Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Gentle and tuneful guitar music from South America

From February 11, 2011:


Guitarist Andres Villamil brings us a lovely mix of music from his homeland of Colombia, in this new disc in the Debut series from Oehms. These pieces are often reminiscent of Tarrega or Villa-Lobos, and many are suffused with a very appealing sense of melancholy and beauty. Occasionally one encounters the more lively rhythms that one associates with the Andes. Standouts include Jose Antonio Morales's Pueblito Viejo, an arrangement by Villamil of a graceful waltz which is considered a classic in Colombia; and Samuel Bedoya's Seis por Numeracion, a kind of guitar etude that ends up being as fun to listen to as I'm sure it is to play. But my favourite works on this disc are the four pieces written by Andres Villamil himself. The prelude Camburpinton transports Bach, via Villa-Lobos, to the Colombian jungle. The CD's title piece, Chicaquicha, makes reference to the indigenous people of Villamil's home region, and is written in the form of a bambuco. Mery, written for the composer's mother, is a pasillo, another graceful and slightly sad Colombian dance with a more urgent middle section. His homage to Piazzolla, which ends the program, adapts Andean rhythms to the tango style.

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