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.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Complex and Diverse

From May 16, 2014:


Classical music in South America has, more often than in the rest of the world, a hard-wired link to popular musical forms. This connection runs both ways, of course. The “tango nuevo” of Astor Piazzolla was based on popular dances of the streets of Buenos Aires and the pampas, but with a significant contribution from baroque and classical music and Parisian modernism, as well as jazz.

Composer/guitarist Ricardo Capellano’s new CD “Concierto tanguero para guitarra solo” has the structure of a Bachian suite, but a wide range of musical influences. Movements include tangos that would work well as stand-alone pieces, etude-like character pieces that present particular moods and guitar techniques, and interludes that provide transitions between sections. The suite provides a satisfyingly diverse musical structure, informed by an improvisational feel. Capellano the performer has the technique of a virtuoso, with complete control over complex rhythms and flowing romantic melodies, and he puts forward his complex composition in the best possible light.

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