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David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2020

The Brazilian guitarist, Pedro Aguair, born in 1990, has a long list of international prizes, including winning the 2018 ‘Alhambra’ competition leading to this recording.

He has chosen a programme of music by 20th century Brazilian composers from both well-known composers and those looking for a place in the international concert scene. Many, have no doubt been chosen to showcase Aguiar’s technical brilliance, Escobar’s 1993 mercurial Baiao de Lacan, taken at a ‘mind-blowing’ speed without even the hint of a smudge. In Villa-Lobos’s popular Choros he displays an innate shaping of phrases without taking undue liberties, an appraisal I could so often use throughout the disc. Almost as an obligation he includes the competition’s test piece, Garcia Aguilera’s El reloj de Teresa, which takes almost nine minutes of the disc’s time. There is a feeling of repetition within many tracks, a fact instigated by the use of dance rhythms. My own favourite ones come with the slow and seductive Valseana from Assad’s Aquarelle, this acts as a foil for Savio’s pulsating Batucada. Elsewhere there is much that I would describe as ‘pleasing padding’, and tells us little about this emerging young virtuoso guitarist. He certainly has the massive benefit of an outstanding recording from the Canadian engineer, Norbert Kraft. © 2020 David’s Review Corner

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