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Kenneth Keaton
American Record Guide, March 2017

The Fantasy on Themes from La Traviata is a piece I dearly love, though mainly because I love the opera. But the melodies transfer well to the guitar, and Doneyan plays it as if he loves the opera as much as I do. …This is my favorite of all of Doneyan’s program; it’s even finer than Boyd’s very fine performance.

Doneyan is a major talent, and I look forward to his future releases. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2016

It’s another day and somewhere, a guitarist is winning a competition award, this time it was Armen Doneyan taking Silver Medal in the 2015 Guitar Foundation of America. Born in France in 1989, he began guitar lessons at the age of six and has since built an educational background that has included among his mentors some of the world’s famous guitarists. His choice of programme is the predictable mix of styles and technical prowess that will make the disc an ideal ‘visiting card’, and is, no doubt, derived from music played in his competitions that date back to 2008. The most extensive is Leo Brouwer’s popular Rito de los Orishas, the sultry opening eventually giving way to the exuberant Danza de las diosas negras I (Dance of the Black Goddesses) with its finger-knotting complexity. I do like Doneyan’s unhurried approach that concentrates on sound-colours, an attribute he also brings to Joaquín Turina’s Sonata. Here the lyric aspects are uppermost in his interpretation, the Andante emerging as a seductive serenade to contrast with the fiery Spanish dance finale. Together with Francisco Tarrega’s amusing fantasia on themes from Verdi’s La Traviata and Tansman’s pseudo-Baroque Passacaille, the remainder of the disc are vignettes, of which two of Villa-Lobos’s Twelve Etudes are a show Doneyan’s outstanding technical brilliance. Long gone are the days when the noisy movement of fingers over the fret proved so irritating, and with Naxos’s Canadian recording team we can enjoy a perfect guitar sound. A most interesting disc debut. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

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