Santiago de Murcia: La Guitarra Española Hybrid SACD - DSD
William Carter (Artist, Performer), Santiago de Murica (Composer), __ (Conductor) Format: Audio CD
Import Hybrid-SACD pressing.
"Santiago de Murcia (1682 - 1732) was the last, and possibly greatest, Spanish exponent of the five-course Baroque guitar, his music achieving a perfect balance between strummed and plucked styles that were prevalent at the time. As if to reinforce this point, William Carter opens his recital with a superb account of Murcia's Folias españolas, which starts with some highly percussive strumming before slowly giving away to delicately plucked lines. Such nuanced playing is just as effective in the Passacalles, each of which gradually builds in excitement, as it is in the funereal "Del Rey Francia" (in the Suite after Gaspar Sanz), the melancholy Marionas or the lullaby-like Gaitas. Throughout, Carter somehow conjures up the sights and sounds of a bygone age with the mastery of a real dramatist, counterbalancing flurries of overlapping scales, energetic strumming and virtuoso trills with the richness and warmth of the more reflective passages. Not to be too pedantic about flying solo, Carter is joined by fellow Palladian Ensemble member Susanne Heinrich on bass viol. Her pizzicato accompaniments bring a pleasing depth to dances like the Zarembeques and the Cumbees, but are especially effective in Murcia's transcription of the prelude and gigue from Corelli's Violin Sonata, Op 5 No 3, to which she restores the original bass-lines. The effect is like hearing the last two movements of some ghostly guitar concerto. This is more than just a worthy follow-up to Carter's first solo disc "La guitarre royalle" (12/04) - quite simply, it contains some of the finest Baroque guitar playing you'll ever hear." --Gramophone
"The performance of guitar music from the Baroque has never been an exact science. As an instrument that enjoyed equal standing in both folk and art music, and whose performers straddled the same conflicting worlds, the tendency was to hand the music down by practical example rather than the printed sheet. The greatest evidence of that came from 17th-century Spain. William Carter, the American-born guitarist and a member of the excellent Palladian Ensemble, has done more than most to explore the truth behind Baroque performance practice on the Baroque guitar. And this disc, with its flamboyant cocktail of Passacalles, Canarios and Zarambeques, is yet another highly enjoyable example. The music focuses on one of the few Spanish Baroque composers who wrote his music down - Santiago de Murcia. It is high-art music, with transcriptions of Corelli violin sonatas using the same borrowing technique Bach displayed when he transcribed Vivaldi concertos for the organ. This whole disc is an effusion of passion, flavoured with Mediterranean sunshine. From the frothy Folias Espanolas to a bagpipe-inspired Gaitas, you could be in no other part of the world." * * * * --Scotsman newspaper