 2017 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, July 2017

Superb playing and idiomatic orchestral support mark all three performances… © 2017 The WholeNote Read complete review




James Manheim
AllMusic.com, June 2017

Pepe Romero, perhaps the dean of living Spanish guitarists, is undiminished in his mid-seventies, and he has used this album and its predecessor to introduce his student, Vicente Coves, as a possible successor. …Probably the most effective is the opening Homenaje a la seguidilla, a well-crafted and colorful folkloristic work with wonderfully varied guitar writing. Naxos nails the engineering at the Palacios de Congresos in Badajoz, capturing the careful balances—always the challenge in guitar music—forged by Manuel Coves. Never less than enjoyable. © 2017 AllMusic.com Read complete review




Infodad.com, May 2017

In all three works, the Extremadura Symphony Orchestra plays with real panache, reveling in the concertos’ rhythms and responding quickly and with apparent ease to Manuel Coves’ direction. Torroba himself was a conductor of some skill, notably in his own music, and would likely have appreciated Manuel Coves’ attentiveness to the contrasts between these works’ soft and gentle sections and their bold and flamboyant ones. © 2017 Infodad.com Read complete review



Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), April 2017

Federico Moreno Torroba composed about one hundred works for the guitar, reinforcing his status as one of Spain’s great 20th-century composers. Homenaje a la seguidilla pays lively tribute to that characteristically Spanish song and dance, while the Tonada concertante is in turns playful and introspective. Concierto de Castilla features a free-spirited lyricism evocative of the folklore of Castile, a vast expanse in the middle of Spain with which the composer strongly identified. © 2017 WFMT (Chicago)



Blair Jackson
Classical Guitar, April 2017

…all three are lushly Romantic in character, redolent with Spanish personality throughout, and each contains multiple cadenzas that afford the guitarist many opportunities to flex his creative muscles, whether it’s through rasgueado strumming, tremolo passages, flashy runs, or beautiful, heart-piercing melodic flights. Movement to movement there’s tremendous variety, but the essential lyricism never really leaves for a second, whether it’s a sweeping orchestral statement or a quiet moment of introspection. © 2017 Classical Guitar Magazine Read complete review



Records International, April 2017

This series, perfect for people tired of the usual Spanish guitar-and-orchestra repertoire, continues with the first of Torroba’s ten guitar concertos, the 1960 Concierto de Castilla (yes, he wrote his first of ten concertos at the age of 69!) which evokes the lyricism of Castilian folksong. The homenaje of 1962 and the Tonada (1975–80) continue in similar style, the former adding dashes of American jazz of the Gershwin type to its Spanish ambience. © 2017 Records International



David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2017

The second in a series of three discs that is bringing together the complete works for guitar and orchestra by the highly prolific Spanish composer, Federico Torroba. Most were written for his friend and famous guitarist, Andrés Segovia, though latterly they were intended for the Romero family. His original popularity in his homeland came from a series of zarzuelas—a form of Spanish operetta—but by the middle part of his life they had lost their attraction to modern audiences. Today his international presence comes almost entirely from almost a hundred works for guitar in various formats, the celebrated Pepe Romero joined on this release by his outstanding pupil, Vicente Coves, in three works for guitar and orchestra. The Homenaje a la seguidilla pays tribute to the song and dance known as a ‘seguidilla’, its three contrasting movements shaped from a slow central Andante surrounded by vivacious dances, the finale in the style of a ‘pop’ classic. Technically it is not a showpiece score but one of charm and appealing melodic invention. Torroba was at the end of his long life when he completed the Tonada concertante for Angel Romero, the ‘father’ of the family who premiered the work in 1982. Never a composer who kept a place among contemporary figures, his music was wedded to the late 19th century, this work mostly falling into the ‘easy to listen to’ classification. From 1960 the Concierto de Castilla, is a more pungent and important score, its content readily settling into the memory. Romero plays the first two works, with the sensitive hands of Vincent Coves quite outstanding in the demands of the Concierto. Conducted by Manuel Coves, the Spanish regional orchestra, Extremadura Symphony, is very fine, and if you already enjoy the better known works by Rodrigo, then you will most certainly want to add this very well recorded disc. © 2017 David’s Review Corner





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