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Classical Music Review

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Dreams Laid Down
New Music for Classical Guitar


Composers: Michael Karmon, Richard Gibson, John Oliver, William Beauvais and David Gordon Duke
Performed by: Alan Rinehart
Label: Ravello Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 14 September 2018

Dreams Laid Down brings to life the works of several composers, through the classical guitar playing of Alan Rinehart. Inspired by sources from the Beatles to the poetry of Rinehart’s wife, the album creates an intimate aural experience that is as personal to the listener as it is to the artist himself...

For fans for classical guitar, Dreams Laid Down is an album you'll want to add to your collection. Alan Rinehart expertly tackles these 22 tracks (1 hr, 02 min, 11 sec) resulting in a relaxing, pleasing listening experience.

The title track, 'Dreams Laid Down', is composed by Michael Karmon and is named after a book of poems by Rinehart’s wife Janice Notland. Karmon animated six of her poems, all of which are included here.

John Oliver’s 'Ancient Heroes Suite' was inspired by ancient music conventions, worked with dance-oriented rhythms in experimental time signatures that recall melodies resonating through ancient halls, while filtering them through a modern context.

'Variaciones Sobre un Tema de Juan Lennon', written by New Brunswick composer Richard Gibson as a wedding gift for his daughter Julia, reimagines parts of a song originally written by John Lennon. Exploring shifts in key signatures, major and minor modes, and alternate harmonization, Gibson takes the pop song and breathes his unique perspective into it.

The album is rounded out with works by two more well-established Canadian composers. Guitarist-composer William Beauvais contributes his improvisatory and rhythmic 'Beginning of the Day' and Vancouver's David Gordon Duke explores the full range of guitaristic colours in his 'Soliloquies and Dreams'.

Rinehart wrings every ounce of emotion out of each of the diverse tracks here. It's obvious, even to the novice, that he is passionate about each and every piece. Of course, if you're not a fan of the guitar you will probably find this a little too flat... but for everyone else, this is a beautiful collection of multi layered pieces.


Darren Rea

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