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Posted July 14, 2011
William Carter - "La Calme" - Linn Records
A renowned master of the lute and baroque guitar, William Carter here brings his considerable musical understanding and virtuosity to the later works of Fernando Sor. With his extensive of knowledge of historical performance practices (particularly those used for the lute), Mr. Carter performs this music, like his previous release of Sor's early works, using bare fingertips, the same technique employed by Sor himself, as opposed to picking with the fingernails, which method has been dominant since the beginning of the 20th century.
The music, mostly written as studies, couldn't be lovelier; tuneful and subtle, even the simplest theme over open bass string structures have a complete, song-like quality and serve as a reminder of the power of a memorable melody.
Mr. Carter's playing is, as usual, of the very highest quality, with a flawless technique and deep understanding of the music that manages to bring both emotion and precision to these often under-appreciated compositions.
Kudos also to Philip Hobbs, who produced and engineered this project; the recorded sound has a "live" quality that is clear, clean and gimmick-free.
"La Calme" by William Carter is a virtual must-have for guitar students and fans, chamber music aficionados, and anyone interested in the music of the most important guitarist/composer of the pre-modern era.
10 out of 10, highest possible recommendation Oscar O. Veterano