Spain may be the ancestral home of the guitar, but Italy has produced wonderful guitarists and guitar music—witness Italian virtuoso Emanuele Segre and his new release on Delos, Italian Guitar Concertos. Segre brings his “rhythmic buoyancy,” “delicate touch,” and “persuasive playing” to a delightful program ranging from Vivaldi and Giuliani concertos to new creations.
Beginning with an aria and concerto by Vivaldi, the father of the concerto, the album then features the Gran Quintetto by Mauro Giuliani. One of the greatest composers of music for classical guitar, Giuliani’s performances on the guitar were legendary—Giuliani knew Beethoven, who wrote guitar music especially for him. (And the piece itself is reminiscent of Beethoven, particularly the instrumental introduction.)
The album finishes with two enchanting and congenial contemporary works for guitar and orchestra: Giovanni Sollima’s dreamy The Black Owl, and Carlo Boccadoro’s haunting Dulcis memoria II.