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Classical Music Review

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Modern Works for Guitar


Composers: Campbell Ross, Gerardo Dirié and Ariel Dirié
Label: Ravello Records
Release Date: 09 November 2018

Ravello Records release Concertante, a 2-disc album which showcases the guitar works of Campbell Ross, Gerardo Dirié and Ariel Dirié.

While New Zealand guitarist and composer Campbell Ross cites influences as varied as Claude Bolling, Manuel Ponce and Benjamin Britten when discussing the works featured here, it is clear that his own distinctive style is manifested throughout the album.

The first disc opens with the three-movement 'Concertante' for guitar, jazz trio and strings - a work that allows all of the album’s performers to be featured as soloists. Its kaleidoscopic first movement reveals elements of Latin, Blues, Jazz, and Classical genres that, when combined with the Spanish touches in the final movement, encompass the major musical styles that have influenced Ross over the past 30 years.

The two sets of 'Variations' on the album reflect his life-long admiration for the McCartney/Lennon oeuvre. While playing homage to 'Norwegian Wood' and 'World Without Love', both pieces fall more to the improvisatory end of the compositional scale.

Disc 2 features works written by Gerardo and Ariel Dirié. Ross first presents a series of pieces written by Ariel Dirié, who passed away in 2010, leaving behind a collection of works, some of which are light and some of which are dark, some playful and some serious. The final three works on the album form a triptych, 'Si un dia el Olvido' (If one day oblivion...), which “gather different evocations of time.” The triptych’s final movement, echoes the closing track on the first CD, delicately brushing on Lennon and McCartney’s 'World Without Love'.

For lovers of guitar based modern classical music there is plenty here to sink your teeth into. A well presented collection of varied and intricate pieces.


Darren Rea

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