Magazine article Gramophone

Beaser: Guitar Concerto

Magazine article Gramophone

Beaser: Guitar Concerto

Article excerpt

Guitar Concerto (a). Evening Prayer.

Ground O. Notes on a Southern Sky (a)

(a) Eliot Fisk gtr

Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Jose Serebrier

Linn (F) CKD528 (62' * DDD)

The American composer Robert Beaser has the happy knack of writing orchestrally yet idiomatically for solo classical guitar. Just listen to the rippling, toccata-like figurations, driving Latin rhythms and colourful, often highly percussive sonorities of Notes on a Southern Sky. Composed for longtime friend Eliot Fisk in 1980 and revised for this premiere recording, it strives to overcome the very limitations it celebrates. But maybe that's indicative of any art that, like Beaser's, celebrates our flawed humanity?

Two other works on this disc are orchestral; they too receive their first recordings. Ground 0 is a moving tribute to the victims of 9/11. Evening Prayer was written for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and takes as its starting point the folk song 'Esti dal' as published by Kodaly in his Choruses for Mixed Voices. The Guitar Concerto, written for Fisk in 2010, also draws its inspiration from folk material flamenco and bluegrass--as well as the music of the Baroque.

Beaser is an exponent of so-called New Tonalism. …

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