ITALIAN GUITAR CONCERTOS
EMANUELE SEGRE, GUITAR
ORCHESTRA I POMERIGGI MUSICALI
CARLO BOCCADORO, CONDUCTOR
MUSIC BY VIVALDI, GIULIANI, SOLLIMA, and BOCCADORO
DELOS DE 3546
The Italian guitarist Emanuele Segre’s recording of Italian concerti for guitar has instantly become a favorite in my collection of CD’s thanks to this artist’s gifts for bringing to new life the familiar – Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto in D Major and Mauro Giuliani’s Gran Quintetto – and introducing the unfamiliar – Antonio Vivaldi’s Aria for Guitar and String Orchestra, Giovanni Solima’s The Back Owl and Carlo Boccadoro’s Dulcis Memoria II, both in world premiere recordings – and making it all instantly compelling.
Segre’s dazzling technical gifts never take center stage to overwhelm the music itself with facile tricks, but rather serve the demands of the compositions he takes on, allowing for the music itself to be the main event, not the playing of it. But play he does with a mix of bravura and delicacy, sobriety and passion, as called for by the various moments in the music. Listening to how this protean artist summons a seamless cantabile legato in the Aria for Guitar and String Orchestra from what is at its core a strumming, plucking instrument is a thing of wonder.
Carlo Boccadoro’s hypnotic Dulcis Memoria II elicits from both soloist and the superb Orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicali a soulful reading in which even moments of seeming stasis reverberate with intensity. A master who can summon a panoply of colors from his instrument, Segre’s Vivaldi selections are Baroque at the core and replete with perfect articulation and elegant embellishments, Mauro Giuliani’s Gran Quintetto is quintessentially classical, and in Sollima’s intriguing Black Owl and Boccadoro’s Dulcis Memoria II the playing is gritty and razor sharp contemporary.
Equal partners in the superb music-making, Carlo Boccadoro and the Orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicali, and in the Vivaldi harpsichordist Angela Lazzaroni alternately provide ever-supportive accompaniment, rock solid continuo and moments of solo virtuosity.
The engineering of this 2018 recording by Renato Campajola and Mario Bertodo is flawless, and the booklet notes by David Brin are insightful, making this DELOS release yet another collector’s must have.
Rafael de Acha