Spanish Legends

Spanish Legends

by David Russell
     
 

There's a long-standing tradition of virtuoso performers composing music to showcase their own talents. In the 19th century, for instance, no one could chart the outer limits of technique better than Liszt at the piano or Paganini on the violin. Classical guitarists have faced a slightly different challenge: to build a solo repertoire from the ground up. See more details below

Overview

There's a long-standing tradition of virtuoso performers composing music to showcase their own talents. In the 19th century, for instance, no one could chart the outer limits of technique better than Liszt at the piano or Paganini on the violin. Classical guitarists have faced a slightly different challenge: to build a solo repertoire from the ground up. David Russell's marvelous tenth disc for Telarc explores the contributions to the instrument's literature of four Spanish guitar masters. Andrés Segovia, of course, is the giant among them. His transcriptions of existing classics may be better known today than his original compositions for the guitar, four of which are performed here. These impressionistic numbers have audible roots in Spanish folk music, but of the composers featured here, Segovia treats this source with the most freedom and imagination. By contrast, Miguel Llobet's Canciones Populares Catalanas are exactly what the title suggests -- popular Catalan songs -- but their tunefulness is complemented by a delicate and varied sense of the guitar's tone colors. These are beautifully realized in Russell's performance: On "La Filla del Marxant," you'll swear that he's put down the guitar and picked up a harp. Regino Sainz de la Maza was a prominent performer in his day; it was he, not Segovia, who gave the 1940 premiere of Joaquín Rodrigo's immortal Concierto de Aranjuez. Two of his lively, folk dance–flavored compositions are featured, including the often-performed "Zapateado." Finally, Emilio Pujol was the scholar of the bunch, editing many volumes of Renaissance and Baroque guitar music for modern performance. Perhaps due to this pedigree, his music combines an almost aristocratic poise with vigorous Iberian rhythms. All four of these "Spanish Legends" meet their match in David Russell -- whose technical mastery and expressive eloquence are making him a latter-day legend of the guitar in his own right.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Any guitarist who surveys the music and performance styles of his virtuoso predecessors either must be extraordinarily confident in his imitative abilities or every bit their equal in prowess, passion, and personality. That David Russell belongs in the latter category is evident on this 2005 release from Telarc; his performances of colorful works by Regino Sainz de la Maza, Miguel Llobet, Andrés Segovia, and Emilio Pujol are technically brilliant, lyrically expressive, and imbued with an intimate character that feels authentic, not copied. Russell is noted for his exceptional guitar timbres, and here provides several examples of his bell-like harmonics, controlled vibrato, secco plucking, and varied shadings of lines. Often, as in Llobet's "Plany" and "El Mestre," Segovia's "Estudio Sin Luz," and Pujol's "Festivola," Russell conveys a melodic intensity that suggests both the human voice and the flamenco quality of duende, acquired by the guitarist from his studies in Spain and nurtured still through his continued relationships there. It may be difficult to tell where Russell's tributes to the masters end and his own expressiveness begins, but this is a sign of his well-rounded musicianship; mannerisms that a guitar aficionado may discern are perhaps less important than the spirit of the interpretations, which Russell communicates convincingly. Telarc's sound quality is clear and vibrant.
Gramophone - William Yeoman
This is mature, sophisticated playing of honest, enjoyable music; Telarc's sound is, as always, exceptional.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/25/2005
Label:
Telarc
UPC:
0089408063329
catalogNumber:
80633
Rank:
122788

Tracks

  1. Zapateado for guitar  - Regino Sainz de la Maza  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - David Russell  -  Robert Woods
  2. Rondeña for guitar  - Regino Sainz de la Maza  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - David Russell  -  Robert Woods
  3. Canciones Populares Catalanas (13), folksong arrangements for guitar  - Miguel Llobet  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - David Russell  -  Robert Woods
  4. Etude for guitar ("Estudio Sin Luz")  - Andrés Segovia  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - David Russell  -  Robert Woods
  5. Anecdotas (5) for guitar: 2  - Andrés Segovia  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - David Russell  -  Robert Woods
  6. Anecdotas (5) for guitar: 5  - Andrés Segovia  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - David Russell  -  Robert Woods
  7. Remembranza for guitar  - Andrés Segovia  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - David Russell  -  Robert Woods
  8. Seguidilla, for guitar  - Emilio Pujol  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - David Russell  -  Robert Woods
  9. Impromptu for guitar  - Emilio Pujol  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - David Russell  -  Robert Woods
  10. Triquilandia (Jugando al Escondite), for guitar  - Emilio Pujol  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - David Russell  -  Robert Woods
  11. El Abejorro for guitar  - Emilio Pujol  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - David Russell  -  Robert Woods
  12. Canción Amatoria, for guitar  - Emilio Pujol  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - David Russell  -  Robert Woods
  13. Festivola, for guitar  - Emilio Pujol  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - David Russell  -  Robert Woods
  14. Tango for guitar  - Emilio Pujol  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - David Russell  -  Robert Woods
  15. Manola del Avapies, tonadilla for guitar  - Emilio Pujol  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - David Russell  -  Robert Woods
  16. Piece No 2 for guitar, "Guajira" or "Evocacion Cubana"  - Emilio Pujol  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - David Russell  -  Robert Woods

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